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RSS / iTunesU feed options

Hi, I'm not sure if this should actually be a bug report, but posing as a question first in case it's a change in Panopto's provision that I missed a notice for.

We haven't been actively using the podcast function of Panopto, but went looking for it when asked about means of providing them recently. I know we used to have this option of RSS / iTunesU feeds because I remember experimenting with it a couple of years back, but now all I'm seeing is a Subscribe option for all folders and videos; the RSS and iTunesU options just aren't there. Also, the create RSS feed checkbox seems to have vanished from folder settings across the board.

Is this a feature that's been retracted or a bug in our instance?

Many thanks

Paul

Answers

  • KathrynKathryn Administrator

    Hi Paul,

    The RSS feature is being deprecated from Panopto. An email went out in early May notifying folks that the feature would no longer be available to enable starting in June.

    Here is the reason, from the email that went out, for the change:

    Why is this change happening?

    RSS presents a security concern, as users who download content via RSS can then share outside of the permissions in Panopto.  Based on your site settings, your users still have the ability to download videos directly from your Panopto site.

    Let me know if you've got any follow-up questions - I'm happy to connect you to your Panopto CSA if you'd like to talk more about this change.

  • @Kathryn, I am not really sure that security is a valid reason here as that gap still exists without the RSS feed on. I'd be happy to expand on that, but the workflow you describe poses the same security concerns that an RSS feed would. Beyond that, the RSS feed may be on unintentionally for some folders, but it still has valid use cases. We use it for a few podcasts, and we were looking to expand the use of it since it's been working so well. Needless to say it was disappointing to learn that the feature is just being dropped with no real replacement, admin-focused or otherwise. I was told that "something" is being developed, but I assume that is going to be completely internal to Panopto instead of meeting users where they are like the current functionality allows.

    Just to note, I am not sure an email ever went out on this. If it did, I never got it. I was also told in April that the "deprecation of RSS is a very low priority and will take years" however it seems that we're already at that point as all of the documentation seems to have been scrubbed from the site without warning.

  • KathrynKathryn Administrator

    Hi Michael,

    I'm sorry that you didn't receive the notification and weren't aware that we were making this change. I can understand that this is frustrating since you were planning to expand the use of the feature. I don't have additional info to provide right now about possible replacement features, but I'll ask your CSA to connect with you about this.

  • Thanks for answering Kathryn, but I do share Michael's view on this, that whilst RSS might exacerbate the fallout of a permissions-based error, that issue would still exist in the absence of the feed, and in fact the problem may even go unnoticed for a longer period in such a scenario. Not a huge issue for us since we weren't actively using it yet, but still disappointed to find that we'll now have to look for an alternative method when this would have fitted the requirements perfectly.

  • KathrynKathryn Administrator

    Hi Paul,

    The issue with RSS does go a bit beyond what is described above. RSS bypassed the sharing permissions on folders/videos entirely. If someone subscribed to an RSS feed for the folder, and the permissions for that folder were later changed so they shouldn't have access, the person would still have access to all the videos in that folder via RSS. This presented a real concern for a number of customers.

    All that being said, I definitely understand that it is disappointing to have to look for a different solution when you might've used this feature. I'll reach out to your CSA and let them know about your situation. That way, they can let you know if there is any news on a possible alternative feature in Panopto.

  • Adding to Paul and Michael's comments, I also don't recall seeing an email come out around May announcing this change to the RSS feature. When we were evaluating video management solutions, this was one of the features we were looking for in our decision-making criteria, as we use the RSS feed for Apple Podcasts. We are now looking into another platform to manage this content, which is not ideal.

    If there is another suggested alternative feature that will be developed in Panopto that can provide this content to external services, that would be very much preferred.

  • Our team did get an email on Tue, May 10, 2022 from our Panopto Customer Success Advocate.

    Subject: Announcement: Panopto Deprecating RSS Support

    As part of our upcoming Panopto release we will be deprecating the use of RSS feeds in Panopto.  

    Why is this change happening?

    RSS presents a security concern, as users who download content via RSS can then share outside of the permissions in Panopto. Based on your site settings, your users still have the ability to download videos directly from your Panopto site.

    Do I need to take any action?

    No, this change will be applied automatically. However, we do recommend alerting your end users as they may be utilizing RSS. As RSS is an anonymous download source, we do not have data on which users on your site are using RSS. However, if you are receiving this email you have had limited (less than 1,000 hours) use of RSS use on your site.

    When will this change take place?

    This change will be effective during our upcoming Panopto release in June. Please refer to the email “Advanced Notification: Panopto Cloud Scheduled Downtime and Mandatory Client Upgrade” for the date and time of your Cloud update.

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

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