What is the open podcast directory?

The situation could be better for the people who create podcasts.

The open podcast directory is an idea: The idea is to create a distributed directory which no one controls—no person, no company, no country. We do this by each adding our podcast information to our domain name’s information.

Remember when you set up your podcast the first time? Remember having to submit it to all those services separately? Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio — on and on. And what if you missed one? What if a new one comes along and you don’t know about it?

The open podcast directory eliminates all that. Wouldn’t that be great?

What you need

Your own domain name — Something like openpodcastdirectory.org What if you don’t yet have your own? We suggest using Hover.com to get one.

A podcast with an RSS feed — If your podcast is out in the world, then you already have this. It’s how podcasts get published. Copy the URL of your feed. It might look something like this: https://feeds.example.com/iAmANexamPLE

What you do

Find the DNS record controls — It’s an easily available setting in your registrar or hosting service’s administration panel. In Hover, the screen looks like this…


  1. Add a TXT type record
  2. Leave the hostname field empty
  3. Copy the following line but replace rss_url with the full URL of your podcast’s RSS feed…

v=opd1 url=rss_url

Boom! You’re done

As support for using this idea spreads, more and more people will be able to find your podcast automatically, (without you having to even know about whatever app or directory they are using to listen.) Eventually, every podcast show would be immediately available to everyone, everywhere.

Check your records

Once you’ve added your OPD record to your domain, there’s a simple form on the Open Podcast Directory site that will check your work for you.




1 Like

I now have a domain (leadlearnchange.org) but no website (I use my Simplecast hosting page as my podcast website for now). Should still move through the open podcast directory steps you outline above? I am assuming that I CAN move forward but I want to make certain that I SHOULD. In other words, will doing so at this stage be problematic later (because I prematurely did something important)? Please advise. Thanks!

Yes, it’s completely safe to follow the OPD steps. What you’re setting up won’t affect whatever you may eventually decide to do with any web sites.

1 Like


Note: I was required to enter the hostname field (leadlearnchange.org) when I was moving through the process. I could not leave it blank or the Add Record option was not functional. All good, as I did have a domain name to enter in that field, but I thought you might want to know that that step was slightly different by the time I got around to following through.

Thank you for your help!

1 Like

My question about this is … I didn’t submit to Stitcher, for example, because they put ads in everyone’s podcasts for all not-premium users and I don’t want ads in my podcast. (I have a query in to them to confirm.) This type of directory would not allow for that kind of thing? But would be significantly easier otherwise. Hmmmm

(Also, I got a notification about this thread, but as I started to reply, Discourse told me I was resurrecting the thread from months ago, so that’s weird.)

1 Like

I think you meant to write AND would be significantly easier.

Someone can always steal your work and do derivative, slimy things with it. This type of directory doesn’t fix that.

But it fixes the other problem: There’s a triangle where, in order for people to hear my show, we need a middleman (the directory operators like Apple, Google, even the newest Podcast Index project, etc) to enable the relationship.

You got a notification because I moved this topic from a category that I’ve deleted, out here to #public . I didn’t expect it to send notifications, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And the “resurrection” warning is just a reminder, there’s no harm in resurrecting old topics when—as you did here—you’re adding to the discussion. :slight_smile:

Yes :slight_smile:

Also yes :slight_smile:

18 19 20

If one has multiple feeds on one domain, would each TXT be v=opd1 v=opd2, 3, etc… Or do all get v=opd1? And can I successfully even have more than 1 such TXT for multiple feeds on 1 domain? Thanks.

1 Like

( AH! this is the question [referring to our email exchange we’re having] that I remember not getting around to answering!! )

Yes, you can have multiple TXT records in one domain. (That’s a general statement about how DNS works, and that you can have multiple OPD records too.)

They are all v=opd1 records. The 1 (one) in there is for the future, when we need to change how OPD works, we can start using v=opd2.

All the information anyone would ever need, about your show, is in the feed. So you have example.com domain, with multiple v=opd1 … each with a different URL. Someone/something/program pulls those URLs to find out what’s actually in them.

Tech aside: This also solves a problem we have today with ALL podcasts: How do I serve different audio encodings to different people/programs? And RSS is not the only feed format; there’s also a newer thing called OPML. So a forward thinking podcast show could have many different feed URLs in their TXT records. The player/directory/person/program is left to pull them down and figure out which one has what they want.

1 Like

I had an interesting usecase (wanted to submit ~1200 podcasts so that they get indexed somewhere). However, the current spec does not work for such huge number of feeds - too many DNS requests etc (As a comparison, the SPF spec which this is inspired from puts a limit of 10 DNS lookups).

  1. Is this actually used by any podcast directory for discovery?
  2. Aside from usage, I was wondering if relying on a OPML feed + a .well-known URI might be a better idea?

So, I could host an OPML feed at https://example.com/.well-known/podcasts.opml and that could either redirect to an existing OPML feed, or host one. No DNS lookup limits, much easier to parse and build, and the OPML schema adds classification on top.

1 Like

It is not currently used by any directories, nor any player apps. There would need to be a groundswell from the creators for it to catch on. It destroys the control of all existing directories. (*)

Using TXT records in DNS enables having multiple results for a particular domain. So pulling TXTs for example.com could return multiple OPD records. Multiple shows, or even multiple feeds for teh same show (here’s RSS, here’s OPML, etc.)

(*) For example: Spotify won’t let users add a raw rss feed to listen to a show. Why? Because to get into Spotify’s directory, the creator has to sign Spotify’s contract. The OPD means that directory operators would be free to pull down show feeds (rss, opml) but couldn’t coerce creators.