I have a podcast (http://broadcast.ligonier.org/podcast/podcast.xml) that is not working out of the other 6 I have in your tool. When I look and validate the RSS feed it comes back with no issues. If I go and try to access the mp3 file found in the attachment I get a 'forbidden' error message. If this is the case, can I assume that your product can not download the file? I assume that I should be able to get to it via HTTP, which is what your tool uses; right?
I just wanted to check and see if I was missing something. I really enjoy the product. I have it go out nightly to fill up my player for the commute. Keep up the great work.
I just got word back from the webmaster of this podcast. It appears that they lock down the site by only allowing specific UserAgents. Is there a way to modify this within PodRacer (sorry I do not have the tool in front of me)?
It is in fact possible to modify the user agent string sent by Podracer. Simply change the longname option in /etc/podracer.conf to whatever user agent is not locked down by the webmaster.
The better option, however, would be to try to convince the webmaster to make podcasts available to other user agents. I don't see why anyone would restrict certain aggregators from accessing a podcast unless a particular client is for some reason, possibly because of a bug in the program, causing problems with the site. If that is why this particular webmaster is locking out Podracer, I need to know about it so I can fix the problem. If it is happening on that site, it is happening on others as well and they just haven't locked Podracer out yet. If this is not the case, then this webmaster needs to keep an open mind and let Podracer in. Maybe this webmaster needs to try Podracer to see what it's like. who knows, he might like it.
If you are getting a "forbidden" error when you try to manually download the mp3 file, Podracer will get the same error when trying to download it. It can use http, ftp or BitTorrent to download podcasts, and the method of download is specified in the enclosure tag in the RSS feed. So when you manually trace the URL of a podcast to its mp3 and try to download the mp3, you will get the same result that Podracer gets when it tries to download from the same URL. If you are forbidden from accessing the mp3 file, so is Podracer.
Thanks for the quick reply to my messages from yesterday. I did get a chance to modify the user-agent string in the .conf file, and I will see how the site reacts to it during my next sync at 3:30am EST. The Webmaster is willing to have a look at the tool, and he understands why I would want a command-line tool that runs from a cron job, as your tool does. He said he would try out the tool himself and add it to the allowed agents if he did not see any issues. I told him that you were willing, and wanting, to know of any concerns that he may have about the tool so you could correct them. If you are interested, I can put you in contact or keep you informed of any comments he has in the future.
I would like for him to contact me if there are any issues with Podracer. Also, it would be nice if he could tell me if it works well for him as well. I like to receive good reports too. :)
I just wondered if there was any particular reason why he chose to allow only certain user agents to connect to his site. Does it help keep track of logs better or something? I personally like to allow people to use whatever they like as long as it doesn't cause problems with the site itself. It helps me know about all the new software coming out every day.
I agree with you on the open access to such tools as long as they do not cause any issues. I'm waiting for information back from him as to why they implemented such rules. I think they are using it to disallow browsers and bots from accessing the site for the content, but it appears they block all but the four they think viable. As a security person, I do not think it is a good solution with the number of agents out there today. I would think that they should just block browsers, bots, and crawlers from getting the content, not the opposite.
Thanks for you quick reply, and I will keep you informed on what I find out.
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