The future of the RSS Remote Enclosure module for Drupal

Date: Tue Jan 18 2011 Drupal Planet »»»» Drupal 7

I know that Drupal has minimal support out-of-the-box for podcasting (simply use file upload, upload a media file, and it becomes an Enclosure tag in the RSS feed) and that modules like File Field Podcaster are supposed to do excellent things for podcasting with Drupal. However for podcast's I've done, I've used the RSS Remote Enclosures module. Around a year ago, due to some patches I'd made to the module, the then-current maintainers handed me the reins of the module but I've done very little with it. Largely because I got rather confused with the UI on for tagging project releases, and largely because I have so many things I'm trying to do that the module never rose to the top. However now that Drupal 7 is out, there's the question floating around the universe about which modules will be forward-ported to D7, and that leaves me wondering what to do with RSS Remote Enclosures.

First - why? Why I use this module is because I don't have to use browser upload to get my media file onto the server. I use "scp" to upload it, then paste in a URL to the data boxes provided by the RSS Remote Enclosures module. It seems the typical Drupal based podcasts use the file upload module. However the recommendations from all professional podcasting coaches I've come across is to upload the media file elsewhere (such as libsyn) and paste in URL's to your CMS. If it makes any difference, the typical CMS recommendation is Wordpress, however their reasoning isn't a wordpress-versus-drupal thing but instead that the companies like libsyn are geared up to provide the bandwidth required for media hosting, and they provide great statistics about media usage. I've never used libsyn so maybe I'm not quite paraphrasing their recommendation correctly. For my purpose uploading large files through my browser doesn't work, and the simplicity of "scp" is quite compelling to me.

Hence, there is a use-case justifying RSS Remote Enclosures. But its usage stats indicates it's not widely used, so maybe my use-case is uncommon and there isn't much reason to do a forward port to D7.

For what it's worth I do have a roadmap in mind of what to do.

There are a few outstanding issues: a) direct display of media files; b) CCK / Field support; are the ones I remember.

Additional tasks would be: c) itunes metadata integration; d) migration from the existing database table to D7 Field storage

For my private copy of this module I rewrote it to be a CCK module. That by itself created more flexibility on theming the display. I also found using swftools to be helpful for displaying the media files. The D7 version of RSS Remote Enclosures should clearly use Fields.

Issues a, b and d should be relatively easy to develop. I threw in issue c above because anybody running a podcast will want it, but it's a secondary priority.

The real issue at my end is that I simply don't have any time to put into this. I'd like to hear what y'all think.