How to Quickly Get an iTunes Podcast URL

Martin Dittus · 2006-02-06 · stuff · 2 comments


A couple of days ago Jon Udell complained about the alledged "customer lock-in" in Apple's iTunes:

...although the podcast's feed URL is discoverable by way of the Show Description contextual menu option, the ensuing dialog box does not permit the displayed URL to be copied. That's why I had to manually transcribe the URLs...

Via 0xDECAFBAD's daily links we're notified of an article on BlogicBlog, "The techie way of liberating the podcast URL from iTunes", where the unnamed author suggests to use a network sniffer like Ethereal to watch outgoing traffic while you refresh the respective feed in iTunes -- but as the author admits its far from user-friendly (and commandline junkies will be quicker with tcpdump or tcpflow anyway).

But so far nobody has pointed towards the obvious: iTunes already has OPML export. Right-click on the "podcasts" source item, select "export" from the popup menu, select your desired output format, and there you go. Viewable with any text editor.

Yeah it's a pity that not every text field in iTunes is selectable, but to suggest Apple is locking in their customers is a bit strongly worded. To me it looks more like an oversight.

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Hi Martin,

I have responded to your feedback in the original article's comments (combined response to another person as well).

In summary though, I knew how to use Ethereal, so that's what I offered. I think it is nicer and more cross-platform than tcpdump/tcpflow, so I did not bother mentioning those tools.

Also, I did not have OPML export in iTunes 6.0 and after upgrading just now to the latest version, the function crashes for me repeatedly. But, I trust you that it is there and thank you for mentioning it.


Alexandre Rafalovitch, 2006-02-07 01:48 CET (+0100) Link

Hey Alexandre,

thanks for the quick update. Interesting to see the various ways in which people approach this.

martin, 2006-02-07 01:57 CET (+0100) Link

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