They’re such a great way to navigate and explore an episode. You can skip directly to the subjects that interest you, skip past the ones that don’t, and even discover new parts of the show1 that pique your interest.
I’m a big chapters user myself; have been ever since the feature was added to my podcast app of choice and some podcasts I listen to added them. But we never put in the work to chapter our podcasts because of various challenges in our way.
We’ve self-hosted (and self-content-managed) our podcasts since 2016. To get that done, we built our own web app because, well, we’re software developers2 and as the saying goes:
This app has served us very well, but one consequence of that decision is that we can’t sit around and wait for a (often VC-backed) hosting company to announce a feature like chapters and simply start using it. We have to roll it ourselves.
1️⃣ We shell out to (the extraordinary) FFmpeg to write ID3 tags on our mp3 files upon upload. FFmpeg, it just so happens, doesn’t support ID3v2’s chapter frame feature.