Forums » Discussion Place » special characters to get to the top - please stop it


Instead of being listed where they should be alphabetically, some podcasters deliberately use special characters to put themselves at the top of the list. This is stupid. It makes your podcast harder to find because it's not where it should be, and especially hard to find on MP3 players that only allow you to search using only one character. e.g. I couldn't search for a podcast called [b]'Dead Dog Show' - by Dru and Carrie[/b] because typing in D wouldn't bring it up. (Apologies if that podcast actually exists!)

Most of us hate spam. It's not spam but it follows the same train of thought - abuse of the system. After all if someone wants to abuse the way our syndication software works, doesn't that put you off them? I does for me - i think "well hang on, you're not exactly being fair are you? so why should I listen to you? I won't."

All podcast directories and the download software should, without notice, alter the way their listings work, and any podcasts starting with a special character should go after Z, not the top. Or- the special characters should be stripped out by the software. It's not that difficult.

That way, the podcasters abusing the system will quickly stop doing it.

The worst offender is the man who runs [b]--- AAA Podcast ---[/b] who actually advises podcasters to use special characters for that purpose. Incredible.

I write PHP websites for a living, and am sorely temped to create a podcast directory, simply because I know how to stop those podcasters abusing the system, at least on my site, so that I and other subscribers didn't have to put up with it.

I'd also make an option for subscribers to decide which podcasts in the "comedy" category are actually comedy, because I'm fed up of looking for comedy and getting chat shows (mentioned in a previous topic).

I agree. Every time I see it I try to correct it, but I know some slip through. I'm tempted to start rejecting listings that use this kind of system abuse.

In reply to guest

amarillo -

Alas, I don't think that you'll be able to get around this. Yes, I have listened to the AAA Podcast because it was pointed to me by someone I was speaking with concerning my inability to get into the iTunes directory. My first thought was to simply break things into two sorts, where the non-alphanumeric characters would go last, but then people would simply start using AAAAAAAAAAAA at the beginning of their podcast name.

Unfortunately, there are some podcasts with these characters at the beginning of their name that actually are quite good, but I agree that they are doing themselves a disservice in creating it this way.

Cheers -


In reply to guest

I agree. It's a shame that they discredit themselves by doing it.

In reply to guest

[quote=EclecticMix]but then people would simply start using AAAAAAAAAAAA[/quote]

No, I disagree with that. There would be the odd one who'll call themselves AArdvark something, but AAAAA Dogs Dinner Podcast would look stupid, and I don't think people would do it. At the moment they get away with using ' or - because they don't affect the title.

In reply to guest

the -----AAA Podcast----- is actually a spoof on those who actually do the character bit with their feed.....

if you actually listen to it, you'll realize that the only episodes he put out was when this first came to everyone's attention.....

he's got a real podcast out, and this was his way of calling out people who do this with their show.

In reply to guest

Geez, if you're going to spam the boards, at least post a working link!

In reply to guest