Friday, March 14, 2008

iTunes redux

Well, Apple removed a post I placed last night on their discussions board. It was called "Simply Amazing" and in it I essentially complained about their "selection" process for putting podcasts in the "featured" section of iTunes. I'm sorry I didn't save the post so I could place it here, but it was pretty late at night & I was tired. 

They sent me a charming form letter:

Your post, "Simply Amazing. " was removed from the Apple forums as it does not follow the guidelines specified in our terms of use. These areas are intended to address technical issues about Apple products. Posts that do not conform to the Apple Discussions Use Agreement are inappropriate.

Reasons that your post was removed may include but are not limited to:

-Off topic or non-technical posts
-Non-constructive rants or complaints

Still, it is their business, and if they don't want to host a discussion of how they pick podcasts for their featured spots, that's their privilege. But the plain fact is that while they are including podcast listings on iTunes for "free," they are also reaping the benefit of having lots of free content for users to attract and keep them.

My big complaint is that Mister Ron's Basement has never -- I mean never -- been featured on the iTunes "New and Notable" or even "Featured" menus, either on the front page or in the Comedy category where the Basement resides.

If being the first podcast on iTunes to reach the One Thousand mark isn't notable, then what is? If creating a well researched (and at times exciting, funny, and fascinating) three part three-hour long audio documentary isn't notable, then what is?

I'm certain that currently featured programs such as "Vomitus Prime" "Air Out My Shorts" and "Lucky ***** Radio" (actually featured twice in the same menu!) are obviously outstanding high-class efforts, and that what I need to do is stop producing family-friendly, well researched programs of classic American humor, and dig around in the gutter some more.

And the excuse I have heard some people give -- that I need to have more "subscribers" (I currently average about three thousand downloads a day and a tad under a hundred subscribers) to get listed -- simply doesn't hold water, as iTunes often highly promotes podcasts that have just been created by major corporations or often something that just strikes their fancy, even though they haven't been around long enough to have any subscribers at all.

Well, that's my rant for today. I do remember that I did end my post by stating that other podcasters should not be discouraged by iTunes' policies. The rewards of podcasting are in the act of creation itself, or as somebody we know once said, "The Journey is the Reward."

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