Question

Podcast RSS Feed Rejected from iTunes

  • 22 October 2014
  • 65 replies
  • 1761 views

Hello Everyone,

I have tried everything from google sites to feed burner and have not been successful in submitting my podcast to iTunes. Last week, I was successfully accepted in the SoundCloud Podcast Beta, followed all the instructions they've specified step by step and I continue to get a message saying "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed". I can't find anything on SoundCloud's Podcasting instructions or Q&A that addresses this specific problem. Can anyone assist?

Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

- Drea

65 replies

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I have the same problem. When do you expect it to be solved..? I really like SoundCloud, but if I have to wait for a month or more to get my podcast in to iTunes, I will have to find another podcast host...
- Michael

I have the same problem. When do you expect it to be solved..? I really like SoundCloud, but if I have to wait for a month or more to get my podcast in to iTunes, I will have to find another podcast host...
- Michael

Hi Mathis. You're a popular guy! I am also having problems getting iTunes to accept my podcast. Here is the RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:2987537/sounds.rss
I'm also getting the same issue...I've validated my feed several times, the image size is good...What the heck is going on?! my feed is http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:107862692/sounds.rss
I can't get mine submitted to iTunes either and I'm about to switch to LybSyn if i can't figure this out. I need my podcast to be accessible. I'm getting the "Podcast cover art must be between 1400 and 3000 pixels.... " message. I've changed my cover art to be the right size but I'm still getting this error message. I've really enjoyed using SoundCloud but if I can't get this to work, I'll have to choose something else.
Hi Drea,

Thanks for posting. The problem you encountered is something that we are aware of actually, and that we're trying to fix at the moment. (we've discussed the matter here, but I'm hesitant to merge your conversation as I think this issue is worth having its own conversation. The title you choose is straight forward - thank you for being super efficient here!)

The problem is that on some accounts, iTunes is not scraping the information from our site correctly. We've gotten in touch with them, but sometimes these cross-platform issues take some time to resolve.

We've been suggesting that users try running their feed through FeedBurner to iTunes as this appeared to help in some cases but I guess you already tried that. Others have been successful after resubmitting their RSS feed to iTunes actually, so you might want to try that.

My sincere apologies about the inconvenience. As soon as we receive further news i'll be sure to update this thread.

Cheers,
Mathis

I'm experiencing difficulties getting the SoundCloud RSS feed to be accepted by iTunes. Why is this? Thanks Paul
I give up i have tried everything i contacted ITUNES so many times about my fee all im getting is FEED ALREADY SUBMITTED even when i use podomatic rss feed , the fee in soundcloud does not seem to work . is there anyway i can get a new rss feed
i have an error message saying " we had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed. is something wrong with my feed?? http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:141115987/sounds.rss
Userlevel 1
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Mathis,
Has there been any movement on my suggestions from about a month ago? If not then I'll have to go back to the old way of keeping my podcast up on iTunes. :(

Thanks,
Alan
I have the same problem. When do you expect it to be solved..? I really like SoundCloud, but if I have to wait for a month or more to get my podcast in to iTunes, I will have to find another podcast host...
- Michael

Hi Mathis.I just tried to ad my podcast again to iTues and after 2 month, there is still no progress with my link: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:120129836/sounds.rss

When will it work..?
Userlevel 1

Mathis,I got a response from iTunes, and it was pretty standard stuff:

Hello Alan,

My name is Reginald, an iTunes senior support advisor. Thank you for your patience as we reviewed this issue. Unfortunately, the podcast has been rejected for one or more of the following reasons:

• Technical problems, usually the lack of episodes or the inability to download or play episodes. These problems can almost always be avoided by testing your feed using Subscribe to Podcast in the Advanced menu prior to submission.
• Requirement of a login or password to access the feed or any of the episodes.
• Strong prevalence of sexual content.
• Use of explicit language in the podcast when the <explicit> tag is not set to “yes”
• References to illegal drugs, profanity, or violence in the title, description, or cover art
• Images or language that could be construed as racist, misogynist, or homophobic
• Images depicting sex, violence, gore, illegal drugs, or hate themes
• Third-party trademarks without authorization or usage rights
• The words “iTunes Store,” “iTunes,” or “Apple Inc.”
• iTunes Store logo, Apple logo, or the term “Exclusive” without prior authorization from Apple

Please see our Podcast Makers FAQ & Technical Specification

http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/creatorfaq.html

http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html

Concerning your question about resubmitting the feed, we recommend that you submit as a different feed or name in this case.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns about this issue. I will be happy to help.

Sincerely,

Reginald
iTunes Store Customer Support

Please Note: I work M-F, 2:30-11:30PM CT
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

However, there are a couple things that Soundcloud can do to make this work:

1) "Use of explicit language in the podcast when the <explicit> tag is not set to “yes”"
- Right now there is no way to set whether a RSS feed is explicit or not so Soundcloud needs to do some backend work to add this option into the Settings page. While this may not apply to some people I know there are a few tracks that I have played that have explicit lyrics so this needs to be done.

2) "Concerning your question about resubmitting the feed, we recommend that you submit as a different feed or name in this case."
- Right now there is no way to change the RSS feed's URL since the URL is generated by Soundcloud. We need a way to have Soundcloud either a) generate a new RSS Feed URL or b) let the user input their own feed's title (which iTunes would also use) then auto-build the RSS feed's URL off of the user's input. Either method would change the feed's URL so it would look like an entirely different feed to iTunes. It could look like this:
http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:5438542:user-title-here/sounds.rss

Now since I obviously don't work for Soundcloud I don't know how difficult this would actually be to accomplish. However it would solve my issue (feeds already being submitted) as well as other potential issues down the road for other podcasters.

Thanks,
Alan

P.S. I thought of a number 3 for the dev team, but it's an issue that right now only affects me:

3) Have a spot where the RSS Feed file's size is listed. Mine, as we've previously discussed, is 400k or so. It would be nice to have a way of telling how large the file is getting, and when I (or another user) would need to start delisting stuff from the feed to stay under the 600k soft cap.
Userlevel 1
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Mathis,
I've tried hitting up iTunes again regarding my "feed has already been submitted" issue. I haven't heard back from them yet, but once I do I will let you know.

Alan
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Hey Rich,

Thanks for the update - sorry to hear you ended up having this error message. It is something that our developers are investigating. It looks like iTunes will ultimately have to change things on their end in order to fix this issue once and for all (you're not alone with this error message), so we're depending on the collab with iTunes here, which makes it hard for us to foresee when this will ultimately be fixed.

Rest assured though that it is being looked into and prioritized on our end to hopefully soon be able to update this conversation with good news.

Cheers,
Mathis
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Hi Jayme,

Thank you. That did help fix the Feedburner issue, but iTunes still says, "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed." I tried both the SoundCloud RSS and the Feedburner URL, but it gave me the same message both times.
Userlevel 1
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Hey Rich,

Looks like your feed has a redirect loop. Go to http://soundcloud.com/settings/extra and delete the URL from the "New feed location" field. This should only be used if you want to leave SoundCloud and us a different podcasting hosting provider.

Cheers,
Jayme
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Hi Mathis,

I just received my RSS feed today and cannot get Feedburner or iTunes to recognize it as valid. Considering I just paid for a pro account, it is frustrating that this issue has not been resolved yet. It was not made clear to me before my purchase that issues like this even existed. If it was made clear, I would have considered alternatives to SoundCloud. This is the RSS feed URL I was given:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:105742394/sounds.rss
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Hi there,

Thanks for your post. Our developers continue to investigate how to best fix this from our end, however we're highly depending on iTunes providing details from their end in order to get this sorted once and for all. We'll update here as soon as we have news around this.

@ShowMeTheEvidence - I've looked at your RSS feed, and it looks like the Feedburner URL currently doesn't properly validate at the moment:



I've used http://validator.w3.org/ in order to test this. The original feed from SoundCloud does validate properly, so there might be something wrong with the feed you're getting from Feedburner.



Hope this helps!
Cheers,
Mathis
I just read through this whole feed! Any news on the "We had difficulty downloading episodes from your feed" problem? I am going crazy here. It's been weeks that I've been trying to get this submitted to iTunes. My feed is through Feedburner currently: http://feeds.feedburner.com/soundcloud/rZMn
Userlevel 1

Mathis,
I corrected a couple potential errors with a special character, and the only error I get now is that the image title doesn't match the channel title. However, given that Soundcloud automatically renames avatar photos I don't see any way around that. I got the "This is a valid RSS feed" before I made the changes (and now as well) so I don't know what else I can do. My inability to resubmit the feed means I can't tell if iTunes finds anything wrong that prevents them from listing it. As per usual I'll keep you in the loop.

Thanks,
Alan
Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hey Alan,

Thank you for your update. It usually takes ages for the "average" XML file to become too large. Yet, you're question absolutely makes sense and I have to admit I currently don't know the answer to it off the top of my head. However, I'll make sure to follow up on this with the team on our end.

Now, if the error message still states that the RSS feed has already been submitted - have you applied the things that Manohar had recommended? Since this is an iTunes error message, I would guess that they can help with this most efficiently. Rest assured we're continuing investigation and working on bugfixes on our end to improve the podcasting experience asap.

Cheers,
Mathis
Userlevel 1

Mathis,
Ok I've done a lot of work here:
1) I've removed all the non-podcast related tracks.
2) I shortened up my bio.
3) I removed A LOT of unneeded text from each podcast (takes a long time when I have more than 150 shows).
I saved the RSS file to my computer, and it now shows up as 419k so this should work if iTunes sets the maximum file size at 600k. However, this prompts a bigger question: if iTunes does have the 600k limit, what happens when my RSS file exceeds that size? Would I get an email from iTunes or Soundcloud to let me know I don't want to unlist episodes if I don't have to, but I will if that's the only workaround down the road.

I also tried resubmitting the podcast via iTunes after I made all the changes, and I'm still getting the error "The fed has already been submitted". I verified that the podcast isn't listed on iTunes as well.

Thanks,
Alan
I have the same problem. When do you expect it to be solved..? I really like SoundCloud, but if I have to wait for a month or more to get my podcast in to iTunes, I will have to find another podcast host...
- Michael

Hi Mathis.

Thanks.
I changed the artwork, and now I have a new message from iTunes saying, that there was an error, when they tried to get my episodes...
Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Hey again,

Rest assured we'll keep working on this to be sorted. We'll update here once this is the case.

Cheers,
Mathis

Thanks Mathis. I tried what you said and got the same result. itunes would just be an extra audience and I'm just going to be content with being on SoundCloud.Thank you so much for all your help. God bless.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
I have the same problem. When do you expect it to be solved..? I really like SoundCloud, but if I have to wait for a month or more to get my podcast in to iTunes, I will have to find another podcast host...
- Michael

Hi Michael,

Sorry to hear this still isn't working for you. Just like in Alan's case further down this conversation, it looks like your artwork is quite small. Can you upload a version that's 1400x1400px and try again?

Apart from that, we are working with iTunes on this issue at large, however fixing and optimizing the workflow to get your podcast up and running on iTunes seems much more complex then initially thought, so we still cannot provide an exact due date for when this will be ultimately sorted - sorry :-(

Curious to hear if uploading the bigger artwork does anything.

Cheers,
Mathis

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