Who's wrong? antenna or guardian?

I finally sent email to guardian according their
https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/the-audio-long-read/podcast.xml

I have full podcast app download log of similar error items, see down
could you fix it?
thanks

The podcast host appears to have added the same episode twice. AntennaPod still refreshed the feed and attempted to repair it.{From the archives: The art of sound in movies} with ID 5f05d56d8f08bd891044f458 seems to be the same as {From the archives: The art of sound in movies} with ID 5f05d56d8f08bd891044f458

here is #02382541 reply from userhelp@theguardian.com:

I have downloaded AntennaPod and can see that some podcasts are duplicated. I also checked on the Google podcast app, Podcast Addict app and the Apple Podcast app and the problem is not happening in those three apps. As the issue only appears to be happening with AntennaPod, you could try reporting the issue to them to see if it’s something they can fix.

and my reaction:

when you open link to your podcast xml I provided, you can really find such ID(s) twice, currently 1st I found is 5f33cdd78f0803fbf940614c
but, ok, I can try to report it also at antenna forum
greetings

I can reproduce both of the things mentioned in OP’s comment. AntennaPod displays duplicate episodes AND generates many “broken feed” warnings when refreshing this podcast.

On a separate note, is it just me wishing these warnings could be hidden? OP’s done admirably here, but I cannot see myself contacting feed providers any time soon.

I contacted them too, a few weeks ago (and added some more technical details). They agreed that it is an error on their side. Given that the feed is still broken, they seem to have a hard time fixing it.

Yeah, exactly. That’s definitely their fault. AntennaPod could (like some other apps) start to guess which one of the episodes to show. But unless they fix their feed, no app can ever be 100% sure which of the duplicates they mean. What they distribute is not a valid podcast feed. IDs must not occur more than once. Excerpt from Apple’s podcast specs:

Each episode in your podcast has a globally unique identifier (GUID). It’s very important that each episode has a unique, alphanumeric GUID that never changes, even if an episode’s metadata, like title or enclosure URL, do change.


I think podcast hosts should follow the standards and not just publish crappy, broken feeds. The more apps silently ignore errors, the more publishers break their feeds. These warnings try to nag publishers to finally get their stuff fixed. (Also, because AntennaPod really can only guess which copy they actually want to be shown, it can sometimes guess wrong)

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The problem is at the moment we are nagging AntennaPod users, not publishers.

I would perhaps suggest to start a community effort, providing predefined message(s) that users can use to contact feed providers and encouraging them to post feeds that generate errors. That would reduce the effort required of individual users and result in more reports, making it more likely that the feeds actually get fixed.

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I like that idea a lot! I’m just wondering, though, whether it’d be possible to prepare a draft message that is appropriate/relevant in all duplicate situations (?)

We could have a page on the website that we link to from the app error message. On the page we can explain what causes the issue, and suggest a message that can be sent to publishers.

The duplicate detection was just made less “strict”, meaning that it will detect fewer actual duplicates (because some publishers apparently use duplicate-looking items deliberately). Maybe that already reduces the number of error messages. In the case of the Guardian, where they just wrongly ship parts of their feed twice, AntennaPod should still detect it and only save one of them (generating a warning).

I was thinking a thread here on Discourse would be more flexible/more easily updated, but sure, a page on the website works too. Let me know if you need a ticket or any input! :slight_smile:

I mean, a proposed message will probably not change often, so on the website is fine. Plus it’s easier to link to from the app, if we’d do that. If you would like to propose a text that people can send to publishers, that would be very welcome! (here on the forum is fine - it’s easier to discuss editorial stuff than in a PR)

One thing to be concerned about with a generic message is that if a publisher keeps getting lots of messages that all just say the same thing may well be less likely to pay it serious heed. More import would be given to a message that included specific details about an instance of the issue

the most recent reply:
“Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anything we do can from our side as it looks like it is only AntennaPod that is experiencing the issue. Apologies for any disappointment.”

btw. isn’t there any online service which could filter such doubles? there are few which (with small help) could convert nearly any web (home)page to rss feed, what looks like more complicated case

Oh well :smiley: Apparently the support person does not know what they are talking about. All podcast apps are affected (as can be seen by looking at their broken feed manually) but AntennaPod is the only one that complains. I don’t know, maybe you can send them a link to this message or something. Alternatively, ask them to paste the RSS link into a podcast feed validator, which will also find that the feed is broken.

W3C validator:

https://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fnews%2Fseries%2Fthe-audio-long-read%2Fpodcast.xml
line 2437, column 56: guid values must not be duplicated within a feed: 601a7b858f0881f52da6a5aa (100 occurrences)

Blubrry validator:

Cast Feed Validator
Found 100 items with an enclosure URL that has already been used in your feed. These episodes will be ignored by Apple Podcasts. […] Found 100 items with a non-unique guid tag.

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I doubt that the masses would start sending emails :slight_smile: And indeed the template should have placeholders for the user to complete detailed info about the issue.

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Ok, here is my first go. I tried to keep it both generic and customisable by each user - improvements are obviously very welcome, especially in case errors are triggered by different situations than those I have encountered so far.

Dear [insert feed provider],

I would like to report an error I encountered while using the feed for your podcast [insert title] (see URL below) via AntennaPod.
AntennaPod is an open source podcast player which relies on open standards to connect listeners and content providers.

Unfortunately, it appears that at least one episode is listed twice in the feed that is currently online. Please find below the technical details generated by AntennaPod, which should help you identify the issue.

You can observe the issue yourself by entering your feed's URL into a feed validator, such as:
https://validator.w3.org/feed
https://www.castfeedvalidator.com

I trust that you will try to address the issue, as it affects all users of this feed, not just AntennaPod users. In case you need additional information to resolve this, please let me know.

Kind regards,
[AntennaPod user]

--

[paste details from AntennaPod log here, including the feed URL]

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hopefully there will be a way to fill some of automatically
let me know if there will be place to localize such message to slovak language (will be initially shown in language of app, with possibility to switch to another translation?)

I was thinking the same - it would be cool. I’ll see if I manage to implement it on our website, after wrapping up the website translations work…

There will be - I’m currently working on making the website (better/more) translatable (see Improve site-readiness for translations by keunes · Pull Request #112 · AntennaPod/antennapod.github.io · GitHub) while learning about Jekyll and Liquid at the same time :slight_smile:

Thanks @loucasal! Will make some suggestions tomorrow or later.

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Ok, an updated proposal:

Dear [insert feed provider],

I would like to report an error I encountered while using the feed for your podcast [insert title] (see URL below).
The error showed up while refreshing the feed in AntennaPod. It is an open source podcast player which relies on open standards to connect listeners and content providers.

Unfortunately, it appears that at least one episode is listed twice in the feed that is currently online. Please find below the technical details generated by AntennaPod, which should help identify the issue.

You can observe the issue yourself by entering your feed’s URL into a feed validator, such as W3C Feed Validation Service, for Atom and RSS or https://www.castfeedvalidator.com.

It would be great if you could address the issue, as it affects all users of this feed, not just AntennaPod users. (Some apps might make an automated guess which of the two episodes to hide and which to show, so the problem might not be visible in some apps). In case you need additional information to resolve this, please let me know.

Kind regards,
[insert your name]


[paste details from AntennaPod log here, including the feed URL]

2 Likes

Thanks @keunes - your improvements look good to me. I would just shorten + add a link to AP in the second sentence:

The error showed up while refreshing the feed in AntennaPod, an open source podcast player which relies on open standards to connect listeners and content providers.

And slightly amend the following:

(Some podcast players silently guess which of the two episodes to hide and which to show, so the problem might not be evident in all apps).

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I fear that when we mention AntennaPod too much, they will react like the Guardian: Saying that it is a problem of AntennaPod

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Moving down first mention of AntennaPod, and keeping it to one paragraph only:

Dear [insert feed provider],

I would like to report an error I encountered while using the feed for your podcast [insert title] (see URL below). It appears that at least one episode is listed twice in the podcast feed. Please find below the technical details generated by my podcast app, which should help identify the issue.

You can observe the issue yourself by entering your feed’s URL into a feed validator, such as https://validator.w3.org/feed or https://www.castfeedvalidator.com.

The error showed up for me while refreshing the feed in AntennaPod (an open source podcast player which relies on open standards), but the issue affects all users of this feed. (Some podcast players silently guess which of the two episodes to hide and which to show, so the problem might not be evident in all apps.)

It would be great if you could address the issue. In case you need additional information to resolve this, please let me know.

Kind regards,
[insert your name]


[paste details from AntennaPod log here, including the feed URL]

1 Like