Monday, January 29, 2007

iTunes, we have a problem

They say doctor's bury their mistakes. I tend to bury mine online.

Take Friday for example. I was posting a new episode of the Capital Press podcast when I stumbled over one of the digital corpses I've left lingering out there on the World Wide Web.

A few weeks ago, when working on a podcast I noticed that the label at the top of our podcast home page just said "podcasts." I thought that was sort of stupid, and not very descriptive so I changed it to "Farmers CAP Podcast home," which admittedly is not poetry, but at least I thought it would be more descriptive.

I never thought anymore about it until after I posted Friday's 10th episode of our podcast. For some odd reason, I decided to check the way the episode appeared in the iTunes Music Store. When I did, I realized the last couple of episodes weren't showing up, which I thought was odd. When I followed the link to the website from the iTunes store the webpage that came up didn't show the two most recent episodes either.

Well, come to find out, by changing the type at the top of one page (using iWeb) I had created a whole new directory. And since the way we publish our podcasts is by uploading stuff via ftp to our server, the "old" directory wasn't overwritten after I made updates. I haven't figured out exactly home many people are coming to our podcast through iTunes, but they were missing out on the new stuff.

I probably would have caught this on iTunes on my home computer, which I used to download podcasts and music onto my iPod. However, a while back iTunes decided it was going to refuse to launch on my personal computer, leaving me tragically out of date on all the podcasts I monitor (not to mention all the New Music Tuesday releases).

So, without iTunes at home, the error when undetected until Friday.

I won't bore you with all the details about how I had to edit our rss feed and redirect iTunes to the new page and jump through various hoops while spinning bits and bytes on my fingers and toes. But suffice it to say, I "think" I got the problem I didn't even know I created fixed.

But who knows.

The good thing is, the whole podcasting thing is a pretty new venture for us/me, so it's not like we have a ton of subscribers clamoring for new episodes or anything. To my way of thinking, it's better to make mistakes when no one's looking so my image of perfection goes unblemished.

It's certainly been a learning experience. And I've learned a lot through trial and lots of error. But what I still don't know would fill a volume thick enough to make "War and Peace" look like haiku. On good days, it's still challenging and fun. On bad days, that old student's lament I learned back in junior high goes sing-songing through my head.

The more you study, the more you know.
The more you know, the more you forget.
The more you forget, the less you know.
So why study?
Why indeed.

Now, if can just figure out how to fix iTunes on the home computer.

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