The Atheist Experience (Live)

The Atheist Experience Technical FAQ

This page answers frequently asked questions about a number of technical issues concerning The Atheist Experience. If you're looking for answers to questions about atheism, take a look at the ACA's frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

Does the show only air in Austin?

Currently, we're only on Time Warner Cable digital channel 16-10 and Grande Communications channel 16 in Austin. Some surrounding communities get these channels, but we cannot be seen on TV outside the Austin area. Fortunately, you can enjoy the show live via the The Atheist Experience Channel on ustream or watch past episodes of the show on the Internet from our archive page.

I wish I could watch The Atheist Experience in my town.

Currently, we are not syndicated, but getting it shown is not impossible. Someone in that community needs to do a few things. Are you that person? Many cities have locally produced channels that are usually looking for content. Check to see if you city has such channel. Contact them and find out the technical requirements for making that happen. Often, it's just a matter of getting them a play-able DVD. Don't assume it's too complicated. Once you've checked with your local TV station, contact us and we will work with you to help make that happen.

We offer reduced subscription rates on our DVDs for people airing them in their local area.

Why do you have so many dates where you're off the air?

Because we use a city-owned studio to produce the show, we are sometimes preempted or off the air because of studio renovations and closings. We're grateful to the City of Austin for the cable access channels and equipment they have provided. Without them, the show would be very difficult for us to produce.

Who does your opening theme?

We've used a lot of music over the years and occassionally run into copyright issues. More recently, we've been using Bryan Steeksma's "Listen to Reason". He has graciously allowed us to use it on the show (he's a fan). Check out his web site at myspace.com/bryansteeksma.

Can I call in to the show?

Part of what makes The Atheist Experience popular is our interaction with our audience. We feel that the best interaction is with people who are watching the show. We encourage callers to either watch the show live in Austin or via the ustream video stream. We will likely reserve some of our lines for local callers to encourage more theists to call. All that said, the number is 512-472-2255. This number belongs to a city-owned studio and not the ACA. Please make absolutely sure you are calling during a live show when you call so that you do not disrupt other Channel Austin shows.

What happened to the audio (podcast) from the most recent episode?

Usually, the audio of the show is published within an hour or so after the show ends. (Note that at this time, it may not be labeled properly in our database.) Occasionally, we have technical problems where the audio of the show is delayed. Double-check the archive to make sure there was a live show. We will generally get the audio up in a day or two of a live show, regardless of technical problems.

Why hasn't the latest episode appeared on blip.tv?

First, we're very grateful to blip.tv and YouTube for hosting our video content. We have over 200 90-minute shows and they provide this for free. Replicating this feature would bankrupt our group! We sometimes have delays in processing and uploading the video. For this, be patient. We usually have the video up within a week after the show's airing. Again, double-check the archive to make sure there was a live show.

On a related topic, sometimes the Blip.tv and YouTube Video content is not processed properly into the various file formats they support. Unfortunately, we have no control over these video conversions.

Why don't you use YouTube instead of blip.tv?

YouTube has file size restrictions that won't support a 90-minute video. Some of our full-length videos are there, but they were originally uploaded to the now-defuct Google Video. Many of our fans are posting short video clips from The Atheist Experience on YouTube. We get a lot of visibility from these short clips. Thanks!

We encourage people to make clips of our longer videos and post them on YouTube. If you do that, please say that the clip was from The Atheist Experience and make a link back to us.

What should I do to post a YouTube clip?

If you include the phrase "Atheist Experience" in your description, we'll find it. Here are some thoughts to make it easier to put your clip on our fan page:
  • You can get raw video from our blip.tv or YouTube pages. See the "video" links on our archive page.
  • Check the fan page to see if the clip you like isn't already there. We try to update the fan area at least once a month.
  • Don't repost others' YouTube clips. They're already available. You're not really adding value by doing that.
  • It's a good idea to make a link to The Atheist Experience web site. In fact, our license requires it.
  • Please include the episode number somewhere obvious. Matching shirt colors from old episodes is no fun. We need the episode number to group all the clips together from the same episode.
  • Finally, help us out by adding our Donation Plug to the end of your video. It's a 2MB, 19 sec pointer to the ACA's donation's page. By adding the clip to your video, you'll help to ensure that we keep our efforts going.

Do you have a live stream of your video over the Internet?

Yes. We are now streaming via the The Atheist Experience Channel on ustream.

Do you want feedback about the show quality?

We do appreciate feedback on the technical quality of our show. The feedback is most useful on the most recent episode (not past ones). Since we use a city-owned studio, we have to configure the studio for our show every time. The studio has upgraded equipment in Spring 2008, which has greatly improved video quality and enabled some great graphics. We're still fussing with the audio. While none of us do this professionally, we are striving toward a consistently high quality result.

Of course, if you have feedback on the content of the show, we'd like to hear that, too. Write us and let us know what you think.

I wrote you guys, but you didn't respond. What's up?

We read every e-mail message you guys write. We promise. We get a lot of e-mail and we sometimes can't respond to every one. It doesn't hurt to put "atheist experience" or "AETV" in the subject line. Doing so will help us sort your e-mail from the spam. As a rule, we often don't respond to:
  • Life stories. We appreciate reading how people came to the path of atheism. We love to learn what helps people make the transition. Often, a long history is just too much to respond to. If we do respond, it will be one of our crew for whom something you said struck a chord. We just don't have time for long interactions in e-mail. If it's enough for you that someone is reading your story, please send 'em in. If you're local, come and interact with us in person. That's the way to go. The ACA also runs e-mail forums for more social interaction. See our Yahoo groups and our message boards.
  • Links to news stories. We appreciate people sending us links. Often, we're on top of the topic, but sometimes our audience catches something that we missed. We're always looking for show topics and things to comment on. We get a lot of these sorts of e-mail, and the response is usually, "thanks for the link."
  • "Great job." We love to hear that we're making a positive impact on people's lives. We appreciate, too, that you've taken the time to write. Don't forget to turn some of that energy into action. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, your representative, or make a blog. Let us inspire you to make an impact, too.
Keep the e-mail coming. Do tell us where you're writing from and maybe a bit about what the state of church and state is there (if you're outside the US).

Who do I contact about web site issues?

You can use the ACA Contact page and report a web site issue on any of the ACA's web sites. Be sure and include a link to the page you're referencing. Thanks.