Pinecast changelog
Pinecast changelog
pinecast.com

Audio uploader improvements

 

Fix

  

Uploading audio and images is one of the most fundamental parts of creating and managing a podcast. To help improve this core part of Pinecast, we've invested time in making our uploader more robust in the case of different kinds of failures.

First, we've improved our error messaging. We'll now note errors which are likely caused by ad blockers or other browser extensions [0]. You'll also see errors formatted more sensibly throughout the dashboard.

Second, we've adjusted some of the wording in the UI to help eliminate confusion:

  1. When we do not find episode artwork embedded in your audio, we'll prompt you to add artwork or "Do not add episode artwork". Previously, we'd prompt to "Use podcast artwork," which was confusing to some folks who did not want to add any artwork. This change makes our copy consistent with what's actually happening: if you choose to use podcast artwork, we're not setting artwork under the hood (your show will fall back on podcast artwork by default).
  2. When we're expecting you to add artwork or metadata, we now show clearer messaging. Previously, it was sometimes unclear why audio might not be saving and the questions about artwork or metadata seemed optional or unrelated.

Lastly, we've fixed a number of small bugs. Notably, a long-standing bug where clearing audio or artwork while on the "add metadata" or "add artwork" steps would cause a crash has been resolved.

[0] We encourage you to disable you ad blocker on Pinecast. We do not use marketing tools or tracking software, and we'll never advertise or sell your data to advertisers. Ad blockers frequently interfere with our dashboards, as many podcasting concepts seem "advertising-y".

Analytics no longer include subscribers

 

Change

  

Due to Apple's April 2021 update, we're no longer able to measure podcast subscribers.

Podcast subscribers are measured by counting the number of unique devices that access a podcast feed in a 24 hour window. In April, Apple began rolling out an update which centralized feed downloads to Apple's servers: instead of each Apple Podcasts app requesting a feed, only a single copy was fetched by Apple's server (and subsequently distributed to all devices). This change essentially eliminated our ability to measure subscribers inclusive of Apple Podcasts.

While we did identify ways to preserve this feature for some podcasts, we were regrettably unable to scale this to work with podcasts of all sizes. We have made the decision to remove the "Subscribers" and "Subscriber Locations" analytics charts (and aggregate counts) from podcast dashboards, as these no longer return accurate information.

We're disappointed by Apple's decision to do this, as it is another step towards centralization and corporatization of the podcast ecosystem.

Embeddable Playlist Player

 

New

 

 

We've put the finishing touches on the first version of our most-requested feature to date: an embeddable playlist player! Here's a live preview:

You'll find the new player under the Player tab on your podcast dashboard. You can configure the height and colors (primary, secondary, and accent).

Unlike our episode-level embeddable player, you'll also find that we allow all customers to use our playlist player. If you're not on our Starter plan, you can use the playlist player with our logo and up to five of your episodes. With our Starter plan, our logo goes away and the episode limit increases to 100 episodes. Our Growth Add-on eliminates the restrictions.

We've taken time to make sure that the player works well on a variety of screen sizes, and did our best to ensure that it should be compatible with most screen readers.

If you're a Starter plan customer, you'll also notice that the UI features a slimmed-down short link UI:

A view of the links to podcast apps within the player

You'll also notice that the player UI features:

  • Current and remaining time codes
  • A download button (for Starter customers)
  • Volume controls
  • A speed control

This is the first iteration of many, and we hope that you'll give us feedback so that we can improve it in the future!

Submit your podcast to iHeartRadio

 

New

 

 

You can now submit and link your podcast with iHeartRadio on the Distribution tab on your podcast dashboard.

iHeartRadio on the Distribution tab

Your show will appear in iHeart's web and mobile apps, and your listeners will be able to quickly access your linked directory listing from your Pinecast short link:

iHeartRadio appears in the list of apps on a Pinecast short link

Pinecast Icebox

 

New

 

 

Many podcasters eventually stop podcasting. Sometimes it's a temporary hiatus, sometimes it's an extended break between seasons, and sometimes it's indefinitely due to external factors.

For folks who are no longer producing episodes, a full Pinecast Starter subscription—or any hosting service subscription—can be expensive to maintain, especially if the podcast is unlikely to grow very much over time. Keeping the show online is desirable, but the continued hosting cost can be burdensome.

Pinecast Icebox is a solution for these folks: it allows you to place your account into a low-cost annual subscription in exchange for read-only access while maintaining most of the features of our Starter plan.

Pricing

The Icebox is priced at $2/mo, billed annually ($24 at the time of enablement and every year thereafter). The cost of enabling the Icebox is prorated. As with all of our subscriptions, the Icebox applies to your whole account rather than individual podcasts.

Add-on packages are not available for Icebox customers.

Eligibility

You are able to enable the Icebox if your account has not uploaded an episode in the past 60 days. If you're not yet eligible, you'll be able to see your eligibility on the My Subscription > Icebox tab on your account dashboard.

If you'd started your podcast on our demo plan, you can upgrade to Starter and immediately upgrade (with prorated payment) to the Icebox, provided you otherwise meet the eligibility criteria.

Get started

To check your eligibility and to enable the Icebox, visit the My Subscription page in your dashboard and click the Icebox tab.

Dark mode support

 

New

 

 

We now support dark mode in our dashboard, tip jar, and short links.

next.pinecast.com_dashboard (4).png

Screen Shot 2021-07-18 at 4.52.57 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-07-18 at 4.56.14 PM.png

We'll use your system dark mode setting by default. You can update this on a per-computer (and per-browser) basis by visiting Settings > Profile from your main dashboard and clicking the "Dark Mode" option: https://pinecast.com/dashboard/settings

Submit your podcast to Boomplay

 

New

 

 

You can now submit to and link your podcast with Boomplay on the Distribution tab of your podcast dashboard.

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 9.28.06 PM.png

Shows submitted to Boomplay will appear in the Boomplay app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Mark shows as finished

 

New

 

 

You can now mark your podcasts as finished. Doing this indicates to apps and directories that your show is unlikely to receive new episodes. This adds the <itunes:complete> tag to RSS feeds, and the expired member to JSON Feeds.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 9.50.49 PM.png

Besides indicating to third parties that your show is finished, this also groups finished shows together at the bottom of your main dashboard, as well as on the "Shows" tab for networks. If you have many podcasts, where some have stopped releasing new episodes, this helps to keep your dashboards tidy and easy to navigate.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 9.53.37 PM.png

You can enable this feature at the bottom of the Settings > Podcast Details tab on your podcast dashboard.

Pinecast WordPress Sync v1.2.0

 

Improvement

 

 

Version 1.2.0 makes some changes to reduce the complexity of the plugin and make some minor UI improvements. However, the real star of the show is our improvements to better support folks who use the plugin with many podcasts (e.g., a dozen or more).

By default, the plugin has historically updated every episode if there were changes on Pinecast. However, this requires fetching episode details for every episode and comparing each field that could have changed. For podcasts with large numbers of episodes (or sites with a large number of podcasts), this introduces a number of bottlenecks:

  • WordPress is often installed on multi-tenant hosting, which is CPU-constrained, slowing the sync process down
  • Each post requires a database query (or every post needs to be fetched from the database), which makes the database a bottleneck for performance
  • Some versions of PHP are not well-optimized for doing this work, and can run slowly due to the way memory and computation works under the hood

These problems can lead to timeouts—even when syncing a single show.

Screen Shot 2021-07-10 at 2.29.36 PM.png

Every podcast now has a setting to allow only new episode or recent episodes (episodes published in the last thirty days) to be synced. Choosing one of these options will skip updates to old or existing episodes. For folks with dozens of podcasts or thousands of episodes, it's unlikely that these old posts will have substantive changes. Choosing one of the new options will dramatically improve the sync performance of the plugin.

The new version of the plugin is available through WordPress right now. If you have the plugin installed, simply follow your normal plugin update procedure. If you don't have the plugin installed, you can search for "Pinecast" on the plugins tab on your WordPress admin dashboard.

"Listens by agent over time" analytics view

 

New

 

 

In addition to our "Listens by agent" view, you can now see the change in listens broken down by podcast app or browser over time with the "Listens by agent over time" view.

Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 4.53.37 PM.png

This view is available for all customers on the Starter plan.