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Thread tagged as: Problem, Podcasts

Podcast 'tracked URL' not valid for iTunes store

When I try to submit a podcast on iTunes via https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/my-podcasts/new-feed I get a "Failed Validation" error.

It turns out that the 'tracked URL' is causing this. As soon as I change the enclosure url value to the resolved URL, the feed validates OK. Maybe iTunes has issues with the tracking URL redirection?

Here is an example: https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/podcasts/play/main/3.mp3 <- a feed with this in it is flagged as "invalid", even though the URL resolves correctly https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/perch/resources/ep-3-backseat-driver.mp3 <- a feed with this in it is "valid"

Does this seem strange to you? I'm using the default URL tracking method in the Perch Podcast app. I'm reluctant to give this up without at least some understanding because tracked URLs seem cool.

Jay George

Jay George 2 points

  • 1 year ago
Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan 2638 points
Perch Support

a feed with this in it is flagged as "invalid"

Can you give any details?

Along with the details below, I recorded a quick 1 min video here, just in case it helps:

iTunes is not very forthcoming with its validation details, but it says:

Can’t download episodes from your feed. Status: failed validation

Here are steps on how to reproduce:

NOT Working

  1. Go to https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/my-podcasts/new-feed to register a new feed
  2. Enter https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/podcasts/rss.php as the RSS feed URL
  3. Click the 'Validate' button

Working

I've uploaded a temporary working version to https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/podcasts/rss-working.php where I've changed the 'URL' from <perch:podcasts id="episodeTrackedURL" /> (https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/podcasts/play/main/3.mp3) to a resolved URL version (https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/perch/resources/ep-3-backseat-driver.mp3)…

  1. Go to https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/my-podcasts/new-feed to register a new feed
  2. Enter https://idonthavetimetogameanymore.com/podcasts/rss-working.php as the RSS feed URL
  3. Click the 'Validate' button
Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan 2638 points
Perch Support

So you click the "Validate" button and what happens? It just says "Invalid"? Anything else? Any reasons or error codes?

It says "Can’t download episodes from your feed. Status: failed validation" Nothing else. You can see this in the video.

If I replace the tracked link and replace it with the resolved URL the validation passes, but that means the tracking will never work for iTunes.

Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan 2638 points
Perch Support

You can see this in the video

Sorry, didn't even see the video there!

I haven't had any luck getting this working but I noticed that iTunes now actually has its own tracking as of Dec 2017 https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/14/apple-launches-podcast-analytics-service-as-itunes-connect-beta

I thought my issue might have been https, but switching to plain http still flagged up the validation issue.

I'm going to try Simplecast hosting, and see if that makes a difference.

I switched to serving the files via Simplecast.com and it submits to iTunes no problem now.

I guess it must be something to do with my hosting provider not wanting to serve the file under certain conditions. Hope this helps someone!