Validate Your Podcast

Podcasts Connect validates your podcast RSS feed as part of the submission process.

Validation is strictly a technical evaluation to ensure the RSS feed:

Validate your RSS feed in Podcasts Connect manually or by using a pass-through URL.

Passing validation doesn’t necessarily mean your podcast will be approved.

Manual validation

Watch the Podcasts Connect Basics video tutorial and follow these steps:

  1. Within My Podcasts, select +.
  2. Enter the RSS feed URL in the field.
  3. Select Validate.
  4. Review and fix any validation warnings or errors, if applicable. Then, select Validate again.
  5. If your feed validates successfully, Podcasts Connect will display a preview of your show.
  6. Review the preview. Pay attention to the artwork and your show and episode metadata, such as title, author name, description, language, and category.
  7. If ready, select Submit.

Pass-through validation (recommended for hosting providers)

Hosting providers may facilitate the validation process by implementing a pass-through URL for Podcasts Connect. By adding the parameters below, a user can select the link, sign in to Podcasts Connect, and find their RSS feed ready for validation:<feed-url>

For example,

Metadata validation warnings

After the validation process of your podcast RSS feed is complete, you’ll see additional details of any issues found. Validation error messages can be a result of connection issues, incompatible or unsupported media files, or missing required tags. These errors can be easily resolved after identifying their root cause. 

Tip: If you are having problems troubleshooting a failed validation, there are external tools such as Cast Feed Validator and Podbase Podcast Validator that may provide more detailed insights. 

Alternatively, your hosting provider should be able to offer further assistance in interpreting these errors.

Podcasts Connect adds your show to the dashboard only after a successful submission.


Common validation error messages

Below are some common errors you might see when validating your podcast RSS feed:

Can’t submit your feed. Your feed was previously submitted.

This can happen if someone else previously submitted the same RSS feed URL or a different one with the same <title> and <link> tag information. Check to see if your show is already available on Apple Podcasts.

If the podcast is already available, you can:

Invalid feed URL.

This can happen when the podcast RSS feed URL submitted for validation isn’t complete.

Make sure your URL includes a:

  • Protocol (https) 
  • Hostname (
  • File name (hiking-treks.xml). For example,

Can’t connect to your feed.
Can’t download episodes from your feed.
The connection to your feed was interrupted due to a connection timeout error.
Your episodes are hosted on a server that does not support byte-range requests. 

Ensure the RSS feed URL, as well as all episodes and artwork, are hosted on publicly addressable servers with HEAD and byte-range requests enabled. Your hosting provider can help you resolve these errors. Learn more about podcast RSS feed technical requirements.

No episodes exist in your feed.

Confirm episodes include a valid <enclosure> tag, along with its three required components (URL, length, and type), pointing to an available and supported media asset. For example:

<enclosure url="" length="5650889" type="audio/mpeg/>

Review an example of a well-formed RSS feed.

Can’t read your feed.
Can’t parse your feed.

These errors are typically related to the way the RSS feed was created. Here are some of the common causes:

  • Feed declaration. Ensure the following XML declaration is included at the beginning of your RSS feed.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><rss version="2.0" xmlns:itunes="" xmlns:content="">

  • Apple Podcasts tags. Ensure the required tags are included in your RSS feed. 

Tip: All content, tags, and values included in podcast RSS feeds are case-sensitive. Review Podcast Requirements for more information.

Review an example of a well-formed RSS feed.

There is no category tag in your feed, or the category tag is empty.

  • Failure to properly program ampersands. When specifying categories and subcategories, be sure to properly escape ampersands. For example:

Incorrect Formatting

<title>Food & Wine</title>

Correct Formatting

<title>Food &amp; Wine</title>

  • Invalid or unsupported categories. Make sure your feed includes at least one supported category value.
  • Improper casing of Apple Podcasts categories. Make sure your casing follows our guidelines.

Incorrect Formatting

<title>food &amp; wine</title>

Correct Formatting

<title>Food &amp; Wine</title>

There is no description tag in your feed, or the description tag is empty.

Ensure there’s a <description> tag on your RSS feed.

There is no language tag in your feed, or the language tag is empty.

Ensure there’s a <language> tag with a supported ISO value.

There is no explicit tag in your feed, or the explicit tag is empty.

Ensure there’s a <itunes:explicit> tag with an either true or false value.

Your feed must contain a title.

Ensure there’s a <title> tag at the <channel> (show) level.


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