I've been thinking about this off and on for a while, so I thought I'd put this idea out there to see if it gains any traction.
So a big problem with podcasts is that there's no standard way of doing shownotes, and no standard way for the client to tie together the shownotes and the audio. So here's an idea.
Similar to the
The RSS feed refered to by the shownotesRSS element would contain items that are the individual shownotes, each one containing a time index and other information such as a description and/or image. For example (extraneous stuff removed for readability):
[an item in podcast.xml]
<item> <title>A Brit Abroad - June 14, 2005</title> <description> Normal shownotes go here… </description> <enclosure url="http://www.steve-lacey.com/Some.mp3" length="15094642" type="audio/mpeg"/> <b><sjl:shownotesRSS> http://www.steve-lacey.com/Notes/Some.rss </sjl:shownotesRSS></b> </item>
<rss version="2.0"> <channel> <title>A Brit Abroad June 14, 2005</title> <link> http://www.steve-lacey.com/Some.html </link> <b><sjl:shownotesFor> http://www.steve-lacey.com/Some.mp3 </sjl:shownotesFor></b> <description> Talk and music from an ex-pat brit. </description> <item> <b><sjl:shownotesTime>0</sjl:shownotesTime></b> <description>Name and date check.</description> <image> <title>An image for this entry</title> <link> http://www.steve-lacey.com/someimage1.jpg </link> </image> </item> <item> <b><sjl:shownotesTime>4</sjl:shownotesTime></b> <description>Intro music and sweeper.</description> <image> <title>An image for this entry</title> <link>http://www.steve-lacey.com/someimage2.jpg</link> </image> </item> …etc… </channel> </rss>
This method therefore needs only three new elements in a (new?) namespace:
- shownotesRSS: points to the rss feed for the shownotes
- shownotesFor: points to the media file that the containing rss feed provides the shownotes for. (link item points to the original blog entry).
- shownotesTime: time index in seconds for this shownote item.
This gives podcatching clients the ability (if they do the playback) the show images, links, text and index into the media. WMP could also do this via some plugin.
Plus the two feeds are self-referential. I like it, so I think I'm going to try it out in Katana, my podcatcher testbed application.