How does a book get added as a podcast to iTunes?

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npalumbo58
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Post by npalumbo58 » November 10th, 2015, 5:31 am

First off, no idea if this is the right place for this. Please forgive my ignorance, I'm new here.
My first question is...
1. How does a work get added as a podcast to iTunes?
2. Are all works added?
3. If they aren't, why not?
4. If all works are added, who does the adding?
5. Is it automatic, or does someone have to go through some (possibly tedious) process to effect this result?
6. Why are some works (such as the English version of Les Miserables) available in the podcast app for some volumes, but not others? (Volume 2 is omitted, Volumes 1, 3, 4 and 5 are present).
7. How does one fix the issue of partial iTunes availability? (From what I can tell, it's rather common in longer works.)
8. If any of these problems are due to a shortage of (admittedly unskilled) labor, HOW CAN I HELP?

Thanks in advance for your patience and aid in this matter.

kayray
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Post by kayray » November 10th, 2015, 10:02 am

I only know a few of the answers:

First, let's clarify that npalumbo58 is talking about books showing up in the iTunes podcast store listings. This is different than the "subscribe in iTunes" link that EVERY book has on its catalog page. ( That link is automatically generated when the book is cataloged, and clicking it will run iTunes and fool it into thinking the book is a podcast so that it will "subscribe" to the book and allow the listener to download all chapters as "episodes".)

In order for a book to be searchable in the iTunes podcast store, someone must manually add the feed to iTunes. We (librivox) don't officially do that. We have had a handful of volunteers take this on in the past -- I don't remember who, and I don't know if anyone is doing it now.

It is very much /not/ automatic and is probably tedious. :)

Someone else will be able to tell your who used to do this, and maybe someone can also point you in the correct direction for doing it yourself. I hope so! You are polite and tenacious -- two very librivoxy characteristics ;-)
Kara
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--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

npalumbo58
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Post by npalumbo58 » November 10th, 2015, 10:54 am

Where can I find this someone that can help me locate the person(s) who did this in the past? Because adding more books to the store would be really awesome.

I've already started looking into how you add a podcast to the iTunes podcast store, but any help would be appreciated, as I have no idea what I am doing. However, I feel like this is a thing that is wholly possible to achieve, and would greatly increase the exposure of these books to the general public. Plus I really want to have the power of subscribing to a book on my phone. That would be pretty great.

smike
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Post by smike » November 10th, 2015, 11:47 am

I have no idea which specific itunes podcast you're talking about, but a librivox volunteer (David) has created a wonderful app, which lets you import to itunes.

You can find it at commonvox.org and I can heartily recommend it. :)
Claudia

So much to do, so little time...

ScottLawton
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Post by ScottLawton » November 11th, 2015, 2:20 pm

npalumbo58 wrote:Where can I find this someone that can help me locate the person(s) who did this in the past?
I would guess they will turn up on this thread at some point...
npalumbo58 wrote:Plus I really want to have the power of subscribing to a book on my phone. That would be pretty great.
While it's still worthwhile to get all books added, there are several apps that provide a separate way to find and/or listen to LibriVox books on mobile.
npalumbo58 wrote:Because adding more books to the store would be really awesome.
Agreed! Lots of people search the store, so it would be great if you find the time to add them. If there's any automation that would help, perhaps I or one of the other independent catalog or app developers can adapt our scripts. Let us know what you learn.
Cheers,

Scott
Aplt1.com - alternate LibriVox catalog that puts more info up front; optional iOS app

annise
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Post by annise » November 11th, 2015, 2:42 pm

The last person adding them suddenly got a message stating that the images needed to be "hosted on a server that allows HTTP head requests." and couldn't get past it . Any ideas ? Our images are at Archive

Anne
Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. - Hugh McGuire.

ScottLawton
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Post by ScottLawton » November 11th, 2015, 3:20 pm

'http head' works for me at the moment; see below.

$ curl --head https://librivox.org/outwitting-the-hun-my-escape-from-a-german-prison-camp-by-pat-obrien/
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 22:05:27 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu)
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.3.10-1ubuntu3.2
Set-Cookie: ci_session=...
expires=Thu, 12-Nov-2015 00:05:28 GMT; path=/
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf8
X-Cache: MISS from localhost
X-Cache-Lookup: MISS from localhost:443
Via: 1.0 localhost (squid/3.1.19)
Connection: keep-alive

$ curl --head http://archive.org/download/LibrivoxCdCoverArt31/Outwitting_the_Hun_1304.jpg
HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily
Server: nginx/1.4.6 (Ubuntu)
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 22:12:21 GMT
Content-Type: image/jpeg
Connection: keep-alive
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.5.9-1ubuntu4.11
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Location: http://ia801608.us.archive.org/3/items/LibrivoxCdCoverArt31/Outwitting_the_Hun_1304.jpg
Cheers,

Scott
Aplt1.com - alternate LibriVox catalog that puts more info up front; optional iOS app

annise
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Post by annise » November 11th, 2015, 3:45 pm

Thanks

Anne
Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. - Hugh McGuire.

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » November 12th, 2015, 3:22 am

Another couple of possible reasons for problems:
  • according to post in the Internet Archive forums: "There is a problem with your feed. Your episodes are hosted on a server which doesn't support byte-range requests. Enable byte-range requests and try your submission again." I have never seen a reply from IA on this subject.
  • according to post in the Apple discussion forum:To avoid the missing enclosure tag error, if you are hosting your audio files on archive.org, you need to add a Custom Field called "enclosure" and paste the full url for the mp3 file in the Value field.
Ruth
My LV catalogue page | RuthieG's CataBlog of recordings | Tweet: @RuthGolding

carteki
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Post by carteki » November 12th, 2015, 4:45 am

Personally I don't like the podcast versions - as it is tedious to download the full book.
I download the m4b files and the use iTunes "add Files to library" and it is all automatically set up as an audiobook and then I transfer it to my device.
The downside is that the files are quite large, so best to do when on wifi, but it remembers your last place and the chapters etc are marked as well.

ScottLawton
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Post by ScottLawton » November 12th, 2015, 11:20 am

> byte-range requests
> missing enclosure tag

LibriVox feeds have an enclosure tag and the mp3 files work in several contexts, so I suggest ignoring those 2 issues unless they arise as a specific error on a newly-submitted book.

But here's another theoretical problem to be prepared for: Apple changed the image requirement to a min of 1400x1400 per http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/creatorfaq.html and there's at least 1 long thread on Apple forums that this was enforced.

Here's Apple's specs: http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html

And, here's additional info from someone who answers lots of podcast/RSS questions on the Apple forums: http://rfwilmut.net/notes/podcast.html ... Per his home page, he's interested in some old-time audio, so might be willing to help diagnose specific problems once LibriVox tries to submit new items. But that's likely only worthwhile if making larger new images, and with the ability to make at least simple changes to the RSS feed.

Note that old images could be upscaled to 1400x1400 (and probably renamed to defeat caching problems). They won't look as good as images with that as the original resolution, but I think it's a reasonable tradeoff. Much of the work could be automated if a suitable volunteer is found. (I'm not raising my hand, but there are several forum members with sufficient technical expertise.)

In any case: given the appropriate login, it's easy to try adding a new book without making any changes. Any specific errors returned will informative.
Cheers,

Scott
Aplt1.com - alternate LibriVox catalog that puts more info up front; optional iOS app

annise
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Post by annise » November 12th, 2015, 12:35 pm

We'd just need to add an additional image file to the covers - not that difficult though reading their FAQ does imply it isn't essential
The <itunes:image> tag points to the artwork for your podcast via the URL specified in the <a href> attribute.

Cover art must be in the JPEG or PNG file formats and in the RGB colour space, with a minimum size of 1400 by 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 2048 by 2048 pixels. Note that these requirements are different from the standard RSS image tag specifications.

Potential subscribers will see your cover art in varying sizes depending on the device they’re using. Make sure your design is effective at both its original size and at thumbnail size.

If the <itunes:image> tag is not present, iTunes will use the content of the RSS image tag, but your podcast will not be considered for a potential feature placement in the Podcasts app and the iTunes Store.
Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. - Hugh McGuire.

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » November 12th, 2015, 12:40 pm

I am told that the last error message received was: "Podcast cover art must be between 1400x1400 and 3000x3000 pixels, JPG or PNG in RGB color space, and hosted on a server that allows HTTP head requests." On changing the image to the specified size, the same error message from iTunes was still received.

Ruth
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carteki
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Post by carteki » November 20th, 2015, 1:37 am

My question is why the books are added as "Podcasts" and not music (which is the correct classification for audiobooks - and also WAY easier to download). Does anyone know the history?

kayray
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Post by kayray » November 20th, 2015, 7:53 am

carteki wrote:My question is why the books are added as "Podcasts" and not music (which is the correct classification for audiobooks - and also WAY easier to download). Does anyone know the history?
Because our basic audio files are mp3s. When you download them individually or in a zip (not as a podcast) iTunes classifies them as "Music". You can then take all the chapters and make a playlist, if you like.

We also make them available as a "podcast" (via the link on every catalog page) because then iTunes will download all the chapters (episodes) and keep all the chapters of each book together as a "podcast". This is easier for some people, and it's easy for us to generate the iTunes link automatically.

We have a team of volunteers who also convert many (most?) books to m4b, iTunes's "audiobook" format. See link at the bottom of the "links" section at the left side of this catalog page: https://librivox.org/treasure-island-by-robert-louis-stevenson-5/
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

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