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Back in september 2006, D&D launched an official podcast that was at that time distributed via Apple Podcasts. However, the way to subscribe to those — an RSS feed via the Wizards webpage — no longer works, and of the 63 podcasts existing in a 2010 snapshot many seem lost.

Among those podcasts that I could unearth are the Penny Arcade Podcasts.

Trying to find those other podcasts, especially the Mailbags, however, has been fruitless so far.

Is there a repository of those other podcasts, especially the Dave Noonan (then a designer at WotC) & Mike Mearls ones? Can they maybe still somehow be found on iTunes?

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The actual plays are still on itunes

Of the material ever published, 109 podcasts - including the Penny Arcade material and actual plays - were archived as the "Dungeon Delve" podcast. It seems shelved since 2020, and the first issue - Acquisitions Incorporated - was published 30th may 2008, matching the "Penny Arcade/PvP Podcast Series 1 Ep1" from the snippet in the question.

"Wizards Play" was a 3-issue run of actual play from 2016, not the mailbag either.

"Dragon Talk" has (currently) about 434 archived instances on iTunes according to the website. The 300-last issue was from 2017, so it seems unlikely that any 4e material is archived here - as far as I can tell, all this material is 5th Edition. In fact, the Spotify mirror (which is easier to navigate for old material) lists the oldest "Dragon Talk" Episode to be the April 2012 Issue titled "D&D Next, Lords of Waterdeep, and only a couple dozen of episodes until 2014. That podcast picked up a lot in 2016.

If the old "Dungeons & Dragons Podcast" still exists on Apple-owned servers at all, it is no longer listed in the official catalog. This can happen if the show is moved to "archived". Due to a shift in site infrastructure on 28th April 2021, the old RSS feed links are also gone - not that Wizards' old RSS feed link http://www.wizards.com/dnd/rsspodcast.xml would still exist in the first place.

The "Gleemax" archive is gone

Some of the later official podcasts had been originally also uploaded to a mirror, that would allow downloading. For example, the January 2010 issue was originally mirrored on http://media.gleemax.com/podcasts/DnD_20100115.mp3.

However, the website that hosted this content, gleemax.com, went fully off the internet in 2014, and before then was a redirect to Wizard.com for all requests that were not directly to a specific file. This behavior started around 2009, as for about one year before that, Wizards used that URL to host the Gleemax-community. We know that this site started in fall 2007 and ran until late 2008, when the "social networking site" was pulled to focus on other projects centered around 4e. Some content from this sub-site of Wizards was archived, but it seems like the page itself was kept up as a file storage/archive for some time after that. Some of the experience from Gleemax would shape D&D Insider.

The three 2009 snapshots of http://media.gleemax.com/ all read "access denied", just like the two snapshots of http://media.gleemax.com/podcasts/. Individual podcasts like the aforementioned URL were not archived by the internet archive.

Digg was archived, but not the audio files

Some of the early material used a podcast service to incorporate "play now" functionality to Wizards own site (via a plugin): Digg.com. One of those examples would be the February 2008 Mailbag. In the top there is a "play now" and a "digg it" button. The latter eventually led to the archived site of the Dungeons and Dragons Podcast on digg.com. Apparently, that service was stopped in 2008, but the first about 18 episodes are at archived with their name. However, the associated audio files are missing. At least it proves that the official title back in 2008 was "Dungeons & Dragons Podcast".

Title search....

Searching for the 18th episode title led to only very few hits. Two to be exact:

  • RPG.net (containing a link to wizards.com)
  • rpg.nobl.ca - THE archive for 3.5th edition did archive at least the existence of many articles on the wizards' main site till about 2009.

The RPG.net link leads into 404-land only since 2016 and was never archived, the rpg.nobl.ca seems to once had linked to pages on the archive.wizards.com domain, but that one was summarily wiped around 2020... well, at least we know it did exist.

The original files might be lost

To investigate the issue, I actually contacted Wizards Customer Support with a general inquiry:

Researching into the history of the D&D Podcast, I came to realize that there was a podcast before the current "Dragon Talk" one, which would apparently start around late 2008 and run concurrently with what is now known as "Dungeon Delve". However, it seems that those old episodes are no longer accessible anywhere. Links such as "http://media.gleemax.com/podcasts/DnD_20100115.mp3" that once would lead to such content lead into nowhere, the old RSS feed link does no longer work...

Were these old podcasts from before the start of 5th edition gone for good or is there an old archive anywhere, where one might for example find the mailbag episodes?

P.S.: I can narrow the inquiry down a tiny bit: the oldest archived material on Spotify is from April 2012, but that still leaves the years 2008-2012 of the older podcast unaccounted for.

It took them about three weeks, but I finally got a response, indicating they do not know if they have archival copies at all, and even if, that they might not be able to locate them:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Wizards of the Coast Customer Support!

Unfortunately, we aren't able to offer assistance directly with this question. However, the wider internet has several good resources that may be able to aid in answering this question. We would recommend seeking those out as, unfortunately, we do not have that content archived and readily available to provide. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but thank you for your understanding in this matter.

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to bring your thoughts and interest in this specific timeframe of the earlier iteration of the Dragon Talk podcast and making that content available to our attention.

[general information about the feedback process]

Thank you again for your willingness to get in touch and share your thoughts with us.

[name removed] Wizards of the Coast | Customer Service Representative

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The Apple Archive stuff isn’t relevant to this: Apple Podcasts does not generally host podcasts, it’s primarily a directory. The information linked above about archiving applies only to podcasts using Apple Podcast Subscriptions, a service for hosting subscription-only content (in the current sense of subscription, i.e. the listener pays for access; subscribing to a feed is now called “following”). That subscription service was only launched in 2021, and isn’t used by freely available podcasts published as an RSS feed - their audio is hosted elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28, 2023 at 21:46

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