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Taking advantage of iOS 11 and Safari 11 with ZCast!

With the latest Apple releases of iOS 11 and Safari 11 for iOS and MacOS, there are a few significant updates that will enhance the lives of you, our ZCast users. Let’s go over these new enhancements and see how to take advantage of them while using ZCast.

New Podcast Metadata Tags for ‘Apple Podcasts’

Bundled with iOS 11 is the new ‘Apple Podcasts’ player that takes advantage of new information that you can inclued in your show’s RSS feed. These updates to the RSS standard, suggested by Apple during the WWDC2017 conference, are relevant both to the ‘Apple Podcasts’ player as well as other podcast players on the market.

On the ‘show’ level, you can mark it as one of two types: ‘Episodic‘ or ‘Serial‘.

Episodic is the same old style of shows where your most recent episode will be offered first to your subscribers.
The new Serial type instructs the podcast player that the ideal order of listening is from oldest to newest episode.

On the ‘episode’ level, you can now tag the ‘Season’ number and ‘Episode’ number of each recording. In addition, you can mark individual episodes as a trailer or bonus episode, and the player will present them as such to your listeners.

ZCast already supports these new settings since ZCast 3.1 for iOS and of course on our current web-app version. You can edit these settings at the podcast and/or episode level respectively when you publish your shows, or you can update your already existing shows after the fact.

Tip: Apple is recommending that you do not include the season/episode number, nor the type of show in your title going forward, to make it easier to navigate and browse your shows and episodes.

Below we have an example of how ‘Missing Alissa‘, a podcast hosted on ZCast, took advantage of these new settings, and as a result how the listing is clear and easy to navigate on the new iOS 11 Podcast player.

You can edit these settings on either ZCast’s iOS app or by using our web-app, whichever is easier for you.
To edit the RSS profile:
– WebApp: navigate to zcast.co/my, and click the RSS Icon to access the editing option.
– iOS App: go to ‘Settings -> Podcast RSS Feed -> Edit Rss Profile’

To edit an individual episode’s metadata, edit your episode details from the ••• admin menu. You will see the new options we added for Season and Episode number as well as the episode type at the bottom of the dialog:

As soon as you save your changes, your RSS feed will reflect these new updates automatically and as soon as Apple refreshes your feed (usually takes a few minutes up to a few hours), your show will be presented with these new attributes for your listeners.

If you didn’t integrate your ZCast channel with iTunes/GooglePlay/Stitcher, check out the easy walkthrough we prepared to take you through the few easy steps, and you will have a podcast with less than 5 minutes of work: Setup Your RSS Feed.

Let us know if you need any help with this.

Safari 11 – Welcome WebRTC

Safari 11, which is bundled with the new MacOS High-Sierra and iOS 11, but is also available as an individual update for older MacOS versions, joins the growing number of browsers that support the WebRTC industry standard (Web Real-Time Communication) which is the foundation that ZCast uses to allow broadcasting and recording of live audio streaming of you and your guest speakers, directly from your browser, without requiring any plugins to be installed.

With Safari 11 ZCast can now allow Safari users to use our latest HD Audio recording capabilities if they prefer to use Safari.

Please note that although Safari 11 introduced WebRTC on the mobile iOS 11 version of Safari, and even though we have confirmed that you can record a ZCast directly from Safari 11 on your phone, we do not recommend doing so, but rather we strongly suggest that you use our native iOS app for recording your ZCasts from your mobile iOS device. Your experience and the stability of your recording will be much better using the native ZCast for iOS app. Mobile browsers are known to have unexpected behavior when you try to record a long podcast, and they might behave in unexpected ways when your phone switches between apps or if your phone get locked.

Questions?

Let us know if you have any questions or feedback by leaving a comment below, or send us a question here.

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