Behind the Scenes at The Sniffer: Explanatory Note

From Cathi: Attention all gearheads who are interested in this sort of thing! As promised, a brief tale of what happened to The Sniffer over the winter holidays and well into February with iTunes. In November our feed broke. When a feed breaks it means your podcast needs to be resubmitted. We made a new feed, we followed the iTunes protocol, but when Nora went to submit the new feed into iTunes, she was met with, 'it appears the feed has already been submitted'. So she went to the podcast section of the store and typed in The Sniffer in the search engine. It’s not there. There’s an actually sort of good surf rock podcast that shares our name, but it’s not our show. Our show is gone. The bureaucratic nightmare began. Emails flew back and forth promising fixes and delivering nothing in return. Time for Cathi to pick up the phone. After two days of being bounced around from hither to yon I finally found this great guy Roger, one of the top dogs in accounts and billing at iTunes, and he promised me an answer. He even gave me his phone number and extension and everything. He was good to his word. He made a phone call to John, who became my very patient savior, calling me every 48 hours, working hand in hand with the engineers to solve the problem. We even got a real file number. Neato! The engineers determined that The Sniffer was hiding somewhere in the iTunes machine and they couldn’t locate it. “What?” Although thoroughly annoyed, this simultaneously delighted me. The idea of a podcast on the run. Like Dobby the house elf in Harry Potter. The engineers couldn’t find it. And as far as I know, they still can’t. (The irrational part of my brain believes that all sorts of things are going on in the machines we’re creating and we have no idea of what they are. Nora thinks I’m nuts. I guess that’s why we’re friends.) John had the idea to look behind the iTunes interface, the physical “store” we see on our monitors, and look behind at our libraries instead. Lo and behold, The Sniffer was there. He suggested that we tell our listeners how to subscribe manually, which is what I described below, and see what happened. My idea was to post a new show and see where it went. Guess what? Straight through the new feed and into my iTunes library. So in a way, our podcast is working, but we're still not at iTunes, and we may have lost those listeners who subscribed to the old feed. I’ve asked Libsyn, which hosts our audio files, for advice and they said essentially said “not my job” and to contact Feedburner. And that folks, is where I’m at. A lot of you know a heck of a lot more about this than I do. (But I must admit it’s been fun trying to figure it out thus far.) Do you have any ideas of how to expedite things? Thanks for your patience. Cathi

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