Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.

RSS Fixed: With No Help from LibSyn!

Well I got the best news today, the RSS feed for Global Geek Podcast is now fixed and I fixed it!

I went to the site today and saw that we had our first comment on the page, which was great so I clicked on the comment to see what was said. The sight I saw was awful, the side bar was all screwed up! Then Sebastian had the idea that it might be the template that was corrupted in my efforts at HTML (which I am crap at…). So I thought yeah distinct possibility, so we saved the HTML code and selected the same template to use without any additions from me and looked at it and fair enough the comments page was all screwy. Bingo! The template that we had chosen was a dud.

NvuSo after choosing another template I pasted in the HTML and found that the code was different because the style sheet was different! Back to square one. So tonight I have re-coded the page from scratch and I think it actually looks better. The other thing that I did was that I used a WYSIWYG editing program called Nvu; an open source HTML editor. Great stuff really helped. I spent ages by trial and error seeing what different headings and HTML coding worked with the style sheet, then I wrote all the settings down and put everything in that I wanted. So I was really pleased with what Nvu enabled me to do, so have a go of it and support the open source community.

I will say that in my opinion the template that we choose originally should be removed as an option on Libsyn’s site. It obviously has some major flaws and is problematic for new users. The other thing is that I sent an email regarding the RSS problem over five days ago and I am yet to hear a response, other then an auto responder. I know that it has been Easter and all but I thought I might have got a reply today at the latest! The other thing is that as soon as they hear RSS and look at the template they should know that it is a misbehaving template and give advice accordingly. My advice to users is that you need to get a little HTML savy and a try different things other than email first. This is one thing that I am hoping do with Podcast Periodical, give others this advice regarding issues that I have struggled with.

An admission from myself, the original RSS being invalid was due to the fact that I had omitted a full-stop from an email address, but the problem with the RSS not being detected in browsers was a direct result of the Template.

Regardless of how I got here, “here” is a happy place.