Don't make it hard for people to listen to your podcast.

This morning I was checking out a new podcast and was intrigued by the first episode's guests. I already subscribe to a bunch of podcasts, but figured I would use huffduffer.com to queue up the latest episode of this new show.

If memory serves, it was a mention by Merlin Mann that first turned me on to Huffduffer, which lets you create a personal RSS feed of podcasts that you can subscribe to in most podcast apps. Simply go to a web page with a link to a podcast file, click Huffduffer's javascript bookmarklet or Safari extension and the show is added to you feed. Outside of perhaps Downcast, which Dr. Drang pointed out to me, this is one of the few ways I know to get one-off episodes of podcasts into your podcast client.

The problem for Huffduffer users is that not all podcasters link to a downloadable file of their shows, especially those who use Squarespace to host their episodes. Squarespace is a great service that I use myself, but its built-in player widget does not link directly to a downloadable file, which is precisely where I found myself this morning. No download link, no Huffduffer.

I fired off a tweet suggesting that podcasters who use Squarespace add download links to their episode pages as Marco, John and Casey do for The Accidental Podcast, which clearly struck a chord. What interested me the most was the reaction of a few podcasters who said they would rather that listeners simply subscribe to their shows. I get that, but you are not going to grow your audience by making it hard to download your show.

There is a wealth of high quality podcasts from which to choose today. If I could listen to them all, I gladly would, but the hard reality for podcasters is that even the most avid podcast listeners will at some point run out of time to listen to everything. Some listeners who choose to huffduff your show will not come back for future episodes, but if you make it easy for them to get your show the way that they want it, at least you have a chance to gain a new regular listener -- making it harder just ensures they won't listen in the first place.

For podcasters who use Squarespace and are interested in adding an episode download link, Marco Arment kindly posted the code he uses for ATP on Marco.org.