Breaker adds support for JSON Feed

Breaker has added support for JSON Feed in our latest iOS release. JSON Feed is a new standard for syndicating content, similar to RSS or Atom, but using JSON instead of XML.

In 2001, when Dave Winer first added an audio enclosure to his Scripting News blog feed, JSON did not yet exist. A lot has changed in the intervening 16 years. JSON has surpassed XML as the preferred data-interchange format for the web.

Despite the transition of most of the web to JSON, podcasts have remained stuck using XML-based RSS feeds.

The decentralized structure of podcasts creates a chicken-and-egg problem for JSON Feed to gain adoption. There’s no incentive for podcasters to publish in JSON Feed as long as podcast players don’t support it. And there’s no incentive for podcast players to support JSON Feed as long as podcasters don’t publish in that format.

Breaker is hoping to break that stalemate by adding support for JSON Feed in our latest release. As far as we know, Breaker is the first podcast player to do so. Unlike other features that differentiate Breaker, we encourage our competitors to follow our lead in this area. The sooner all podcast players support JSON Feed, the better positioned the entire podcast ecosystem will be for the decades to come.

JSON is more compact than XML, making it faster for computers to transfer and parse, while making it easier for humans to read and write. Updating Breaker to support JSON Feed was fun and easy. It took us less than a day from when we started working on it to when the change was submitted to the App Store.

We hope this update will also encourage more podcast publishers to add support for JSON Feed. The ball is in your court.