Updates to Luminary
Improvements to show notes, links, and podcaster credits within the app
Over the past week we’ve heard feedback from the podcasting community about how we can improve Luminary, including the way we access RSS feeds and display data. Specifically, our approach for accessing and playing audio feeds was creating confusion, and our show and episode notes were missing information, including links.
Luminary has never hosted or cached content for any open public RSS feed podcast. We used a pass-through approach to enhance speed and performance, but after hearing from the podcasting community, we worked with hosting providers to develop and implement a solution that makes it clear we are not caching or hosting, and provides creators with the data to which they are accustomed. We implemented that solution on April 25th, two days after our launch.
As we developed our platforms, we made decisions about Luminary’s user interface and the way we presented information from the public RSS feed that affected show and episode notes and links. Our goal was to create a consistent, secure user experience. We now fully understand the ramifications of those decisions and we apologize for our short-sightedness. Looking back, we should have expanded notes and enabled links on iOS and Android from the start.
After consulting with podcasters, today we are rolling out an update to address some of the issues identified by the community. You can see the full technical explanation of how we changed the way we access and display your podcast feed information below*, and a summary of these changes include:
- Updates to enable the display of show and episode notes across all platforms.
- Supporting clickable links in notes for iOS and Android.
- Updates to our web app to make links available to listeners via copy-and-paste. We will roll out an update soon to support clickable links in our web player.
- Updates to the RSS feed fields recognition to credit podcast creation to the names designated in the “author” field.
We hope these fixes make it clear that we want to listen to the podcasting community as we continue to grow and develop our platform. In that context, if for some reason your show’s information is not displayed or enabled as you intend with this update, please contact us at email@example.com. We want to continue to listen, iterate, and improve.
*The technical details of the changes we’ve made include:
- For the expanded view of show and episode notes, we take the <content:encoded> XML field in your RSS feed. This field contains links and rich formatting.
- If <content:encoded> does not exist or is blank, we will display the <description> field. Prior to this change, we took the <description> field from RSS by default.
- We support the following HTML tags within the expanded episode and show description views within the Luminary mobile apps: <p>, <ol>, <ul>, <li>, <a>.
- There are certain areas within the apps that we show a smaller view of your show and episode descriptions with limited space. In these views, we do not currently support HTML tags. However, those views are expandable by a user and will support HTML.
- We will now display the <author> field instead of the <owner> field on show and episode description views. If the <author> field is blank, we will display the <name> field, within <owner>. We are rolling out a change to use <author> within our search results page soon.
Thank you for your feedback and helping us improve our podcast experience for listeners and creators.