Help with new iTunes podcast

Discussion in 'Setting-up protection' started by pepacobos, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. pepacobos

    pepacobos aMember Pro Customer

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    Hello I am trying to protect an iTunes feed, because I want only members to download the contents. I don´t know if I should place the xml feed inside a folder and protect that folder or if I need to protect the folder where all my videos will be stored. Can anyone download those videos if they don´t know the URL? If only the feed is protected, what would be the process? I mean, someone enter the feed URL in iTunes and then it asks for password to begin downloading? Would then the member remain signed to that feed (until he/she stops)?
    Another thing is, what do you think would be the best way to accomplish this? I want a member subscription that have access to that iTunes feed and could, then download every single video. But I would like to sell each of those videos independently. You don't have to be a member. If I don´t protect the videos folder, which would be the best way to do this? It would be a titanic effort if I have to set up a new product each time I publish a video (once a week) and I don´t even know how those members have to be treated because I want them to download only the video they have paid for and not all the subsequents.....
    Any help would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. davidm1

    davidm1 aMember User & Partner

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    From when I did this with 3.x, you would make a directory to store the XML file and content in
    eg /podcast
    You then .htpsswd protect the directory, this will then require them to enter a username/pw in itunes to access the fee and content as linked in the xml file and stored in the /podcast directory.

    To sell the individual videos you would need to create alternative products in amember, with other directories.

    David
  3. gswaim

    gswaim CGI-Central Partner

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    This is a fairly complex topic and it is not clear to me exactly what you are trying to accomplish. There are a lot of overlapping technologies in this paragraph. But in general.
    • Podcasts, in general, are not designed to deliver protected content. Most podcast aggregators are not capable of doing this.
    • When you refer to "iTunes" feed are you talking about listing a podcast with the iTunes directory? If so, that would contradict with only having members access the podcast. The main purpose of the iTunes podcast directory is to promote a podcast feed to the public.
    • Just for the record, you can create your own xml feed file to make your videos available via a podcast and never use iTunes.
    • Are you using aMember with any front-end like WordPress?
    • Yes, any file that is not protected can be downloaded from anybody if they happened to "guess" the URL. Also a file sitting in a standard folder will get indexed by Google and show up on search results unless the folder is configured to not be crawled by search engines.
    • Is it absolutely necessary to deliver these videos via a podcast feed? It would be a lot easier to just offer the videos as download links on your site.
  4. pepacobos

    pepacobos aMember Pro Customer

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    Thank you both!! I really need to be in iTunes because all my existing members reach me that way and they like to receive automatic updates that way. I have included my feed in a .htpasswd folder, but, how can I test it? If I write the URL in Firefox, I got a 404 page. If I erase the protection I can see the feed. Is firefox supossed to ask for the password or do I need to try another way?
  5. pepacobos

    pepacobos aMember Pro Customer

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    I have deleted the xml file in the folder and uploaded an index.html just to test. If the folder is not protected I can see the content of index but if I protect the folder I get a 404. What am I doing wrong?
  6. thehpmc

    thehpmc Member

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    This may be totally wrong but it might be that its not your protected folder that might not be being found and creating the 404 error but it could be that the redirect from that folder to amember that is getting confused and causing it.

    Does the same scenario occur if you are logged in and select the file?

    Go to your cPanel, if you are using Linux, and check through the server error log as it should give good indication what file is not being found to produce the 404 error.
  7. kelly_mc

    kelly_mc aMember Pro Customer

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    A 'member only' podcast should definitely not be in iTunes. If you do succeed in protecting the base feed which is entirely possible to do - it will effectively STOP the iTunes flow since iTunes itself won't be able to access it anymore. Does that make sense?
  8. gswaim

    gswaim CGI-Central Partner

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    Yep, That is what I tried to tell Pepa. The main purpose of the iTunes directory is to promote a podcast's feed file to the public. If the podcast is private, then this makes no sense. You can simply provide a link to the feed file on the membership site.

    Podcasting is basically a file distribution system built on RSS technology. Creating an official "Podcast" is only necessary if the user base wants to be able to automatically download new episodes (primarily to mobile devices). Again this does not require iTunes, it requires a podcast aggregator program.

    Another option is to publish the audio/video episodes to protected blog posts and let the user visit the page to consume the content. You could even send out an email newsletter that points back to the new audio/video content on the membership site.
  9. pepacobos

    pepacobos aMember Pro Customer

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    I still have the very same issue without luck!!! I didn't explain myself quite right. You are all right. iTunes is supossed to be for open free content. My feed is not sent to iTunes I just give my mebers the feed URL to paste it in iTunes (which all of them have vs another podcast apps).
    I still have the issue, when someone tries to access the feed the get "Page not found" page. I'm pretty sure it's something to do with .htaccess files and rewrite modes and wordpress but still have to find the issue and nobody seem to could help me. I'm really lost!!
  10. gswaim

    gswaim CGI-Central Partner

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    As far as I know, iTunes (or any other podcast aggregator) is incapable of accessing a file that requires authentication. There may be one but I am not aware of one. So, for all practical purposes, what you are trying to do is not going to work, unless you want to pay somebody to custom write a podcast aggregator.

    You might want to reconsider your premium content delivery method.
  11. pepacobos

    pepacobos aMember Pro Customer

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    Ok. Say I just want someone to see an image inside a protected folder. I have tried only that to see if protection is working. When someone tryes to reach the file writung the URL in browser, all he/she gets is "page not found" page. No asking for user/password which is the way it's supossed to be. Maybe it's a problem with Wordpress .htaccess file, maybe... I don't know. No way to access that folder.
    I have read something about issues using permalinks but I'm completely lost in here.
    I can't give you the URL to test it because I'm changing my DNS so I will post it tomorrow.
    Thanks anyway!!
  12. gswaim

    gswaim CGI-Central Partner

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    If you are using aMember with WordPress, the best way to present protected content is via WordPress pages and posts. You shouldn't be dealing with protecting folders.

    I suggest you integrate aMember with WordPress as defined on these pages and deliver your premium content via pages/posts protected as defined on this page and all your troubles should go away.
  13. pepacobos

    pepacobos aMember Pro Customer

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    Finally I got it!! Problem solved. Wordpress and aMember .htpsswd protection don´t play nice together but..... Here´s the solution: Just add this line before everything else in .htaccess file inside the protected folder (NOT the .htaccess wordpress file)
    ErrorDocument 401 "Unauthorized access"

    That's it!!!! Now redirections are gone and no more "Page not found"
    Hope that helps somebody!!

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