The new Blubrry Powerpress podcasting plugin for WordPress is now available. This is a very light weight podcasting plugin for WordPress to provide only the fundamental features for hosting a podcast on a WordPress blog.
- Easily add/modify/remove podcast episodes from blog posts
- Integrated media player
- iTunes RSS tags
- iTunes album/cover art
- upload new iTunes/RSS cover art
- Ping iTunes
- Media size detection
- Duration detection (mp3 only)
- 3rd party statistics integration
For over a year now we (RawVoice) have talked about working with the existing podcasting plugin for WordPress to get it to support storing podcast episode information in the native enclosure format in WordPress. After a lack of interest from that plugin’s developer to work with us (I think working with us would have conflicted with his work with one of our competitors), we decided we would create our own WordPress plugin. Even though we decided we would write our own podcasting plugin for WordPress, the idea was not accelerated until the latest version of WordPress 2.6 came out 3 weeks ago. The latest version quickly caused issues in the podcasting space. Since many of our podcasters on Blubrry use WordPress for distributing their Podcast, we decided it was integral that we provide a light weight podcast plugin alternative that would be more reliable for our podcasters to use. The last thing we wanted was our podcasters to fall out of podcasting simply because their web site was no longer functioning.
Within the first week of WordPress 2.6 being released, I designed the initial feature set listed above and we hired a developer to start development of the plugin. He did a great job of getting the plugin it to a beta stage within one weeks time. Following his work, I took the project over and polished it and optimized the code over the course of this past week. Many of the changes and enhancements I made were to streamline the plugin so it would utilize the least amount of server resources as possible.
An example where I took extra care to optimize the plugin was with how it detects the duration (time in hours, minutes and seconds) of mp3 files. The other podcasting plugin available uses Ajax to tell the wordpress blog to download the complete episode to detect the duration. This ends up creating very long executing script on the server to download very large media file just to calculate the duration. I developed code that only downloads the first few hundred kilobytes of a file in order to read the ID3 tag information. The result is very smooth and fast detection of the duration information saving server resources.
If you’re a podcaster looking for a well designed and light weight podcasting plugin for wordpress, I strongly encourage you to check out the Blubrry Powerpress. Please let me know what you think and if you have feature suggestions or comments.