25 February 2014

When tasked with the simple matter of subscribing to this podcast, I discovered that MediaMonkey is relatively limited (or at least picky) in terms of what it can handle. MediaMonkey 4 does not appear to handle the ITPC protocol, so I needed to find a way around it.

Obstacle 1: ITPC in MediaMonkey

The podcast site linked to the RSS via ITPC protocol, which did no good.

Changing the protocol but keeping the URL otherwise intact also did not work - the response was empty.

The first step was discovering the HTTP URL for the RSS file. In this case, there were two options:

  1. Subscribe via iTunes, locate the podcast in iTunes, and right-click to "Copy Podcast URL"
  2. View the source of the podcast home page and look for the link tag (e.g., <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" ... />)

Both methods provided the same feed URL.

Obstacle 2: Less Apparent Error

Unfortunately, that URL did not work in MediaMonkey. MediaMonkey indicates that there is an error and then displays the first line of the RSS/XML file. A quick test of the URL showed that it returned proper XML, but it also showed that the content-type of the document was wrong.

curl http://anothermotherrunner.com/category/amr-radio-show/feed/ --head

  • Sets cookies
  • Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
  • MediaMonkey says "There was a problem downloading the following file(s):". It then shows the first line of the XML file.
Rather than building something custom, the faster solution was simply to rely on feedburner. Feedburner is a bit more lax in its requirements, but it standardizes its own output in a way that MediaMonkey can understand. Simply take the feed with the problem and create a feedburner feed that you can then put into MediaMonkey.

curl http://feeds.feedburner.com/anothermotherrunner/Viun --head

  • No cookies
  • Content-Type: text/xml; charset=UTF-8
This new feed finally resolves all the issues and lets me pull the requested podcast into MediaMonkey. As noted, there is also a slight benefit since cookies are not sent by feedburner, but the amount of data transfer is obviously secondary to the fact that it actually works.

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