Hows my feed?

Is your podcast feed as optimized as it can be? This will tell you.


Basic universal tests—the podcasting equivalent of “Is the patient breathing?”

Status Description
Is something there?

First we check if something’s at the URL, and that it takes a reasonable amount of time to retrieve.

Is it XML?

XML is a language that computers (and soon, robots!) use to talk to each other. This tests to see if the content at the URL is XML. Technically, it tests whether or not the content is “well formed” according to the XML standard.

Is it an RSS feed?

RSS is the special “flavor” of XML used to publish blog and podcast feeds. This test makes sure the feed conforms to the RSS 2.0 specification, too.

Is the SSL certificate iTunes-compatible?

iTunes supports feeds that start with “https://”, but only from eight popular SSL certificate providers. If this feed uses HTTPS, this tests whether it uses a compatible certificate provider.

Sharing & SEO

But does it feel good?

Status Description
Does the podcast feed have a “good” URL?

Here I test for problems like the use of someone else’s domain, the use of deprecated services, etc.

Apple iTunes

This section tests stuff that matters as specified in Apple’s podcast requirements for iTunes.

Status Description
Cover art

The cover art must be 1,400–3,000 pixels square to look good on fancy retina-class displays.

Support for HTTP HEAD requests

The server for your episodes must support “HTTP HEAD requests”, which is a fancy way of saying that iTunes must be able to get information about your files without downloading them whole.

Byte-range support

The server for your episodes must support “byte-range requests”, which enables podcast apps to fetch media in chunks. This is required to support streaming, and is required to be promoted in iTunes.

Is there a valid iTunes category?

Podcasts must have a valid <itunes:category> tag to be accepted for iTunes.

Is there an iTunes summary?

Podcasts should have a valid <itunes:summary> tag, or at least a <description>.

Does it have everything it needs to be searched properly?

Podcasts must have valid <title>, <author> and <description> tags at the <channel> and <item>level of your podcast feed, so that iTunes has enough source material for its search engine.