pod: YouTube Podcast meta data confusion

Well, I just spend an day remastering all our podcasts because heck, the colors were bothering me, they look great thanks to the use of HDR Tools and Apple HEVC 10-bit and it only took 2 hours to process this whole mess (so we are running at over 30 fps on an M1 Max).

YouTube Hierarchy: Channel > Playlist, Podcast > Video

The one thing that was confusing for me is the difference between three things. The first is your channel, but I think this means all the content that you are posting across everything. So the URL is something you can create a vanity link like https://youtube.com/@richtong1 and when you post that into WordPress, you get the so called “featured” video. I can’t figure out how it figures out what that is, but I’m guessing the video with the most views (and interestingly, WordPress doesn’t recognize that as an embed, but here it is)

A Playlist that you can mark as Podcast

The second concept is a Playlist which in YouTube Studio you can mark as a podcast by going to the Playlist section and clicking on the Ellipses and saying set as Podcast and then you will get to put meta data in and they will promote it like this. It also asks for a square icon to put in there (which is very cranky, there is only one error messages, but it needs to less than 1024 x 1024 and exactly square, it doesn’t crop. Fortunately Mac Preview does that with the handy Shift-Option click and drag, but you need to change the default resolution in Change Size and break the link between horizontal and vertical if its a real photo, amazingly painful.

The new remastered episodes should be on top. So here are idiosyncratic details for YouTube. The first is that if you past in a playlist, you just get the latest episode, which is nice.

YouTube player

Individual Videos and don’t for get Show More

Finally, you get individual videos that you upload where you get a big dialog where you put in the Title. I like to put in a short code like DT2 which means the Deon and Tong cohosts and this is the second one. Note that in Spotify Podcasters (fka Anchor.fm), they allow seasons and episodes, but there is no concept of that in YouTube. And it will ask you which playlist to add it to. That should be your podcast playlist (obviously, someone hacked in podcasts as a type of playlist with a little more data).

I also like to put the date in the title. But make sure you click on the Show More button! There are some really important fields here, like the date of production and the location and what category it goes in. The location by the way can’t be multiple places, if you type some invalid string, it will just make it blank.

Unlisted Podcasts need Comments Turned On too

Also if you are going to have a “private” podcast, you can actually do that, just make sure the Podcast is Unlisted and the videos are as well. This means you can only see them if you have the URL. But note that Unlisted Podcasts and videos have the comments turned off by default, so the trusty Show More is where you turn that all back on

Do not delete Videos if you want to keep the view information.

Because you will lose all the view information. I actually republished all our videos (there are only six) with the correction from HLG to PQ HDR formats and just labeled them Remastered in the title, so you can adjust your links to use them.

I’m Rich & Co.

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