A new initiative uses open source to keep podcasting decentralized and add new features. They have a documented API that will allow any app or developer to connect to the index.
The purpose of the project is to offer a sustainable alternative to individual podcast hosters who may come and go, and as an alternative to a Big Tech wanting to commercialise and centralize their offering, and often then losing interest and just shutting it down (remember Google Reader?).
There is an excellent interview with Dave Jones from the project on the podcast Linux Unplugged episode 440: Saving Podcasting from Centralization.