Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

How does iTunes popularity work?

Sun, 03/04/2007 - 10:26 -- rprice

Dear iTunes:
Will you please tell me how many people clicked Subscribe inside of iTunes? I know you know, and since you know I know you know, you appear to tease me with the information. Why?

Is my podcast popular in relation to other Alternative Health shows, or simply compared to the other shows I searched for? Is it popular today, this week, this month, since the beginning of the year, or since Hallowe'en? Is there any way to find out? Please, please, please help me.

Footprint Podcast is Popular on iTunesFootprint Podcast is Popular on iTunes Hosted on Zooomr
iTunes OCDiTunes OCD Hosted on Zooomr

Your podcast catching platform is regrettably the only software that works well for audio and video across 2 major platforms and also manages to keep people inside the program for hours a day, with a little number next to the "Podcasts" source that lets the OCD people know they have unfinished business with their podcast hosts. If someone else captured attention as well as iTunes, I would scream it from the rooftops. If all I do is video, Democracy Player is great! I wish Democracy did audio, or someone would write a hip, open-source podcatching/ music listening platform.

Wait a second... what about Songbird? Is their user experience too general? I can subscribe to a webpage with mp3 links, but not to a feed. Or if I can, they don't make it obvious. Since they are still on version 0.2.5, does this mean I'm going to have to wait a few years for them to get it right, like I'm doing with Flock? Only you, iTunes, have the power to help me in my quest. How do I compare?

People don't want to visit Podcast Alley, and they especially don't want to be NPR'd to death with "Please vote for our podcast, so we can beat the Harry Potter kids!" all the live-long day. They just don't. Most of them only tune in to about half an hour's worth of material anyway, so unless we plug it at the beginning, which no self-respecting podcaster would do, there's almost no way to get a decent comparison.

iTunes Related SubscriptionsiTunes Related Subscriptions Hosted on Zooomr

When I first saw these little gray bars, I was very excited - my podcast is popular! Hell, people even have related subscriptions... I think. Is this like the Amazon store, where they say "People who bought this product also bought..." because if it is, where are the comments from those kids? This large number of related podcasts leads me to believe that you are just pulling the stats from Alternative Health in general, or one very eco-friendly person's list.

Gosh, iTunes. Even your screenshots look good in a blog post. I wish you weren't the only major player. I guess all I can do now is start writing XUL plugins for Songbird, create BitTorrent friendly feeds for Democracy TV, and keep doing my shameless self promotions for Liberatr, Liberatr,!

Thanks for... something, Uncle Steve.

Ryan Price
iTunes User
Orlando, FL


Commenting on this Blog post is closed.


Submitted by mantra mindware (not verified) on

do you know yet, how many donwloads one bar represents.
I know when you put your search together with lets say Madonna
then one bar for Madonna means prob. a million whereas one bar for your podcats is only maybe ten subscriptors.

Apple could answer me that damn question, maybe they dont know themselves.

Mantra Mindware

P.S. check out my free VINYL podcast plus other tracks I released under
"A Martian" and "Alta Budda"