A feed doesn't have to be dynamic!

Sure nice to get new shows automatically isn't it?

But what if you want to download only a season archive of shows (long) after the show has stopped?



An RSS feed with enclosures can be static

RSS enclosure feeds can just as easily be used for one-time downloads. The advantage of this over FTP or plain old HTTP (downloads from the web) is that you can use the ipodder/ podcasting mechanism. This means you can schedule the download and in the case of media files, they automatically go to whatever playback device is appropriate for them.

Another advantage is that it is easy to add metadata to the feed. Metadata is data about the content. A description of the enclosures for example, or copyright, author, contact details, synopsis, URLs to related content, you name it.



Examples for use

- Replacing (large) email attachments.

   Send the recipient a link to your one-time RSS feed and voilá, the DVD-Rom image download is scheduled for download!

- Scheduled downloading of file collections.

- Download a complete album of songs.

- Download the complete season 10 of Friends. (If that were legal.)

- Download a complete series of recorded class lectures including handouts, etc.



What is needed

(Or would be good to have.)

- Applications like iPodder, Safari or another browser to support one-time downloads.

- A MIME type definition for enclosure feeds so you can map 'handler' applications.

   What this does is: if you click on a link to an rss enclosure feed in your email program, your webbrowser opens it, sees that it is indeed an enclosure feed and gives it to whatever program you have installed for enclosure downloads.

- An easy way to create static feeds.



Notes

As far as I could find, the rss 2.0 specicifation doesn't allow specifying that a feed is static (i.e. that it will never be updated).



Content-type based routing could easily be extended to other types of documents. Think about pictures ending up in your photo viewer(s), PDF printing proofs being sent to a RIP (Raster Image Processor) in the printing industry, Movies in your TiVo.



What if you want to just listen to the last one or two shows of a feed to see if it's worth subscribing? Should be possible in the same application.