Apple

Convert iTunes PodCasts Into RSS Feeds

15 Nov/09

The iTunes store is offering a good selection of podcasts that iTunes users can subscribe to. Apple uses its own format to serve the podcasts which is problematic for two groups of users. Those who do not want to use iTunes and those who cannot use iTunes. The former group likely uses another software program to subscribe, manage and listen to podcasts while the later are Linux users who do not have the option to install iTunes directly.

Feed Flipper has been designed by Adam Schlitt to overcome this problem. It can convert any iTunes podcasts into a valid RSS feed that can be integrated into any feed reader or podcast viewer. Best of all – at least for most users – is the fact that Feed Flipper is an online service which means it will work with all operating systems and web browsers.

The basic principle is the following: Feed Flipper uses a base url and several parameters to turn an iTunes podcast into RSS feed. Here is the developer’s description of the options:

Creating your Feed Flipper RSS URL is easy! To start, copy the base URL:

* http://picklemonkey.net/flipper/convert.php?
Next, add your feed and any desired options to the end of it:

* &feed=URL – Your iTunes podcast URL
* &return=count – Sets the number of articles to display. (0 for all). If omitted, 20 is assumed default.
* &sender=text – Sets the sender of each RSS item to the specified text
* &senderprefix=text – Begin the sender of each RSS item with the specified text
* &subject=text – Sets the subject of each RSS items to the specified text
* &subjectprefix=text – Begin the subject of each RSS item with the specified text

The most basic option for users is to use the base url with the &feed=URL parameter like in the following example:

http://picklemonkey.net/flipper/convert.php?feed=http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=109573938

This creates a valid RSS Feed for the Japanese 101 Podcast that is available in the iTunes store. The only problem that some users might have with Feed Flipper is the fact that everything depends on the availability of the script on the developer’s website. It is not possible to update feeds if this is temporarily or even permanently unreachable. It can also happen that Apple changes a core setting in their iTunes store which could lead to the program not working anymore. The developer has fixed those problems in the post however.

All information to use Feed Flipper are provided above. The developer’s homepage can be accessed here.

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