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Best practices for podcasting's open infrastructure

Display descriptions properly in your app

Podcasters often monetise their shows by linking to websites. It is important that episode descriptions are displayed in full, with links intact. In show and episode descriptions, ensure that your app:

  1. Displays any naked URLs as clickable links
  2. Supports <A> anchor links
  3. Supports rudimentary <P> and <BR> formatting tags where HTML is seen
  4. OR if no HTML is seen, respects CR/LF linebreaks

Additionally, consider supporting <ul> <li> bullet point lists. These are in popular use.

Consider displaying the entire description if possible; ensure you display at least the first 4,000 characters (Apple Podcasts’s limit) or first 5,000 characters (Google Podcasts’s limit).

Consider adding noopener and nofollow to any links from podcast descriptions, so that links are secure and are signalled to Google and other search engines as being untrusted.

Some podcasters may embed images and other content into episode descriptions. This may risk your users’ privacy, or your app’s reputation. Consider either removing them, or displaying them after a user has requested them.

Be aware that many podcast feeds may contain both a <description> tag, and a <content:encoded> tag. The usual behaviour (but not guaranteed) is that, where both are present, <description> will be text-only; while <content:encoded> will include the same content but encoded in HTML. Most apps will use the <content:encoded> in preference to the <description>.

Page authors: evoterra jamescridland

Site authors: James Cridland Evo Terra