Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Podcast Feed Tracker for Apache

I exchanged some emails with Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central this week. Todd is interested in a way to track statistics for his excellent Geek News Central podcast. The current requirements:
  1. Primary URL should not need to change
  2. Easy enough to implement that a regular website user can use it
  3. Counts each request/pull for a podcast
  4. Tracks user-agent information like podcast reader, ip address, etc.
Decidedly, this would be a useful tool so I have been hacking together an Apache module called mod_clicktrack. I have added a few requirements:
  1. Stores tracking data in MySQL database for easy retrieval using PHP or other scripting tool.
  2. Configurable using a .htaccess file
  3. Track pattern-based URL requests (*.mp3, *.ogg, etc.)
I currently have the module spitting out tracking data into the error_log but plan to have these requirements implemented by the end of this week (2005.12.02).

Once this module is installed by the sysadmin, you could enable and configure it by editing a .htaccess file. Then access to the tracking data would require some PHP, Ruby or other scripting code.

Send me an email or comment if you would also be interested in this project and any additional requirements or features that would be useful. I am interested to know what information podcasters would like to track and who else may be interested in using this. Of course, this will be released under the GPL.

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