Restoring Millennial Gaming Speak

Phase 2 of the redesign is complete. My weekly video game news podcast that ran between 2015 through 2018 – Millennial Gaming Speak – has been incorporated into this here site. Hosted by myself and my long-time podcast partner in crime, Logan Moore, we had a (mostly) weekly show. It’d eventually go on to fold into Model Citizens Media, a podcast network startup we created with Michael Ruiz and Mario Rivera. The whole thing would shut down in 2018.

When it did, Logan and I stopped paying Soundcloud to host our show. That turned our feed from unlimited episodes to just three being available. It’s been that way since the summer of 2018, just over three years. And just like Behind the Pixel, I’ve never liked that everything essentially vanished when we flipped the switch. I’ve always wanted to revive the feed so that all our episodes could be available again.

When figuring out the archive situation for my own writing, I began thinking about possible solutions to bringing back Millennial Gaming Speak. I could just pay Soundcloud, but that’d cost over $100 a year. I want the show back, but I am not willing to pay that much for an inactive feed. Then it hit me one morning. Why not try Anchor?

Anchor is a podcast hosting provider by Spotify. Totally free way to upload and share your show. I thought I could go through the effort of manually restoring the show in a new feed. Free, but time consuming is a trade I am willing to make.

Turns out, I didn’t even have to do that. Anchor offers a way to import a show from another service and redirect the RSS feed so subscribers don’t miss a beat. All I needed to do was reactivate our premium Soundcloud account to bring the episodes back to life, then follow the import instructions on Anchor. Once everything was properly migrated, I could cancel Soundcloud.

The import was mostly smooth. Only one episode has an issue due to unsupported characters in the title or description. Once I fixed the issue, Anchor gave no indication of progress or reattempting to import that one episode. Eventually, I gave up and removed it from Anchor’s import progress and added it manually.

That’s when I learned I could back date an upload. This allowed me to go back and add episodes 3-7, which were removed from Soundcloud in our earliest days due to an upload limit. Unfortunately, episodes 1 and 2 seem to be lost forever. I was a dumb dumb and deleted my end of the audio recording. Neither of us can find the merged episodes.

I also had some issues with the art. Apple Podcast still had our old art. For a brief moment during the transition, we had some pretty flowers while I tried uploading rescaled artwork.

Other than that, the transition to Anchor was smooth. I then went into the CMS of Max Frequency and created backdated posts for each episode. Now that was manual. I added an embedded player because Anchor does not seem to provide a direct link to the audio files. I prefer to link to the audio and let your browser handle providing the player. It’s less bloated and faster. Then I added links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, and YouTube (where applicable). Below those options is where I placed the show notes. I preserved as much of the original content as I could (i.e. wanted to). I fixed my Twitter handle, corrected the “é” in Pokémon, etc.

Bringing Millennial Gaming Speak to my site also helped me figure out exactly how I wanted to redesign my Podcasts page. Using the columns blocks in WordPress, I have the show art on the left and the description on the right, just how I wanted it. I also totally took Relay FM’s verbiage choice with “retired” to list inactive shows.

I feel proud that MGS is back out there for people to stumble across. Manually entering the episodes into the CMS took me down memory lane a bit. We had four years of E3 predictions. Some episode descriptions show how excited Logan was for Battlefront II and Mass Effect: Andromeda. There’s the solo episode I did previewing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End based only on what I had seen and read because I was that excited. The only other game I did that for at the time was God of War: Ascension. It’s all searchable now too, so I can find, relisten, and link to these hot takes in our earlier years of covering video games.

Our 100th episode is still one of my favorite productions I’ve ever been a part of. It was all Logan’s idea. We invited eight guests on in chunks to share their stories on how video games have impacted their life. These guests would go on to become some dear friends and partners in my life. Millennial Gaming Speak reconnected me with a childhood friend and introduced me to new friends. I truly can’t imagine my life without Logan in it and this podcast captures the first four years of our friendship as we learned about this job we so passionately wanted to do (which Logan does to this day!). It’s a part of our legacy and I am happy to give it back to anyone who would like to listen.