I have been using Chinese Pod for about a year - I also studied with the Confucius Institute (Contemporary Chinese Textbooks). There is a good teaching objective with the latter program which would be useful to Chinese Pod. Each level has a fixed 'pool' of words - 325 for Newby level, 550 for Elementary level etc.
One of the problems I have found with Chinese Pod is that new words are continually introduced which are often not repeated in later lessons. when I try to include all the words in flash cards there are just too many to remember. If you constructed lessons for each level from a predetermined pool of words I believer that learning would be more productive.
One more comment - some spoken words in the flash cards are not congruent with the written word and hanzi.
Overall the program is useful and I will continued to use it.
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