Based on a members suggestion, for the past few days we manually created the RSS feeds so that iTunes would work properly while we investigated what was going on with the automated one. The FeedBurner original feed was updated – which is what was causing you to unsubscribe and re-subscribe. The original problem has now been resolved! So the good news is, the podcasts will be updated quickly and with few exceptions should be done in time for us to all get our TYT fix early in the morning.
While we solved the issue much earlier today, we have taken the time to test with as many computers, browsers and operating systems as we possibly could as to not release prematurely. With all the issues we have faced lately, the last thing we wanted was yet another false start. Hopefully this will resolve all podcasting issues – and as always – we’ll be carefully watching the results and feedback.
So here is what to expect:
The link to the member feed has not changed. It is still:
iTunes users: The behind-the-scenes link has now been pointed back to the original RSS feed. For those iTunes users – that means you’ll once again (and hopefully for the last time) need to unsubscribe and re-subscribe using the FeedBurner link above.
The new system does use authentication. What that means is that no matter what system you use, before it downloads the podcasts it will ask you for a username and password. Please use the same username and password that you use to access this tytnetwork.com website.
While we’re not out of the woods – I think we can finally see daylight. For the past many days we have entrenched ourselves to resolve several issues, including (but not limited to) the dreadfully slow speed issues, database timeout issues, constant iTunes feed failures, SSL redirect loops, etc.
All that has kept us very busy (and contrary to a few comments of understandably frustrated members – we have certainly not just gone home – even over the weekends). We’re still a small group – not a large corporation – and have limited resources. You deserve to be updated – and we’ll continue to keep you updated front and center on the website itself. We take the time whenever possible to catch up on comments, and provide direct email response (email@example.com) for those that need immediate attention.
Thank you again for all your continued support.
~Kimani, your TYT Community Ambassador
[Update Saturday, August 8, 2012]
As a few members have pointed out, Android-based podcasting is not authenticating correctly (DoggCatcher, BeyondPod, etc). We’ll keep you posted on the status of this issue so that Android users can download the podcasts.
[Update Thursday, August 16, 2012]
Still no Android success as of yet. BeyondPod responded with some discouraging news, but we haven’t given up. This is one a of a few important issues we’re working on and will continue to keep you updated when there is some sort of breakthrough.
Kimani is working diligently to reply to all of your emails. This will take some time due to the sheer multitude, but we are working on it. If he doesn’t respond right away, please don’t send him the same email again. If you are having trouble accessing member content, please include your electronic receipt and your member log in information in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
[Update Wednesday, August 22, 2012]
Both an update and some explanations:
While iTunes users are happy – Android users still cannot download the podcasts. Our thought was to research why this error occurs across the board on Android devices, and we continue to do so. We’ve taken the approach of communicating with Google (Android developer), our authentication scheme system programmer, as well as individual podcasting software companies. It’s been “5 working days” with each of them (they take the weekends off – we don’t) and we continue to make progress using the Edison method of “now we know that doesn’t work either”. Our goal was to have it resolved within the week. Frankly, I didn’t want to write each and every day “Still no progress but working on it”.
While the old system did indeed “work” as some have point out – it also was impossible to maintain that way into the future. Every single thing was manual. As the TYT Army grew – we knew we could not maintain this method; something had to be done. An authentication system was chosen – one that is robust and should handle the workload we expect. As was an automated RSS creator. It appears the majority of users are taken care of – but that still leaves a good amount of us Android users in the dark. We will continue to work diligently to resolve this issue.
[Update Saturday, August 25, 2012]
As some have already noticed, the excellent crew at BeyondPod have created a workaround for Android and implemented it inside the BeyondPod Beta. This at least allows those that use Android’s BeyondPod app (BETA version) to now download TYT each day. While not the entire Android community, it’s a good start. And, if you haven’t tried out BeyondPod and are Android, it truly is a great app. Well thought out and does Podcasting well. We’ve recommended them in years past, and we’re doing it again.
You can download the Beta from the link on this site:
[Update Wednesday, August 29, 2012]
Strong efforts are continuing to be put toward the Android issue. It’s a complex challenge due to the fact that the authorization process touches many different 3rd party companies, but we’ve really narrowed down the issues at hand (with great help from WireRat1). Over the next few days – with any luck – we’ll know the timeline of when this issue can be solved. We’ll continue to keep you updated. DoggCatcher and (non-beta) BeyondPod users will still need to download manually each day (not great – we know) until this is resolved.
[Update Monday, September 10th, 2012]
(via TYT member Wirerat1)
Just to touch base on this issue, the most fundamental problem we (TYT) have is contending with is the fact that all podcasting applications are not written to a given standard. They are all different and respond differently to our website.
Mainstream browsers and iTunes work fine, but the Android marketplace has its complications. It is a wonderful platform where developers can publish their applications without much in the way of startup costs and grow their market. Each application fulfilling the niche identified by the program’s author.
With that being said though, most podcast applications all have their own unique way of dealing with things:
- BeyondPod (non-beta) gets confused about when to provide credentials after so many redirects so never provides authentication information to our website to get authorization to let you download the show. Additionally, when taking out some of the redirects, the application then keeps providing credential information to subsequent requests (after authorization is complete) and confuses Amazon S3 where the show’s files are hosted.
- Doggcatcher’s issues are similar to those with BeyondPod, if given credential information provides it at each and every hop along the way (but doesn’t get confused by the number of redirects), but still confounds Amazon S3 because the podcasting application is providing non-solicited authentication headers (when the proper authorization string is in the URL).
When we launched our new site decided to use a WordPress plugin called s2member, which streamlines user management and the like and has integrated Amazon S3 support. The issue is that even in the demos posted by s2member, they demonstrate using iTunes, not mobile devices or even other podcatchers.
In short, mainstream browsers (and iTunes) provide authentication information only when asked and don’t repeatedly provide additional information when not asked for it. These mainstream Android applications aren’t written to the same standard and they inherit a lot of their behavior from the default behavior of the programming libraries they use.
We are hard at work at trying to find a solution to the problem, but unfortunately, it is too complicated an issue to come up with a quick fix.
The easiest solution that doesn’t require work on the programmer side, is to see if Amazon S3 can be configured on a per bucket basis to disable the acknowledgement or use of HTTP Headers and instead rely solely on the query string authentication that S2member provides to the podcasting app to download the show. We are in communication with Amazon, but we have not reached a solution to this point.
The “400 errors” you are getting is from Amazon S3 saying, you have both HTTP Header authorization (which is your TYT website login information that your podcasting app is giving to Amazon S3 (unsolicited) and you have this authorization string (provided by S2member) in your request. You can only have one or the other (not both).
We are in talks with s2member as well, so between Amazon S3 and S2 member, we are working diligently to provide a solution.
Again, thank you for bearing with us through the difficulties. Once things round into better shape, we will then focus our attention on developing other facets of our website, like our archives and our forum.
I’d like to personally thank wirerat1 for his explanation of these issues, as I could not have described them any better.
~Kimani, your TYT community ambassador