Podcast Feedback Requested

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Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Podcast Feedback Requested

The first Chris Martenson podcast was released to paid subscribers today, and will be released to all registered users after a 1-month delay period. As mentioned during the intro to the podcast, we'll be using this forum thread to solicit your feedback, suggestions, and requests. I'm posting this thread here in General Discussion rather than in the subscriber-only area because eventually the podcast will be released to all registered users, and we welcome feedback from everyone.

This thread is not for posting questions to be answered on upcoming podcasts! To pose questions to Chris to be answered in an upcoming podcast, please use the submission form on the Contact menu.

This thread is for discussion about the podcast product itself: How did you like it? Do you want more or less (shorter or longer podcasts) in the future, and how can we improve the format? We also ran into some technical difficulty (that's why the podcast was released this morning as opposed to Friday when we originally planned to release it), and we'd like to reach out to the community for advice on recording technology since there seem to be experts here in almost every field imaginable.

For starters, let me review the structure we are currently using for the podcasts:


The purpose of this segment is to bring everyone up to date on significant events this week (well, ok, last week, but in future we hope to be able to release the podcasts on Friday evenings), and to frame them in the context of Chris' outlook.


Named after a recent forum thread, the purpose of this segment is for Chris to give us a "virtual Martenson Report" - in other words, to talk in depth about a particular topic of interest. Chris reserves the right to choose the topic of the Chris Fix each week, but he does welcome suggestions and requests.


This is your opportunity to ask Chris questions and have him answer them on the show. We will consider questions from anyone, but we will give strong preference to questions from paid subscribers when selecting which questions will be answered on the show.

We're particularly interested in feedback on how much time to spend on this. We had so much content in the Chris Fix that we only had time for a couple of questions in the first show in order to stay inside our 1-hour target length. We can't decide whether we should allocate lots of time so that we can cover most of the questions received, or if it's better to spend more time on the Chris Fix and keep the Q&A minimal. Please let us know your thoughts on this.


The final segment is dedicated to setting aside current events, widening Chris' mental lens to the "big picture", and talking about the long-term situation vis a vis the Economy, Energy and the Environment. This was inspired by feedback we've received that there are plenty of bloggers on the net who cover current events, but very few people with Chris' ability to connect the dots and explain the big picture.

We welcome your feedback!

The above format is what we came up with, but this is our first attempt at a podcast. If you think we should do it differently, we're open to your suggestions. If you liked what you heard, we're still open to hearing how you think we might improve the format. Please don't post specific questions for the Q&A segment here! Those should be submitted through the Contact form, using the Podcast Question option.

The technical side

We ran into some technical difficulties. In order to produce a .MP3 audio file of a telephone conversation between Chris and myself, we had planned to use Skype with a call recorder plug-in that records a conversation as an .MP3. It was a disaster! We recorded it on my end, and while my voice sounded fine, Chris' voice was somewhat muted, and full of pops and clicks. Also, because of the lag time (delay) inherent to Skype conversations, it was hard to maintain an interactive, conversational format.

The reason the podcast release was delayed is that Chris felt strongly that the community deserved better audio quality than that, so he spent his weekend laboriously re-recording his side of the conversation, then edited his re-recorded responses into the original recording using an audio editor! Chris' dedication to the community and commitment to quality never ceases to amaze me, but I'm sure you can all appreciate that it's just not practical to do it this way on an ongoing basis. The two options we are considering are:

  • Produce future podcasts entirely in Chris' office, using Becca Martenson rather than myself as the interviewer
  • Find better technology for recording a phone interview. We sure could use suggestions from the community. Surely there must be a way to plug a landline phone into one's computer sound card and record interactive calls and save them as .MP3 files, but we're not sure exactly how to do it.

We welcome any and all feedback on technology solutions that might help us deliver a higher quality podcast product without all the manual labor Chris put into the first one!

Ok, have at it, folks. What did you think and how can we do better?



Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 470
Call recording option.


You might want to try this out:


It's free and recording is available.  There are also services that charge and may offer better quality.  I've participated in calls that I think used this service and produced good quality recordings.  However, there have been calls that were not recorded or partially recorded for unknown reasons.  You might want to check it out.


Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2008
Posts: 566
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested

"The Chris Fix" -- hey, I'm the one who thought of that in the earlier thread!!

Erik, here is my report:  After being cooped up for more than two weeks with my kids (no school) and having organized and refereed my eight-year old's dodge-ball birthday party Sunday, I was dying -- dying --for a Chris Fix when I logged in Monday.  "Pulheeeees," I thought.  "Just a little comment or two . . . I neeeeeeeeeed Chris's take."  (As a backup plan, if there was no Chris Fix, II would search for some of MRED's excellent old posts . . . .you know, something to take the edge off.)

To my delight and relief (I was already starting to shake) I saw that the pod-cast was ready to watch!  I must admit that my mouth actually started to water.  There mere anticipation of my fix was practically too much.  It was a physical response.  Anyway, I have never downloaded a podcast before, but I figured I would give it a try.  I reasoned that I would download it onto my I-pod and take it to the gym for my afternoon run (1 hour, perfect!).  Endorphins and a Chris-fix at the same time!  I was getting a little tired of Smashing Pumpkins anyway, and dying to try the combo.

In any event, I unsuccessfully attempted to do the download three times -- I am certain that nothing was wrong with the podcast itself.  It was something I wasn't doing right.  Darn!  My assistant had left for the day, and time was running short, so my Chris Fix has had to wait. I listened to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and haven't been able to listen to the podcast. . . . until now!

It's 9:50 p.m.  The kids are asleep.  My wife is playing tennis and won't be home until 11:00.  I've got a glass of wine, my feet are up . . . .

I'll get back to you after I have a listen.  :)

Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2008
Posts: 566
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested

O.M.G.  I am sooooo relaxed.  I almost feel like I am floating.

 Excellent.  Very, very good.  Definitely satisfying.  A couple of comments:

1.  Erik T.  I thought your voice would be deeper.  Interesting.

2.  Overall, content was great.  I found myself frantically taking notes.  Chris, what you may already realize is that many people on this site have become a little . . . shall we say . . . dependent.  That is, we can see the same information you can but we cannot hope to undersand it or synethesize it.  We have come to trust you -- not to always be right of course, but to help us separate the wheat from the chaff and make sense of this hourly, daily, weekly bombardment of information.  As a result, the most important part of the podcast, IMO, is current events.  What are the big issues of the week, and how do they fit into the overall picture.  What should I be interested in, and what should I not be interested in. 

                    2.A.  Example: The very begining about quantitative easing manifesting itself in the form of ultra-low interest rates.  I had been wondering about these very issues -- a very, very helpful segment.

All in all, very good.  I made three pages of notes.  Thank you.  Looking forward to the next one.


ckessel's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Online)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 487
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested


I thought the podcast was very well done. I don't think that specific time lengths for each section are necessary to adhere to. I suggest allowing the events of the week to determine what Chris thinks should be addressed. IE big events may require the entire podcast but other weeks may allow for more viewer questions.

I agree on the technical issues.  A thought which came to mind is the use of audio teleconferencing equipment.  Another software which may be of benefit on future podcasts is the EZ Meeting by Sigma Designs ( www.ezmeeting.com/ )which may allow you to integrate photos, drawings graphs etc directly into the podcast. Ask for Jim Bennett or Charlie White to answer technical questions

As regards content, I know that there is a lot of attention on finance but I especially like environmental issues. To that end a Canadian by the name of Dr. David Suzuki has written a book called "Good News For A Change" and he has a lot of connections worldwide which have contributed to his new book. 

Mr Suzuki has a keen awareness of the population problem and on exponential growth. Perhaps you could have one podcast each month which would involve an interview with a collegue on one of the three Es.

I am going to try and download the podcast tomorrow to use it as a reference for group meetings. I am also getting my conference room set up for CC workshops.



cat233's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2008
Posts: 575
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested
Lemonyellowschwin wrote:

In any event, I unsuccessfully attempted to do the download three times -- I am certain that nothing was wrong with the podcast itself.  It was something I wasn't doing right.  Darn!  My assistant had left for the day, and time was running short, so my Chris Fix has had to wait. I listened to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and haven't been able to listen to the podcast. . . . until now!

If clicking the download link causes the file to load in the browser rather
than download, right click the link and choose "Save Link As" instead.

bluebird's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 4 2008
Posts: 75
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested

Excellent! Is it permissable to forward the mp3 link to a couple family members? Thanks!

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: Call recording option.


Thanks for the suggestion! We have used freeconferencecall.com before. We initially ruled it out because although you can record calls for free, you don't get a .MP3 or other file version of the recording. They only let you call in to hear it! I recently learned that they offer a premium service (for a fee) that does offer recording output to a file. But I don't think we'll pursue that direction because they still have a noticable delay that contributes to cross-talk.

Thanks for the suggestion, though! We'll certainly keep this option in mind.



Woodman's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
Re: Call recording option.

Great first podcast.  The format is good.  I can't think of much that would improve it.  Chris has both intelligence and a clear voice, and the two of you together make it more engaging than just Chris speaking alone.   I'll try to check with other folks I know who have successfully recorded podcasts with conference calls to see what software or equipment might work better for you.


joemanc's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested

Excellent first podcast. Hat tip to Cat in finally getting me to sign up for a paid subscription so I could listen to the podcast. It's well worth it!!!

I think the format/structure is perfect. Can't wait for more!

Pandabonium's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 30 2008
Posts: 88
Re: Podcast Feedback Requested

Excellent work guys!  A lot of great information there.   I'll
listen again on my iPod as a take a walk tomorrow.  Nothing wrong with
the format as it is in my view.  It will sound more "polished" as you
go.   During much of it I was thinking, "But Chris, what about the
impact of peak oil on all of this?" and you surprised me by reminding
us that it does indeed "loom large".   That is something very special
about this website - the integration of many important elements into a
coherant view of the situation we face.   Not something I find in many
other sources. 

You've exceeded my expectations and I am very much looking forward to these podcasts from here on.

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