On the Podcast...

Those of you who listen to the podcast–and follow @irrconpod on twitter–are no doubt aware that since late last week (around the time we posted E28 or earlier) the iOS Podcasts app started having issues downloading episodes of the podcast.

At first–if I'm being completely honest here–I didn't take the issues too seriously because everything seemed fine with the site, the feed, iTunes, etc. I was able to download just fine in Instacast and Downcast on my iPhone and iPad. It even seemed to work fine in iTunes on my Mac.

But the problem persisted and I had to start digging. I tried everything I could think of on the site, in iTunes, and in the Podcasts app. No dice. Problem not solved.

I sent an email to Apple's iTunes support and still have not heard back from them but it turns out that wasn't the problem at all.

After submitting a trouble ticket to Squarespace I have a [slightly] clearer picture of the problem. We use Squarespace to host the podcast, both the feed and the actual audio files. As it turns out there is a known issue that the Squarespace engineers are aware of–and actively working on–that prevents Squarespace-hosted audio files from being downloaded into the Podcasts app. After some research it seems like this is a 'byte range request' issue. In English: the server doesn't send the file the way Podcasts wants it so it just fails the download. This, I think, is why streaming the episode from the 'Store' part of the Podcasts app still works.

So, what are we going to to about it.

Short-term: I have re-encoded all twenty-eight episodes as .mp3 files (they were mostly .m4a) so you can stream them directly from the podcast website if you want. Just follow the link we tweet out and boom, you can stream the episode.

The Future: I have been assured by Squarespace support that they are working hard to fix the problem with Podcasts.app. I am on their list to be notified as soon as it is fixed–so I'll send out something when I hear from them. In the meantime you can stream it from the site or...

A Suggestion: I don't want to be a jerk, but you might want to consider dumping the Podcasts app. It does seem like you get what you pay for here... I would recommend getting Instacast, Downcast, or Pocket Casts. They're all only $1.99. A good list of alternative podcast clients can be found on AppGuide.

I totally understand not wanting to pay for an app, though. And you can, and will always be able to, listen for free right on our site.

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for listening to the podcast.


Addendum:

The price of Pocket Casts is $1.99 but it doesn't sync. Downcast is $1.99 and syncs between iPhone/iPad. Instacast is $4.99 for iPhone/iPad and does sync. There's a Mac client, too, but it's $19.99.

Mr. Fish and I use Downcast.