A review of metadata fields associated with podcast RSS feeds

09/25/2020
by   Matthew Sharpe, et al.
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Podcasts are traditionally shared through RSS feeds. As well as pointing to the audio files, RSS gives a creator a way of providing metadata about the podcast shows and episodes. We investigate how certain metadata fields associated with podcasts are currently being used and comment on their applicability to recommendations. Specifically, we find that many creators are not using the itunes:type field in the expected fashion, and that using this field for recommendations might not lead to an optimal user experience. We perform similar explorations for the season number and the category associated with a podcast, and also find that the fields aren't being used in the expected fashion. Finally, we examine the notion that a single podcast show is the same as a single RSS feed. This also turns out to not be strictly true in all cases. In short, the metadata associated with many podcasts isn't always reflective of the show and should be used with caution.

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