This is a follow-up question to this ticket
We moved our podcast to SoundCloud because everything in the platform looked fantastic. We found out a dealbreaker after migrating and we're now considering whether to stay or leave.
Currently track descriptions in the web ungracefully degrade when viewed in podcast players. This is because plain text is being used for it and each client interprets this differently.
The standard practice out there is to use CDATA containers with proper HTML in them, but SoundCloud removed HTML support in track descriptions in 2014.
Both things can be made to work together. Since the "risk" according to SoundCloud is that HTML can be malicious, the solution is not to remove formatting but to remove the ability to include HTML directly.
This is a solved problem. Most websites use a syntax parser that allows for plaintext shortcuts to HTML formatting, without providing access to the final HTML. Markdown and its variants is one of the most popular implementations of this. Such a parser could produce the final HTML that goes into a feed without the user being able to control it.
It could even be a pro-only feature, if you want that filter to exist. We're currently with a monthly plan until we find a resolution to this, in case we can't.
As an example, this is what should be possible:
Accidental Tech Podcast #117: Basic unordered lists and linked text (not URLs)
Gastropod: Basic formatting and embedded images:
(please note: Gastropod have their files with you, but they need to write their descriptions elsewhere and hack their RSS file that way, which is precisely what shouldn't be necessary).
Our own episode 57: Basic links
Our episode 58, the first hosted in soundcloud: Format disaster
A common response would be "well, go and put the description outside of SoundCloud and modify the RSS accordingly. The problem is that this indirectly defeats the purpose of SoundCloud as a platform.
The advantages of SoundCloud as a podcasting platform are:
1.-No need to host the files
2.-No need to manage the feeds
3.-Ability to cross-post to places like Wordpress or Tumblr
5.-Getting conversation going in SoundCloud's own social ecosystem
If the description can't be done properly, all these advantages collapse to #1. #2 and #3 become moot since they need to be replaced by hand, #4 is a plus but not a critical requirement and #5 breaks if the podcast format relies heavily on the show notes for sparking conversation or clarifying concepts (so anyone coming within SoundCloud would be missing it, as the "proper" description resides in a separate blog or tumblr but is not visible in the place where conversation happens naturally).
I urge you to reconsider. SoundCloud would be an ideal place to post both the audio and description and have that be the sole originator of your podcast