Apple is being blasted for including what appears to be a proprietary XML document type definition (DTD) for RSS 2.0 in iTunes 4.9 that enables access to Podcasts, and was developed without input and guidance from the RSS community.

Creator of the original RSS standard Dave Winer is accusing Apple of attempting to make the iTunes DTD proprietary, and a Podcast's inclusion in the iTunes catalogue exclusive to Apple.

Tristan Louis, one of RSS' earliest proponents and editor of, believes Apple may be trying to re-invent the wheel just so the final product can be theirs and theirs alone. He told Tom's Hardware Guide: "The situation is reminiscent of the browser wars of the 1990s where basically you could develop your own tags that could work on your own browser, but then there was no guarantee that the community would support those."

Shut out

Louis said that by developing the iTunes DTD on its own: "Apple has made a number of mistakes that show that they don't truly understand a) how XML works, b) how RSS works, and c) how the RSS community and community process works. Now, this is not the first time that Apple is using a standard to extend its own agenda. However, considering the level of support that RSS has been getting from other vendors – most recently, Microsoft – it is surprising to see that Apple would want to corner itself into its own small space."

"Does Apple want to see Microsoft [or] Real creating their own media RSS format? Are we going to have to support multiple types of media RSS formats depending on the vendors, or should there be a consolidated format that is supported by all vendors? What we really need at this point is a central group similar to what we have with W3C and HTML, to help us [and] all the vendors come to an agreement as to what's going to be used and what's not going to be used," asked Louis.