::: faq

Q: Your news section hasn't been updated in a long time. Are you still around?
A: If are reading this then the lights are on which means that the bills have been paid. To see when we last posted a new recording you can click on the get this file link on the topmost item on the right hand side of the page and check the date it was posted to the site

Q: What is this page all about?
A: www.xa-speakers.org is a collection of recordings from speakermeetings, conventions and workshops of 12-step fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon Family Groups and Narcotics Anonymous.

Q: Who runs the page?
A: Sober drunks from all around the world volunteer their time to keep the site current and the speakers updated regularly.

Q: Why "xa"?
A: Although we all identify as alcoholics most of us also have other addictions and complexes. That's why we wanted to set up a page with a collection of speakertapes that was open for all; alcoholics, drug addicts, sex and love addicts, overeaters and al-anons to name a few.

Q: I'm having trouble downloading. Is the site down?
A: The backend system of the site is very old and we're working on a new version that properly works in all browsers. In the meantime you might have better results by using another browser or by right-clicking the Download button and choosing Save Target As…/Download Link to Disk, etc.

Q: Is this a for-profit endeavour?
A: No. Absolutely not. Every speakertape we get is put online as a free download. There is no staff, no ads and no data-mining. Everyone one works on a volunteer basis. For us it's a way we have of paying our debt to the fellowships we are members of.

Q: I don't seem to be able to download files; they play from the browser window but I would like to save the files to disk and write them to CDs. How can I do that?
A: Right-click, or control-click if you are using a Macintosh, on the Download link and depending on your browser select "Save Target As:", "Download link to disk" etc.

Q: How is the page paid for? You must have some costs associated with running the page.
A: At the moment all the money required is coming out of our own pockets. That said, we are not entirely self-supporting as the electricity the computer uses is paid for by a local communications company. We plan on making the page self-supporting according to the 7th tradition of our fellowships but it will take time.

This was true in the early days of the site. We have since then started accepting donations through PayPal and later through Patreon. The funds are used to cover the costs associated with the site, including but not limited to:

  • Server hosting fees
  • Domain
  • Security service to mitigate against defacing. This is necessary because we have been hacked and have had to recover from the hack
  • Backup
  • Development of new features. This is on hold until we either collect a large sum of money or find a developer willing to do it for cheap

Q: Can I donate to the page?
A: For the first three years we didn't accept any donations. After getting a lot of emails from people who wanted to support us financially we have decided to to so. Please use the donate button on the front page. The funds will be used to cover any expenses we might incur, f.x. new server hardware, backup etc. If you have any thoughts or, better yet, experience in these matters please contact us.

Q: Can I tell others about you?
A: Yes, by all means. Please tell others about the site if you think it would help them. If you run a recovery related site or homepage you are more than welcome to link to us. Please do not link directly to the files since that is detrimental to our hosting requirements and a possible violation of the traditions. We cannot object to redistribution of the files since we don't have a copyright on any of the files. To be helpful is our only aim.

Q: Do you have tapes from the 2005 international [AA] convention?
A: No. These talks are © 2005 Sound Images & AA. We do not carry copyright material.

Q: We have a recovery related service and/or website that might be of interest to your users. Can you link back to us?
A: No. We have a policy of only linking back to each fellowship's service organization webpage, not to any other recovery related site. We do, however, link to a non-recovery related sites, such as Wikipedia and others we think might help our users jump a technological hurdle they might encounter with our site.

Q: I don't have CD writer. Can you send me CDs? Do you sell CDs?
A: No. We absolutely will not provide that service; many taping companies and institutions already provide this service.

Q: How fast can I download stuff?
A: In terms of raw download speed it'll vary. The server is on the Icelandic "backbone" (www.rix.is) and as such is theoretically operating at 100Mbps. To put that in perspective, a modem operates at 0.056Mbps. Download speeds of 600KBps are not uncommon.

Q: Where can I find your privacy policy?
A: You will find it at the bottom of the page This means that the only way we are able to keep the lights on is via donations.

Q: Why don't you publish the library as a podcast?
A: We carry recordings of speakers from all 12 step fellowships that have a world service organization. Currently we host recordings of speakers from 16 different fellowship.

The linear nature of podcasts would be a bad fit for us since all fellowships would be in the same linear feed, forcing the users would have to sort through and manually filter recordings based on the fellowship that they're trying to listen to. We don't do any editorial work on the recordings either so there wouldn't be any auditory cues in the beginning of each "episode" about the recording.

Were we to maintain a separate podcast stream for each fellowship, that would of course fix the aforementioned "finding and filtering problem", but we would still be left with the main problem with podcasts: an artificially high emphasis on the oldest and latest "episode" for each fellowship.

To put it differently: we think the site is more akin to an open library than to a radio station. We do know, however, that this would all be a lot easier to do with a proper xa-speakers.org app.

Q: Why isn't there an app?
A: UPDATE We are working on an app

A mobile app costs money to develop and we don't have the funds to go out an outright buy an app.

We do know that there are generic audio playing apps out there, but we have a few requirements:

  • The app must exist for both Android and iOS
  • The app must be free to download
  • The app must be the legal property of the xa-speakers.org legal entity so not to affiliate with an outside entity. Any code that must be developed can be open sourced as long as it doesn't refer to or mentions xa-speakers
  • The app must support downloading recordings from our server feed directly via a refresh function
  • The app must support playing a recording while the app is in the background; when it is not the foreground app
  • The app must support querying our back-end server for content so that we don't have to publish a new version of the app every time we post a new recording to the page
  • The app should allow the user to track how far they have gone into each recording they have downloaded allowing the user to resume a talk from where they left off
  • The app should have a function that gives the user an overview of all the recordings they have downloaded including a view of what recordings they have listened to
  • The app should allow the user to automatically download all new recordings that belong to given user-defined criteria (AA, Al-anon, NA, etc)
  • The app should allow the user to choose between downloading high or low-quality versions of the file

We have found a developer who is working on a mobile app for xa-speakers. This development takes time, especially since the low rate we had to offer him necessitates that he focus on other projects. To make things move faster you could consider becoming a patron on Patreon. All donations go towards keeping the lights on and money we have left over is put into the development of the app. What's left after the app is launched will be put towards development of version 2.0

Q: You're not posting nearly enough recordings from ____ and too many recordings from ____
A: While not a question, we understand your concern.

Please consider uploading recordings you think might be useful to others.

Q: Do you accept uploads?
A: Yes. Absolutely. If you have it, we want it. The only requirement for a speakertape is that it be in English and from a 12-step program that follows the twelve steps, traditions and concepts and has a world service organization. You can send us an MP3 file by using a file transfer service such as dropbox or Google Drive to send the MP3 file, along with a text file with a description of the recording to an email address you get by sending a message through our contact form.

Q: Why don't you allow uploading talks via the web site? Why all this Dropbox / Google Drive stuff?
A: We would love to be able to accept uploads via the webpage as most of the time is spent on managing the uploads. Behind each file you see posted to the site there is quite some work. The work starts out by us replying with boilerplate text on what information to include:

  • Speaker's first name
  • Speaker's last name initial
  • Speaker's city of residence
  • Speaker's state of residence
  • Venue city
  • Venue state
  • Topic, if any
  • Date of recording, using this format: December 26th 2021
While many uploads have this information attached, some don't provide it. And when they do provide it, it is in an email. And when they don't provide it, we have to figure it out via a search engine.

The obvious solution would have it be an upload form. Having the ability to accept uploads via the page would:

  • Allow us to automate the preparation of the recordings
  • Update the look and feel of the site
  • Allow the people uploading to track the state of their upload
  • Allow us to track the uploads we get to know who uploaded what so we can contact them to get the missing information
  • Create a back-end system that would allow us to have a mobile app for the content on the site
  • Have a searchable FAQ section, a privacy policy and the list goes on and on...

But to do that we need to update the system that powers the site. We are already done the easy part of the work:
  • The look and feel
  • Set up the fundamental web system, WordPress, complete with a FAQ section and all the modern things you have come to expect form a modern website
But the hard work remains, which mainly consists of setting up a WordPress plugin to handle the management of files and a permission system for managing the workflow from upload to labeling, to re-encoding and publishing the file. To do that we need to get a the attention of a professional developer and that takes money.
You can help by becoming a patron on Patreon or by sending a donation via the PayPal link

Q: What is your privacy policy?
A: You can our entire privacy policy by clicking the link in the site's footer, but in summary this is what we do:

  • We don't use any web cookies of any sort.
  • We anonymize all visitor IP addresses. This ensures that we have no way of knowing who downloaded what, and is also part of the reason why we will never be able to offer features such as "people who downloaded this also downloaded this other talk".
  • We do store what kind of browser people use to browse the site.
  • This means that we only know from what broad geographic region you're browsing the site from and what browser was used.
  • We never share any visitor logs with anyone.

Q: What are these numbers 24, 32, 64, 128 and 160 in the filenames?
A: The number represent the bitrate the file is encoded at. Generally, 128kbit and up is CD-quality audio while the smaller bitrate files are smaller downloads.

Q: Why MP3?
A: MP3 is cross platform. MP3 can be easily burned/written to an audio CD whereas other formats, such as RealAudio, cannot.

Q: "Yeah but RealAudio rocks!"
A: RealAudio is proprietary file-format. If we'd only make the hundreds of tapes we have in a proprietary file format we would have a LOT of work to do if and when the owner of the file-format went under. This is just one argument of many. If you want to debate this further, talk to your sponsor ;-)

Q: How do I write an audio CD?
A: We do not provide technical support. That said, you can use Nero Burning ROM (www.ahead.de) or EasyCD Creator (www.roxio.com) if you're on a PC. If you have an Apple Macintosh you can use programs such as Toast (www.roxio.com) or iTunes ( www.apple.com/itunes/). This list is not intended as an endorsement of these products, but rather as list of suggestions to get you started on your way.

Q: Yeah, but the CD burner burns everything just fine except MP3 files!
A: Check with your CD recorder's manufacturer and see if there's a firmware upgrade available for it.

Privacy policy
::: latest files
Jennifer D. from Charlotte, NC speaking at the Primary Purpose convention in Oslo, Norway
Quality: 32kbit
Larry T. from Bellflower, CA speaking Woodstock West in Los Angeles, CA
Quality: 32kbit
Ebby T. from Dallas, TX speaking at the San Jose conference
Quality: 32kbit
Adell S. from Sedona, AZ speaking at the Banff Roundup in Banff, Alberta, Canada
Quality: 32kbit
Bill C. from Ventura, CA sharing his story at the Stateline Retreat in Las Vegas, NV
Quality: 32kbit
Billy S. from Las Vegas, NV speaking at the 15th Annual Tri State Roundup in Laughlin, NV
Quality: 32kbit
Bud M. from Huntington, CA speaking at the Paramount Speaker Group in Paramount CA
Quality: 32kbit
Bob D. from Las Vegas, NV speaking at the Paramount Speaker Group in Paramount CA
Quality: 32kbit
Jennifer D. from Charlotte, NC speaking at the Primary Purpose convention in Oslo, Norway
Quality: 32kbit
Mike P. from Madison, WI, Alison O. from Madison, WI and Martha G. from New Orleans, LA speaking on the topic of Sex & Relationships in Recovery at the 2022 Annual National Conference of Drug Addicts Anonymous in Milwaukee, WI
Quality: 96kbit