RSS, iTunes, and other Subscription Issues

UPDATE: As of June 12th, at 21:45 EDT, the feed is working again for current episodes. The main feed only reaches back about a year, but it should keep updating your various podcast directories just fine.


We’re aware that for the last three weeks or so, something hasn’t been working correctly with our RSS feed. We’re looking into it. We’ve tried the usual suite of togglings-off-and-on, and we’ve examined our settings in an attempt to identify a misconfiguration somewhere. So far nothing has seemed to make a difference, but we’re not giving up.

If you want to report problems, explain workarounds, or otherwise weigh in on the issue, this post’s comment thread is here for you.

41 thoughts on “RSS, iTunes, and other Subscription Issues”

  1. Huh. I use an RSS feed (via the website, and I haven’t had any problems that I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks.

    Of course, if it’s just showing up late, than I probably wouldn’t notice. But I haven’t missed any.

    1. Likewise, also on inoreader. No issues.

      Which suggests that other sites/aggregation services may be changing how they read/parse RSS data.

  2. Thanks for posting this Howard.

    Adding a datapoint that my Overcast app feed hasn’t received an episode since 14.20 (May 19).

    1. My podcast app on my iPhone is also not showing any new episodes after May 19…

  3. I use Overcast and I am also experiencing the issue, I thought it was just my podcatcher, I am almost gratified to learn it wasn’t just my end.

    But in case you’re interested in learning which app is affected, Overcast is one of them but not Stitcher.

  4. I use an iPhone and use Overcast & the IOS app and both haven’t updated since May 19. Had hoped it was just a me issue.

  5. I think this was mentioned elsewhere, but the RSS stopped updating at 300 episodes for some of the feeds mentioned (I use iTunes, where it isn’t working). I don’t know if this will be useful in diagnosing the issue.

  6. I’ll repeat the tip that I gave in another comment section because it’s more relevant here. If you’re podcast app has stopped updating because it’s hit the 300 episode limit, just subscribe to the season by copy/pasting this url into your podcast app:

    On the other comment section I posted this in, I noticed afterwards that for some reason I put up the url for season 13. It doesn’t really matter – you can subscribe to any season you want by changing the season number.

  7. I e-mailed too but for the sake of aggregating info: my podcast Republic feed hasn’t updated since episode 19. I contacted them as they’re very responsive to feedback and they say nothing’s changed in their end but the RSS feed hasn’t updated.

  8. I use Podcast Player on Android, which uses, and same, the last 3 eps aren’t there. I haven’t been able to find a Season 14 specific one to sub to either, and when I tried adding the feed URL in the app, it kept saying it was incorrect.

  9. Nothing productive to add, just a THANK YOU for letting us know you’ve seen the problem and you’re working on it! It makes it a lot easier to be patient when my Apple Podcast is malfunctioning for the third week in a row. Godspeed tracking down the bug, and I’m good catching up on the site for now!

    1. Same! I’m an iphone app listener. Y’all can ignore the email I sent a few days ago. Glad to know you guys are trying to sort it out. Writing Excuses is part of my weekly routine. I’m glad I can hear it via the web site.

  10. Thanks for sharing this. I’m having issues getting the podcast from Pocket Casts (I’ve unsubscribed & re-subscribed a couple of times, no avail).

    One thing I haven’t tried is entering the RSS feed directly…which is why I cam here and discovered this post while hunting for the RSS feed :)

  11. I enjoy your show, it really helps my writing. Also, so far so good with my little short story podcast no problems. Knock on wood.

  12. Hi,

    I haven’t been able to get an episode since 4.20 “Allegory in Fiction.” I’m using Podcast Addict on Android.


  13. I’m using Podcast Addict on Android, I haven’t seen new episodes since 14.20. Thanks for looking into this, and when you get it all fixed, don’t forget to add a note to listeners who haven’t read this post, so they know you didn’t desert them on purpose.

  14. Using Podcast Addict on Android, no updates for the duration of the issue. Good luck tracking it down!

  15. I use Podcast Addict on Android, and the last episode I’ve been able to listen to with that has been 14.20 Allegory in Fiction. For all of the more recent episodes, I download the episodes from this site, and that seems to work fine for the moment.

    As far as troubleshooting, reinstalling the application hasn’t worked, and neither has switching applications. All of the older episodes are working completely fine, however.

  16. I brought this to the attention of the help desk at Pocket Casts, my android platform, and here is what they said:

    Unfortunately, since the issue is happening in their RSS feed, we’re unable to pull any new episodes. Their RSS feed has not updated with new episodes since May 19. As we pull episodes directly from the RSS feed, we can’t access anything that is not in the feed. It seems that since the authors are aware of the issue, the only thing that can be done is to wait for them to resolve the issue. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  17. More data for the bug-finding

    Using BeyondPod on android, the subscribed URL is on the off chance that there’s some variation in specific URLs depending on people’s podcast apps.

    Downloading the XML file directly right now and looking inside it, the most recent episode shown is 14.20 (specific file for the mp3:

    The actual XML file in question:

  18. The podcasts just came in for me. All the episodes since mid-May. Thanks!

  19. I had been listening to older episodes from season 9, but last night they disappeared from my feed. My feed now only goes back as far as season 13.

    1. Working as designed, I’m afraid. Podcast directories seem to choke on feeds with more than 300 episodes, so we can’t keep the archives in our main feed.

      1. This is what I came to document. Thanks for noting that it’s working as designed, even if it wasn’t what I was hoping for. (Season 10 Masterclass is my constant companion — difficult to listen to from the website, but still more than worth it!)

        Thanks for paying attention to this issue and, of course, for Writing Excuses! You guys are awesome! :D

      2. Thanks for the update. Apple just doesn’t understand that we can’t get by with ONLY 300 episodes of Writing Excuses.

        It did give me a fun writing prompt to play with:
        “For some reason, you can only hold 300 memories in your mind and you must choose what to remember and what to forget.”

  20. Thanks for the updates. I’m a newer podcast listener and I’ve been making my way through some of the older seasons (like Season 10), but as of today, Google Play Music/Google Podcast only has the most recent 58 episodes. Wanted to make sure this was a known issue.

    Thanks again!

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