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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fatal Flaw in new Blogger Atom Feed for Education

I started the Spring term with a nasty surprise: over half of my podcast files were missing from my organic chemistry CHEM241 class.

After some digging around I found the problem to be that the Blogger Atom feed post limit was reduced from 100 to 25. What that means is that it is no longer possible to use the Blogger/Feedburner system to create podcasts with more than 25 files at any one time.

Courses at Drexel generally run three times a week for 10 weeks. So generating 3 file types per class (mp3, m4v and pdf) runs close to the previous limit of 100 posts for the Atom feed. And as soon as a file drops out of the Atom feed, it drops off of Feedburner and then iTunes. So both of my classes on iTunes are broken now.

Students can still access all of the class files directly off of the blog (stressing once again the importance of redundancy).

iTunes was supposed to be a convenient vehicle to deliver the class content. Now I think I am just going to zip up all the files for simplicity, although I do want to fix the feed at some point since people do happen upon my courses via iTunes.

image of Nasty Surprise taken with permission from Cake That!


  • I saw this on TUAW yesterday: http://www.tuaw.com/2007/04/05/sell-on-itunes-with-tunecore/ tunecore might help

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 AM  

  • Eloise,
    Thanks for the suggestion but I'm looking for free solutions only at this point. Also, I don't need to find a place to host the files.

    By Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley, at 10:05 AM  

  • Hi, sorry for the late comment. Playing catch-up this summer!
    Do you think it's just the atom feed that has a 25 post limit, and maybe the RSS version does not?
    I see you can add "?alt=rss" to the end of the site feed URL to force the RSS 2.0 format.
    Don't have enough items to try this out yet. Just wondering if you had a chance to try this.

    By Blogger Frank Fulchiero, at 10:16 AM  

  • Frank - I checked it - no luck

    By Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley, at 10:29 AM  

  • I wonder if the new Blogger in Draft has the same 25 post limitations. It now allows for enclosures and video podcasting. I tried posting mp3, mp4, wav and audio-only mov files a week ago, but they did not work at that time.

    By Blogger Frank Fulchiero, at 10:57 AM  

  • Interesting - it looks like Google is trying to duplicate Feedburner's capabilities. Makes sense but I think it would have exactly the same limitations because it uses the same atom feed.

    By Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley, at 1:24 PM  

  • Google also purchased Feedburner, so we'll see where that goes! I imagine there may be some changes afoot.

    By Blogger Frank Fulchiero, at 1:32 PM  

  • Generally when services consolidate there are more options and things get better. This is one of the few instances where Google took a step backward by reducing the feed length.

    By Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley, at 1:39 PM  

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