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JS Podcatcher v2.0

Posted by bcmoney on September 18, 2015 in AJAX, JavaScript, XML with No Comments

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This is the first revision of my quick and dirty Podcatcher (podcasting client).

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français :...

English: Podcast or podcasting icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It adds three new features:

  1. Ability to search for Podcasts by name (via iTunes API)
  2. Resolving the actual RSS feed URL from the Podcast ID
  3. Caching a copy of the RSS feed on the server in XML and only requesting updates if changes have been made

The last features I want to add in my next post will be the ability to arrange and sort multiple Podcasts you’ve “subscribed to” by dragging their “album art covers”, and . This little Podcatcher app would by then have pretty much the full capability of the native “Podcasts” app (official Podcatcher from Apple).


I’ve done quite a bit of research into Podcasting lately, particularly because they are making a comeback in popularity, far surpassing their original interest. There are a number of factors contributing to this resurgence, including:



  • Podcasting Applications have gone through many iterations and improvements, by now becoming extremely easy to use and offering great user experiences, with better and better audio quality
  • The cost of Digital Audio production and distribution has decreased to the point that everyone and their dog can have a Podcast series, Talk Show, or Online Radio station…
  • This means much more variety of content options than traditional broadcast like AM/FM Radio, meaning niche interest categories can be catered to via Podcasts (see benefits of Longtail effect)
  • Cars are increasingly synching with your Mobile devices (Phones, Tablets, etc) via Bluetooth Audio profile, enabling you to listen hands-free while on long road trips or stuck in traffic on the commute to and from work
  • Portable Bluetooth Speakers and Wireless Headphones are making it easier than ever to transmit your Mobile device’s Audio signal to wherever you want, in order to listen whatever you want whenever you want to
  • Millenials tend to be leading these trends towards mobility and , but it is not limited to them. Admittedly, my dad was an even earlier adopter of the Bluetooth Speaker and “Connected Car” trend than I was. Though, he still listens to CBC and his oldies music instead of Podcasts.




Below are some recommendations I made to my neighbor, Dr. John Meagher, a longtime emergency room physician with plans on starting his own Podcast around Mindfulness in Medicine. You may find these useful if you’re planning on starting your own Podcast someday (mind you, you should do a similar search of what’s already out there, based on the category you’re thinking about focusing on).


A few but not huge amount of successful podcasts aimed at physicians:



Other related ones are more targeted to consumers, in the “Self-Help / Alternative Medicine” categories:





  • Audacity:
    Cross-platform Audio Recording/Editing tool… this was the one I also suggested back when we were thinking about making an Audiobook recording


I found that about 64% listened by Computer (laptop or desktop) in 2013, and the remaining listen by Computer , their Vehicle’s Sattelite/Internet Radio, or even their Smart Stereos or Smart TVs for the “smart home” type power-users. In 2014 the full figures aren’t out yet but Mobile is surpassing the other sources narrowly (roughly 51%). Whether by Mobile or by Desktop, 70% of users listen via iTunes so its very important to get listed and stay in good standing with Apple.


Long story short, we just need to make sure we support the 4 main formats (WMA, MP3, AAC, OGG) to reach the broadest possible range of devices and users. We will do this on our own at first, by exporting the files using Audacity. Later, if the volume were to increase substantially to where the podcast was putting out more than 1 episode per month, then you may want to use a 3rd-party Podcasting platform like:



Those are the current leaders which all start out free then cost per month; the benefit is they take care of everything for you (the recording, formatting, file hosting, streaming, etc). Your blog itself, as well as YouTube, Ustream (and my own site) are possible places to freely embed each  Podcast episode for promotion purposes.





You can also charge money for access special talks, private lectures, or of course an Audiobook if you wanted to revisit that concept later; but I’d say that’s further down the line after some trial & error with a basic free podcast. If you can think of possible sponsors or advertisers that could help for monetizing your audience.Likewise, if you can think of potential guests (friends, acquaintances, high profile/authority figures in the industry) then that can boost your viewership quickly.





  1. Who listens to Podcasts?
  2. Podcast market study, preliminary results
  3. Edison Research – Mobile market study 2014
  4. Expert Podcasting for Dummies book (excerpt)
  5. 25 Podcasting Tools and Resources
  6. A Podcast discussion on Podcasting via WordPress
  7. How to download and listen to Podcasts
  8. Should I Podcast or Stream to Internet Radio?
  9. Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up Your Own Podcasts
  10. How to Make a Podcast
  11. Choosing a Show Format for your Podcast
  12. The 27 steps to get your Podcast listed in iTunes
  13. Apple’s official iTunes Podcast creator’s FAQ
  14. iTunes Podcast technical specifications/requirements
  15. Top Podcast Directories (including & other than iTunes) and How to Get Listed
  16. History of podcasting
  17. Top 100 Podcasts of 2014
  18. List of Top Medical Podcasts
  19. Key Statistics to Understand your Podcast Audience
  20. Top 5 Medical Podcasts I Listen To
  21. A technical tutorial I wrote in researching Podcasts last year, including a simple Podcatcher (“Podcatcher” is the tool your audience would use to subscribe to and listen to your Podcasts… usually they will use their Computer or a Mobile device like an iPod/iPad/iPhone/Android, etc)