Amazing Facts Podcasts available in MP4 on iTunes
March 5, 2011 § Leave a Comment
In 2007, I wrote to Amazing Facts, whose programs I watch and find interesting, to ask if they could start broadcasting them in MP4 format, so viewers could subscribe to them in iTunes and download them onto their iPods (iPhones and iPads weren’t around yet).
At the time, they were broadcasting on Windows Media Server technology, which meant they were streaming-only, and their website video content could only be viewed from a computer with an internet connection.
They wrote back to me, telling me they might consider my suggestion, but they had already invested in the technology they were using and they’d continue to use it for the time being.
In 2009, they switched over to the MP4 format for their website video library, which meant that all their video content would now be downloadable (not just streamable), and also playable on devices like iPods, iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. I was glad to see that change.
Earlier this year, I was browsing the iTunes Podcast Library from my Apple TV, and found their podcasts listed there. I gladly subscribed, and now I watch them fairly regularly, right on my TV.
In case you’d like to do the same, here are a few links to their podcasts and feeds:
To subscribe to one of their podcasts in iTunes, you could search for it on the iTunes Store, or you could copy the URL of the podcast from their RSS Feeds page and paste into iTunes by going to the iTunes Menu >> Advanced >> Subscribe to Podcast, as shown in the screenshot below.
I also have a couple of suggestions for the Amazing Facts Web Team:
- Please be sure to preserve all old links or forward them properly. When you switched over from Windows Media to MP4, you didn’t forward the traffic from the old videos to their new MP4 equivalents. Links to your old programs, like this one for example, no longer work. There are ways to do automatic 301 redirects through code, so that you don’t lose existing traffic and also tell search engines about the change.
- You may want to think about the oEmbed protocol as a way of allowing people to embed your video content on their blogs or other websites. I wrote to you in 2009 to let you know your embed code was unnecessarily complicated and long, and I see that you haven’t yet addressed that issue. I still cannot properly embed your videos on my WordPress blog. oEmbed would be a perfect solution, as I would only need to copy and paste the direct link to your video page, and it would automatically show up on my website. Alternatively, you may want to think about uploading your video library to YouTube (which now allows videos longer than 10 minutes). YouTube already supports oEmbed for WordPress and other site platforms.