How to Find Podcasts That Have Been Deleted

Fighting bitrot by clawing podcasts back into existence

I have been a guest on a lot of podcasts, but surprisingly for an immutable medium, podcasts don’t stay around forever. Domains expire, urls break, stupid mistakes happen. I know I’d love to look back on myself 30 years from now and laugh at how naive I used to be, so step 1 is keeping that around.

I have been re-syndicating my own appearances on other people’s podcast on my mixtape, which I at least completely control. This serves dual purposes of fighting bitrot and allowing people to subscribe to this one feed to find me on all podcasts. Today I discovered that my one episode with Jeff Meyerson (RIP)‘s Software Engineering Daily had been accidentally overwritten and lost to history. This was of course disappointing and I flailed around for a bit looking for the episode.

To save you time, I found it.

Here’s what I ended up doing that worked:

  • Go to Spotify for the podcast (Screw Spotify for ignoring RSS and erecting closed gardens around podcasts) and search (more like scroll, because Spotify didnt implement search lol) for my episode:
  • Hit play on the episode and sniff the devtools to find the backed up mp3 URL image
  • paste that mp3 url into the browser and download the backed up episode. ( I did try using youtube-dl to do this but ran into inscrutable ERROR: unable to download video data: <urlopen error [Errno 8] nodename nor servname provided, or not known> errors

Ironically, all this is only possible because Spotify hates supporting the indie web and podcast ecosystem so much that it rehosts all the mp3 in order to deny podcasters their analytics (so you have to go to Spotify to get their numbers). Screw you, and thank you Spotify.

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