Tweaks to Gameshelf RSS

If you are like most people, you can safely ignore this post and enjoy the next episodes of The Gameshelf as they happen to pop up here. You'll know them when you see them. The rest of you may be mildly interested in a bit of technical babbling and retrospective about a small change I've made to the blog's feeds.

I plan on publishing, in the near future, the first full 30-minute episode of The Gameshelf in two years. The blog you're now reading had its relaunch in early 2008, several months after the last episode went live, and therefore very few of the people now subscribed to its RSS feed (actually an Atom feed, but let's stick to tradition and call it "RSS") were subscribers when any prior episode went up. Given this fact, I've had to rethink how we distribute the show.

When I launched the show in 2005, distributing video over the internet was still a wild frontier, and I went with the option of treating The Gameshelf like a podcast. You'd subscribe to the feed, and when a new show came out, your feed reader would download it to your hard drive, letting you watch it at your leisure. Since then, of course, has come the rise of YouTube and other services that make both distributing and watching videos very easy. I feel safe in my assumption that most people would rather watch the video online and streaming, than have their reader unexpectedly suck down a quarter-gig of video and stash it locally.

Therefore, I have tweaked the full RSS feed to not include referenced video files as attachments. Posts linked to individual episodes will include an embedded video player and a hyperlink to a downloadable, high-quality version of the episode, just like they do already. But RSS feed readers won't download that file, under the assumption that you'd rather watch it with the embedded player than straight off your own hard drive.

If you would like to have your feed reader download video files, please subscribe separately to the video-only feed. That will continue to work just like a podcast, filling your hard drive up with Gameshelfy goodness every time we publish a new, original video.

if you have any questions about this - or if anything doesn't appear to work like I say it does - let me know with a comment or an email. Thanks!

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