Thanks to Kev, for suggesting that it would be helpful if I did a quick overview of where we’re up to with course development, to help people who are choosing between Course 1 and Level 1 (or between going on to Course 2 or 3 and kicking off with Level 1).
In the long run, there’s no comparison - Level 1 not only gives you more immediately useful conversational material, it also leads into our (currently) unique accelerated listening exercises, and that process will continue with Level 2 (northern version currently coming to the end of the recording stage). I’m expecting people who’ve finished Level 1 and 2 to sound considerably more natural and idiomatic than people who’ve done Course 3 but haven’t spent much time using their Welsh.
You also need to consider timescales. If you’re expecting/aiming to get through a couple of sessions a week (or more), then the old Course 1/2/3 route currently has 95 half-hour(ish) sessions available (including vocab sessions).
Level 1 has 25 (northern) and 16 (southern) available as I write this. The next 25 (Level 2) will be available for northern in the coming two to three months - and Iestyn and Cat are hoping to start recording again in the near future, so the southern will probably get to the end of Level 1 fairly soon-ish.
By the time we have Level 1 and 2 available for north and south, and Level 3 well under way, we’ll be starting to think about downgrading the old material - at first, we’ll just tuck it away somewhere reasonably obvious while flagging up Level 1 for new learners more firmly - eventually, after several months of warning so that anyone who wants to can download, we’ll probably remove links to it from the site (because once the full ‘Levels’ are available, the old stuff would be an unhelpful distraction).
For now, though, your choice boils down to:
Start with Level 1, and go back to some Course 1/2/3 stuff if you run out of Level 1 material.
Start with Course 1, with a view to moving over to Level 1 once you’re happy that enough material has been published.
Neither of these options is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. You’ll be fine whichever way you go. If you’re in a hurry, and would be frustrated by running out of new material, go the old route for now - if you’re happy to switch back if you finish Level 1, then go for it (even if just for the huge extra value of the accelerated listening exercises).
Hope this is helpful