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Podtrac not counting PodPress clicks and downloads (13 posts)

  1. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I'm really hoping that you can help me sort this out. If I can't integrate Podtrac into Podpress successfully, I'm going to have to migrate to another tool. There is no other industry standard other than Podtrac for stats, so I hope you can help me here:

    1. If I go to the feed of my EduNationCast show:
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/edunation

    Click on any one of the media "enclusures." They should include the Podtrac redirect, otherwise- Podtrac is not counting these listens. Correct?

    Why is this happening?

    2. Next question. I don't think that Podtrac is counting the Podpress "Player" listens that we have embedded on the site. I'm thinking I may have to disable the Podpress Player so that people can click to the Podtrac covered links.

    The black player at top is what I'm talking about:
    http://edreach.us/2012/04/03/edunationcast-024-shouldnt-teaching-be-an-adventure

    3. Third question:
    Do you think Podtrac covers iTunes downloads?

    That's all! Hope you can help, Tim.

    -DRezac

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/podpress/

  2. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Okay-

    Sorry- I was just checking, but it looks like that link I gave you above does have the podtrac redirect working.

    However, another show in our category feeds does not:

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/macreach

    I don't know why it would be any different. Do you?

    I noticed a Podtrac error on the validated feed. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Just as a curiosity, I also noticed that this feed doesn't have the Play Now button that Feedburner usually puts in, and instead has the media enclosure on the botton. Weird.

    DRezac

  3. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    This feed meaning this one:
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/edunation

  4. ntm
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Hi Dan,

    to your first question:
    If you activate the Podtrac support on the General Settings page of podPress then the URL scheme of the media file in the feed or on the blog pages will not change. But the it will definitely have an effect.
    As you can observe, podPress masks the URLs of media files which were added with podPress. The URLs will get an URL scheme like "http://www.example.com/podpress_trac/feed/123/0/mypodcastepisode.mp3". If one open such an URL in a browser or feed reader or else then podPress will notice the URL scheme and return the original URL (e.g. http://www.example.com/wp-content/uploads/podcasts/mypodcastepisode.mp3) and redirect the browser or feed reader etc. to the media file.
    When you activate the Podtrac support then podPress will return the original URL of the media file in combination with the Podtrac URL e.g. "http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3?http://www.example.com/wp-content/uploads/podcasts/mypodcastepisode.mp3". This means that the request gets redirect to the Podtrac page, where the request gets processed once more.
    I hope that this is still the correct Podtrac URL. So far I could not find contrary information.

    to the second question:
    The Flash players on the website are using partially them same way to request the media file and the HTML5 players (in browsers like Chrome or Safari) working a little bit different but in the end the request gets redirected with the Podtrac URL in front of the original media file URL.
    In other words: Yes, Podtrac should count when someone plays the file on the blog page.

    to the third question:
    Since iTunes is something like a feed reader, the counter should work for downloads via iTunes too.

    However, another show in our category feeds does not:
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/macreach
    I don't know why it would be any different. Do you?

    I'm not sure what is happening with the media file URLs in this feed. Because the URLs are all URLs like "http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Macreach/~5/ncLPt6ue4oA/MacReach_43.mp3". It seems that the URLs get once more redirected with this feed proxy service.
    to much redirects could lead to problems. The iTunes server which gathers the information about the podcast from the feed and offers also a player on the iTunes page of the podcast can handle only 5 redirects (see http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html#tracking).

    I noticed a Podtrac error on the validated feed. Any ideas?

    Is Use of unknown namespace: http://www.podtrac.com/player2.0/tips.php#rss the message?
    This is only a notice and no error message. The feed is valid but the validator does not know the name space for the Podtrac XML name space. But that is no surprise to me because everyone may create its own XML name space and as long as one respects the common XML rules the feed will be valid. But only feed readers which can interpret the custom name space can retrieve the information from the custom elements. Otherwise the software would probably ignore the custom elements.
    For more information about the Podtrac namespace follow this URL http://player.podtrac.com/tips#rss

    btw: podPress does not use these custom podtrac feed elements. It uses only elements from the iTunes namespace a.k.a. iTunes RSS tags http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html#rss

    Tim

  5. ntm
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    I have noticed there are some Podtrac URLs out there which look like "http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/" - with a slash instead of the question mark. I have changed that in the current Development Version. You may try this version. But I cannot say whether this is really more correct. Because I was not able to find any explanation for that change on the public Podtrac pages. (Maybe this is something new?)

  6. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks so much- I really need to figure this out. I have a couple more questions for you.

    I enabled the Podtrac Service on Podress- check.

    Apparently I also enabled the "Podtrac Enhanced Feed for this Show" for every show on Podtrac. Am I doubling my efforts? Did I not need to do that?

    I was looking at the feed for:
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/edgamer

    I clicked and played the most recent episode a couple of times the other day. Podtrac says I have no downloads of that episode- in fact right now it says I have 0 downloads of that episode in the past three days. That can't be right.

    On the main feed, it says it's downloaded like 50 times.

    If you can help me make sense of this, I'd be grateful.

    -Dan

  7. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Here's a screencap of the EdGamer show- from 250 downloads per episode in the past couple weeks to 0 and 0.

    http://edreach.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-shot-2012-04-10-at-7.01.34-PM.png

    -DR

  8. ntm
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    "Podtrac Enhanced Feed for this Show" is no podPress option. I guess it is some function of Podtrac. Right?
    I don't know what consequences of activating this option has for the feed.

    Am I doubling my efforts?

    Maybe. I don't know.

    Did I not need to do that?

    I don't think so. This seems to be an option the RSS feed. But as I understand Podtrac, they count not only the downloads of media files from RSS feed. This option has probably no effect on media files on the website. In conclusion I would say that adding the Podtrac URL ("http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/...") to the media file URLs should be enough.
    I have tried yesterday and today to find more information about the Podtrac technique on their website but it seems that they have not much technical details about their API on the pages which are public to non-logged-in visitors.
    However I have looked into the Podtrac module for Drupal and it looks like this method (adding the Podtrac URL in front of the media file URL) is still valid. At least the author of this module has also made no changes recently.
    Furthermore the This Week In Tech RSS feed (http://twit.tv/node/feed) which is named as an example in the Podtrac Player notes shows the same URL scheme as the podPress Development Version applies to every URL while the option is activated. Try this version maybe it make a difference.

    The problems in the feeds http://feeds.feedburner.com/edgamer and http://feeds.feedburner.com/macreach have maybe a different cause.
    You are using in both feeds these feedproxy URLs. What does this Feedburner/Google Feedproxy service? Does it point to the media file URLs in the podPress stats URL scheme? Or does it combine the Podtrac URL with the real media file URLs so that the requests get redirected via Podtrac?
    If this does not happens then it is no surprise that Podtrac does not count download via those RSS feeds. (I guess that is really the case here.)
    Compare the URL schemes with the one in this feed http://feeds.feedburner.com/Edunation
    This URLs in this feed have the podPress URL scheme and as I understand it from one of your earlier posts in this thread, the counter works for this feed. Am I right?

    I don't don't know how this Feedproxy service works or what your settings are. But I can imagine that it resolves the podPress URLs, retrieves the original URLs (which are without the Podtrac URL) and applies its own URL scheme.
    Or the work principle could be more different: If this service is a service which decreases the data transfer volume of your blog then it downloads probably the media files and stores them in some kind of cache memory on a Google server. The URLs will point in this case to these files on the Google server and since the URLs do not include the Podtrac URL, Podtrac does not count the downloads.

    In conclusion:
    If the Podtrac counter works for downloads from this feed http://feeds.feedburner.com/Edunation then the problem in the other two feeds is that the media file URLs do not include the essential Podtrac URL. This also means that it is not really a podPress problem and probably a matter of your Feedburner settings.

  9. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Okay-

    I looked up a few things. In Feedburner you can check to have feedburner check for item enclosures.

    I have that clicked here:
    http://edreach.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Screen-shot-2012-04-11-at-6.00.21-PM.png

    I unchecked that, and, guess what? Suddenly the Podtrac redirect link is showing up now!

    I supposed that since Podtrac is now doing the same thing as this service in FeedBurner, it doesn't make sense to have them both do it.

    Thanks again for your wonderful feedback, and for continuing to support the PodPress Machine. If you're looking for future requests, I'm ready to see a new "player button."

    Dan

  10. ntm
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    Thanks for the screenshot.

    If you're looking for future requests, I'm ready to see a new "player button."

    Well, such a thing is on top of the my To-do list for podPress.

  11. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Okay-

    So- checking my stats again.

    For some reason, for the month of April, Podtrac is only counting downloads from the Main feed for individual episodes. I haven't changed anything dramatically.

    Here's the main feed Validated:
    http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http://edreach.us/feed/podcast/

    Here's a category feed:
    http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http://edreach.us/category/arts-roundtable/feed/

    Can you see any reason why the first feed would not be tracked:

    Every category feed is empty for the month of April. What has changed? Do they not release stats until the month later or something?

    I can only guess that something is happening with the Podpress plugin regarding category feeds.

    Anything?

    Dan

  12. drezac
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I checked one more time:

    The only stats I'm getting for the month of April are from a non-podpress produced category feed:

    http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http://content.bitsontherun.com/feeds/wkajKWYx.rss

    DR

  13. ntm
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 3 years ago #

    The XML code of this feed http://content.bitsontherun.com/feeds/wkajKWYx.rss does not look like a WordPress Feed at all.
    However one thing is different. The section which includes the namespace URLs (the first lines of the XML code) does only include the iTunes namespace and the Yahoo Media content namespace while the same section in the other feeds contain more namespaces for instance the Podtrac namespace.
    How do you put this particular namespace into the XML code of the feeds?
    (Not with podPress.) Do you use a further plugin to do that?
    Maybe that is what has changed since March.
    I would remove that namespace. It does not seem to be necessary. Because there no XML elements of this namespace in your RSS feeds.

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