Update 5/8: As I mentioned a week ago on the podcast, Apple could never come up with a reason that my podcast was removed from the iTunes store. It seems hard for me to believe they can’t track this kind of thing. If I were Apple, I’d want an answer to any problem or event concerning my online store.
Update 4/25: I received an email from an iTunes Store/Mac App store Customer Support Senior Advisor who has promised to help find out why Pocket Sized Podcast was suddenly dumped from iTunes. So until I hear further, I do believe it was some iTunes glitch. Everyone in iTunes support that has helped me so far has been stellar. This is NOT a complaint about them. It’s the way Apple set up the system that dumps your podcast with no notice and no explanation that I believe needs looking at.
Everyone likes emails from Apple. Well, usually. They’re generally little glossy digital brochures filled with wonderful prose about the latest product and how much your mother would love you if you would just purchase her a $600 iPad. Certainly at worst they are delete-worthy, but nothing that would make you curse Apple for existing.
That changed a bit yesterday thanks to a surprise email I got from Apple while I was at work. I was a few hours into reconfiguring some wafer testing equipment, and during an idle moment while we were powering the tool back on, I noticed I had an email from Apple. It turned out to be a lovely one that just made my day and caused me to laugh with joy at the fact that Apple is the largest gatekeeper of podcasts at this time in history.
As you probably already know if you’re a subscribed listener, Pocket Sized Podcast was removed from the iTunes store yesterday (Tuesday, April 24th, 2012). Here’s the email I received:
Dear Podcast Owner
The following podcast has not been included in the iTunes podcast directory.
Name: Pocket Sized PodcastFeed URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PocketSizedPodcast
Submissions may not be included in the directory for a variety of reasons. For more information, please see the podcast technical specification at http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/techspecs.html.
The iTunes Store Team
I’ll admit that upon reading this email, I had some extremely uncharitable thoughts about Apple, to put it mildly.
I often have moments where I’m glad that I haven’t been issued King status or Deity powers. This was one of them. The bodies would have been stacked deep enough to fill an ocean if the anger I felt for a few moments after reading this rejection notice were allowed to be unleashed upon the earth with unfettered power. Fortunately I have friends who are far wiser than me, though perhaps equally unworthy of ruling the universe for other reasons, and after talking with some of them, I now feel much calmer. But still quite frustrated and a little angry.
I’ve reached out to Apple via the support process in iTunes and right now am trying to get them past the canned responses of resubmitting the podcast without ever knowing WHY it was removed in the first place. As I stated to them in my reply, knowing why it was removed is every bit as important as knowing that it WAS removed, otherwise I’ll go down a horrible maze of a nightmare known as a mashup of What About Bob and Groundhog Day. Fun as that might sound, I’m not looking forward to it.
Apple is a great company and they do somethings right. But their communication skills would get them punched in the throat where I work.
Apple: WHY did my podcast get removed, and HOW can I prevent it from happening again? If you rejected it for a reason, you must have record of that reason, or can find a human who decided upon that reason.
If it was not removed for any human decision, but rather some kind of technical glitch that fired off a rejection of a podcast that was already in place using the phrase “was not accepted,” wouldn’t you like to fix that problem so that you don’t start discouraging people into thinking you’re kicking sand in their faces on purpose?
I’m just glad that this web site and the actual podcast feed don’t belong to Apple too, or they’d have disappeared like they never existed with no explanation of why. And there’d be nothing I could do about it.