Apple “photocasting” Mac only, uses invalid RSS

(via Dave Winer) Apple’s newly-released iPhoto 6 does an admirable job of making it easy for its users to publish feeds of their photos from their desktop. When Steve Jobs announced the product, he cited its use of “industry standard” RSS technology to make this posssible.

This all sounds great until you try to visit a photocasting feed in a browser other than Safari, or subscribe using a feed reader other than NetNewsWire. The site detects that you’re not using a photocast-capable client and displays an HTML page asking you to use Safari instead.

The error page in question also provides a direct link to the RSS feed for the photocast. If you know your XML, check out this browser-viewable sample, and the validation report that points out some of the errors it contains. The feed validator misses further errors to do with nonstandard tags that have not been marked as such with the apple-wallpapers: namespace prefix. Update: The validator has been updated to catch these errors.

The long and short of it is that Apple’s new iPhoto 6 produces invalid RSS that most feed readers will be unable to process. In order to hide this fact, Apple has put up the equivalent of a “best experienced in Internet Explorer” page to turn its own ineptitude into a marketing opportunity.

If I had my doubts before, I stand corrected. Apple is the new Microsoft.