Safely Moving Your Podcast Feed

2023-01-24 20:00:00 +07:00 by Mark Smith

A quick note on how to safely move your podcast RSS feed in case I need to refer to it later for some reason.

I recently migrated my main website off of Heroku and I’m consolidating most of my sites into the one site to make things easier to manage. I’ve managed to migrate most things successfully, but one remaining item is the RSS feeds. This article covers the podcast feed migration.

Apple has published a couple of useful articles:

The main idea is to setup a redirect on the existing feed location which returns an HTTP 301 and the location of the new feed. You also need to add a special custom <itunes:new-feed-url> tag to the new feed. With these items in place clients that use the feed will get redirected to the new feed location, and they should also be able to see the new feed url from the custom tag, and update their settings with the new location.

Finally you have to ensure that the existing post GUIDs in your RSS feed don’t change. Without doing this, existing podcast clients could end up with duplicate episodes being listed because they will appear as new episodes.

Once setup you need to keep the redirect and custom tag in place for 4 weeks. During that period Apple Podcasts will update the feed in your account. The reason for doing it this way is to ensure that existing subscribers to your feed continue to receive posts without needing to update their podcast client.

Here are the steps from the docs:

  1. Set the web server where your feed is hosted to return an HTTP 301 redirect response when it receives a request for the old feed.

  2. Use the itunes:new-feed-url tag in your new feed to point to the new URL. This response updates Apple Podcasts with the new feed URL and your subscribers continue to receive new episodes automatically.

I have my existing podcasts site hosted at Netlify. While setting up the redirect I ran into some issues so I opened a ticket in the community forum:

If all else fails then you can also directly change the feed in Apple Podcasts account. However doing it this way will cause existing subscribers to stop receiving new posts.

As I write this I’m still waiting to get an answer about the redirect. Hopefully the migration will happen without any major issues.

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