Monday, February 12, 2007

How to Put Audio Files Online

I was asked how I put my sermons online. There are few ways to do this, but there are some basic steps that are part of this.

1. Getting your sermon onto your computer.
If you want to get your sermon onto the Internet, you need to get it into a digital format. How I do this is by using the audio from the digital video tapes we make of our services. We make these tapes because we also broadcast our services twice a month on the local cable access channel. This is a very easy way to do this as all one has to do it have a digital video camera, a firewire interface card, and a video editing program. When I capture video this way I can save it out with my video editing software as an mp3 file.

However, realizing that many people will not have this sort of equipment, another option is to hook a computer up to the sound system using an adapter cable that will allow you to plug it into the audio input that most computer sound cards have. If you already do audio tapes of the services, then a simple y-connector that will split off the signal that is going to the tape-deck will work with the correct cable to switch to the plug that will go into your computer. Then you will only need some software to capture the audio. Windows comes with software that does that, but I don't believe it is very good. Perhaps checking over at TUCOWS for audio software would be the place to start looking. There is probably something there that is free. The program I often hear mentioned in connection with Pod-casting is Audacity, which is a free audio editor and recorder program. The advantage to Audacity is it not only will allow you to record the audio, but to edit it and save it as an mp3 file.

2. Getting Your Sermon Online.
Again there are many ways to do this. What I do, since I have a broadband connection and Linux, is use the Edna mp3 streaming webserver. That allows me to simply save the sermon audio to the directory the mp3 files are included in, and they are online right away. However, many people will not have this option. It also has its drawbacks such as if I want to podcast, I would have to write up the podcast xml file myself every time I add a new sermon. For me that would two a week. More work than I want to do.

That leads to the other option. Free hosting on the web. I use this as well, but it also has its limitation. Usually there are limits on the number of files they will host free, and the quality of the audio is based on how they compress it. Having said that, the advantages are that they do the xml file for podcasting for you, so you can add it to the various pod-casting aggregators so more people may come to know about it.

The free service I use is Sermon Cloud. This is a free hosting site for sermons. Basically they provide space for one year (52) sermons, and then the oldest ones will be replaced by every one that is added after you reach that limit. When you upload the audio to their site they re-compress it to meet their standards, but the sound quality is still good.

As you can see, this is fairly simple to do, and only requires a little bit of computer knowledge. If there are additional questions, feel free to ask as I was putting this together quickly and may not have been as clear or complete as I would have liked.


Shawn Abigail said...

Thanks Jim. We record most sermons directly on an old PC. I don't know if we use Windows Media Encoder or some other program. I use Goldwave at home.

I'm doing something similar to your "Of First Importance" series. This Sunday morning will be the 6th message on Basic Theology (specifically a second message on principles of Bible Interpretation).

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