If you’re new to the Podcast Index, it’s worth taking the time to read up on their work or check out the Podcasting 2.0 podcast. Their plan is to preserve podcasting as a platform for free speech, and to help the industry retain the value-for-value model its co-inventor Adam Curry has long espoused.

This week, we implemented three of the newly-minted tags: elements of the podcast feed spec that the group is looking to the industry to adopt. Don’t worry, this won’t get super technical, but it’s useful to run through what we’ve done.

The <podcast:locked> tag

The Feed tab of your podcast’s Settings page now has a new tick box, right at the bottom, where you can unlock your feed. A locked feed is a suggestion to other hosting companies (mainly Anchor) that this feed is not to be imported, because the podcaster is quite happy where they are. If you’re curious as to why I might be calling out Anchor specifically, you can hear my reasoning in full on this week’s episode of Platform, our company podcast.

The <podcast:transcript> tag

This tag indicates when a transcript is enabled for an episode. If you have transcripts in your episode already — either through our in-beta automated transcription service, a third-party service like Descript, or transcripts you’ve hand-written — your feed will now point to a special file containing the transcript in full. Our hope is that app developers will start to implement transcripts within their players, and we can coalesce on a standard.

The <podcast:funding> tag

A while back we added support for the rel="payment" standard, which podcaster and indie-app leader Marco Arment announced in 2018. The Podcast Index version is similar, and again the hope is that app developers will use this tag to show a big “Donate” button for your podcast. If you have a membership or donation model already and you haven’t added this info to your podcast, you can do so via Settings > Accept donations.

And one more thing

Quite apart from the Podcast Index stuff, if you’ve been itching to stretch your coding muscles with your podcast’s website, you can do so again, as we’ve finally brought advanced theme editing to the new website customiser.

When you visit your podcast website, you should see a little round avatar at the bottom-right hand corner of the page. Click it, then follow the menu item to open the Customiser, and click “Advanced”, to be taken to a whole new world of HTML and CSS editing!

And don’t feel like you’re going to be lost in a sea of confusing code. Each template has a Help button with detailed documentation to help you get to grips with our theming engine, and it’s now infinitely better at helping you diagnose errors in your code. (Plus, if you’re on our Professional tier, you get access to hands-on technical support to help you edit your theme.)

So that’s another busy week in podcasting tucked away. Get in touch if you’ve questions or comments on anything we’ve implemented, and in the meantime, happy podcasting and happy Halloween!