Getting Started on Sounder: Create a Podcast by Importing

Hi! While we've launched the new podcast import flow, it's releasing gradually, so you may still see the old import experience.  While both flows work well,the legacy flow still follows similar steps, but with less guidance.  Please reach out with any questions or issues using the "Ask Us" button:  


Get started by importing your podcast's RSS feed url.  It's easy and quick!

Welcome to Sounder!  If you want to migrate your podcast from your current podcasting host, you're in the right place.  This article explains everything you need to know about importing your podcast to Sounder.  

Create a Sounder Account

If you don't have a Sounder account yet, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to app.sounder.fm/register
  2. Enter your Name, email address, and a password
  3. Click "Register". 

You're in!

If you've already created an account, you should Log In instead.
You'll need to verify your email address, but you can do it later.  We'll remind you in the app as well.

Import Your Podcast into Sounder

Let's get started!  
There are four main steps to importing your podcast:
  1. Find your Podcast:  search with your RSS feed url, title, or author
  2. Validate the RSS feed: check required fields and see if the data looks right before importing
  3. Quick Set Up:  configure your podcast for Sounder
  4. Verify Ownership: email confirmation that you are authorized to import the show
After you log in, click on the beautiful card "Import your podcast"

Step 1: Find your podcast
Before you start, you may want to validate your podcast feed URL here and/or here.  This is an optional step, but it may help identify any potential problems up front.
  • If you have it, copy the RSS feed URL that you want to import and paste it into the search box. Or, enter the title or author to search Apple Podcasts for your show.
    • The RSS feed URL will return only one podcast. 
    • If you search by title or name, you may get more than one. Scroll through the list to find your podcast, or edit your search to narrow down the results
    • Some links you can't import include YouTube video links, or the link to a podcast on a directory like Apple Podcasts or Spotify.  
  • If you can't find the podcast by title or name, get the RSS feed URL from your current hosting platform. 

    Search by NameSearch by RSS Feed URL

  • When you find your podcast, click "Select this podcast

Step 2: Validate your feed
Now, click the Validate button to see if the podcast is ready for importing.  Validate will check some key information about your RSS feed and display the results.  If any of the data is missing, invalid, or is not accurate, you'll have the chance to go back to your current hosting platform, make updates there, and then retry the validation in Sounder.   You can repeat the process as many times as you need.   

Validation checks the following:

  • Are there required fields in the RSS feed that are missing or have bad data?  Required fields to import your RSS feed include:
    • Podcast Title
    • Language code (two-letter code)
    • Podcast Author
    • Content Rating (Clean or Explicit)
    • Podcast Owner Email
    • Podcast Categories (at least one, but no more than three)
    • Podcast Artwork

Also, please consider: 

  • Do you have the right email address in your RSS feed?
    • We need your email address to verify ownership of the podcast.  If it's not right, go back to your existing hosting provider to change it.  
  • Do you have all of your episodes in the feed?
    • Some podcasting hosts like Libsyn limit the number of episodes in your RSS feed by default, or you may have set a limit yourself because you have a lot of episodes.  
    • Go back to your existing hosting provider to remove the episode limit, or elsewe won't be able to import all of our episodes.

When everything looks good, then click on "Continue to Onboarding" to go to the next step.

Problems?  If the validation finds an issue with your RSS feed, here's what to do: 

  • Go back to your current hosting platform
  • Make the changes to the fields missing in your RSS feed
  • Wait a few minutes for the changes to appear in your existing RSS feed.  Then, use the Retry button to validate your RSS feed again.

    If required information is missing, you won't be able to continue importing, but the error messages will guide you on next steps.  Here's an example of missing Author and Email Address:
Step 3: Quick Set Up

In the Quick Set Up step, you will:

  1. Choose your podcast web page url.  The url will default based on the podcast title, but you can change it if you wish (up to 50 characters).  If the url is not available, choose another one, or reach out to Support@Sounder.fm for help (we can try to set it for you.) 
  2. Enable Programmatic Monetization. The default is "Enabled", but you can toggle it off if you'd like.  Learn more here: Monetization FAQ.

    Click the " Continue to ownership verification" button to continue.
Step 4: Verify Ownership

Last step!  To make sure that you're authorized to import the podcast, you'll need to verify the "owner email address". This email address pulls from the public <itunes:email> tag found inside the <itunes:owner> tag.  To verify:

  • Click the "Send verification email"  button.  (If you notice that the email address doesn't look right, use the "Back to Previous Step" button twice and repeat Step 2 above.)
  • Go to your email inbox. 

  •  Look for the email titled "Confirm your email address to begin importing your podcast".  In the email, click on the Verify Show Ownership button.  This will kick off the import process.
  • Success!  You've imported your podcast.  This can happen very quickly, but if you have a lot of episodes, it may take some time before you see the success message
  • You can now set the 301 redirect in your old podcasting host, or click the " Take me to the podcast" link to start managing your podcast.
  • Sometimes we have trouble importing individual episodes. For example, if we may not be able to download the audio file or artwork file from your current host.  
    • The good news is that rarely happens.  
    • But if it does, not only will we tell tell you which one(s) have a problem, we'll tell you what to do.  
      • We'll email you a list of which ones you'll need to fix manually, along with instructions on how to do it.  
      • We'll also notify you in the Episodes list view:
        • There's an warning message to notify you one or more episodes need attention
        • The Status of the episode with the problem will be "Error"
        • The tool tip next to the Status will tell what suggest how to resolve the issue
    • As always, if you get stuck or have further questions, let us know. Use the "Ask Us" button in this article, or email us at support@sounder.fm.

Thanks for importing your podcast and Happy Podcasting!

Troubleshooting Import issues

Error message telling me the podcast is locked.   There are two possible causes for this error:

  • It really is locked on your current podcasting host, or the url is not accessible. Please go the the account settings in your current podcasting host and unlock the RSS feed or make it "public" so we can read it.  Or,
  • The url is accessible, but the Server doesn’t give us permission to read it.  

The workaround is to search by podcast title or author instead.  If that doesn't work, check your existing feed settings to make sure the feed url is not locked with one of these tags: 

<podcast:locked owner="email_address">yes</podcast:locked> 
or
<itunes:block>Yes<itunes:block>

If you're still stuck, please send us a message in the help form found in the lower right corner of the screen:


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