in Apple, Podcasting

iTunes Podcasts Recommend Larger Artwork

It was 1200 x 1200 pixels, but recently changed to 1400 x 1400 pixels:

To be considered for promotion on the iTunes Store, your podcast cover art must be 1400 x 1400 pixels or larger, in .jpg or .png format. Please note that all images must be formatted for RGB color space. CMYK is not supported.

iTunes now supports 1080p HD video, presumably to better support the recently announced Apple TVs that also support 1080p HD. And Apple is now doing more indexing of episode metadata:

We now index episode metadata in search. Include descriptive episode titles and summaries for best Search Engine Optimization on iTunes.

Something else that’s new (to me) is including different artwork for each podcast episode:

We encourage providers to include episode-specific cover art at the episode level. Further details can be found in our online technical specification.

A bit more work to put out each episode, but most podcast producers are likely editing artwork for their episode posts on the web what’s one more .JPG?

Full detail can be found at Apple.com’s Podcasting specs page.

Why the Change?

These changes and improvements to the podcast spec were put out a few weeks ago and lots of rumour sites grabbed onto them as proof of a TV from Apple. In hindsight, it looks like it might have just been to help podcasts look better on the newly announced MacBook Pro with retina display.

Not that a TV isn’t coming sometime, but just not right away.

  1. Hey Ben,

    Not sure if you found a solution to this or not yet. I've been away from the computer.

    My initial guess would be that it would depend on the iOS player being used. Some might just display the podcast artwork as set in the RSS feed and not bother looking for the episode artwork?

    In looking through most of the podcasts I currently subscribe to in Instacast, they all use a single show artwork and aren't using per episode art so I can't test my theory right now.

    In future episodes of some of my podcasts I'll be trying out per episode artwork and see what happens with the podcast players I have installed.

  2. As far as Apple's podcast spec goes it should respect an "iTunes:image" tag per item of the RSS feed that would pull artwork, but podpress doesn't support that, and I hear that the iOS podcast app from Apple ignores it anyway. For now I'm embedding the art (at 1400×1400) and we'll see if they ever get it fixed. Our artists put a lot of work into our episode art and I love iOS… wish it was displayed correctly.

  3. Yeah agreed. It's frustrating that one hand at Apple doesn't always talk to the other hand.

    I wonder if the  tv podcast player supports it? I don't ever use that feature but it might be a clue as to whether the rumoured Apple TV will support it. Who does your artwork? It's great!

    Congrats on reaching episode 20. A great milestone for any podcast.

  4. I don't own an Apple TV, but a listener told me that it behaves like the iPad/iPhone Podcasts app: it only shows our RSS feed art. Disappointing, but not a huge deal. It works fine in iTunes and on the Android players. I imagine all the non-Apple podcatchers display embedded art too. No idea what Apple has against displaying embedded art.

    Our art is drawn by my co-host Hunter and then it's colored and photoshopped by Corin Wentworth (http://corinwentworth.com/). LOL most of them only make sense after listening to the episode.

    Thanks! We're pretty proud of what we've done. Though we're still in the process of building an audience. LOL we got the "Field of Dreams" mission statement: "build it and they will come."

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