June 27, 2006

Podcasting sermons

Dan Bryant, a Disciple pastor in Eugene, Oregon, recently e-mailed a question about the Living Water site. Rather than answer him individually, I am posting the answer here. Dan writes:
I am exploring podcasting and found yours. Nicely done! Can you tell me a little about your experience with it, how much effort it takes, how useful it is, software you use, etc.?

Dan, start with my post explaining the simple technology behind how we publish the Living Water podcast on the web. Next, take a look at the post where I talk about the process of getting listed in the iTunes Music Store podcast directory.

Now, all of the above assumes you can create MP3 files of your sermons. At Living Water I do that by recording the service live off the house mixer, through a DBX 166 compressor, and then to a Tascam CD recorder. After the service, I use FreeRip to rip the sermon track to WAV. Then I use my 5 year-old copy of Cool Edit 2000 to trim it, adjust levels, and save it out as an MP3. Finally, I use MP3tag to fill in the metadata for the MP3 file. Yes, that is quite a few steps. None of the steps are particularly difficult, but it's a lot of fiddling around.

Looking for a simpler way? Try Sermons Online. I haven't used it, but my fellow Appian Way blogger, Chuck Russell, highly recommends it.

As to whether it is useful, we are excited that we have many people across the country and around the world downloading our sermon podcast. In fact, our weekly podcast downloads exceed our average worship attendance. A statistic like that will really make you take notice.

Thanks for the question, Brian. And happy podcasting!

4 comments:

Jim Walton said...

Hey Clif, I just got an iPod last weekend and have been looking for podcasts. I didn't think of Living Water, I should have known! :) I can't wait to listen.

By the way, I should have some stuff for you in the next few days. I'm working to make some progress, finally.

Enjoy your trip, sounds like fun.

Dan Bryant said...

Thanks Cliff for your notes. As to creating MP3 files, we have a simpler solution. We hook up a PowerBook to one of the out ports on our Heath Allen powered mixer. No need for any extra device, the line in audio port on the PowerBook works great. We record the service using Amadeus, a $30 shareware that does a great job. It can record in several formats including MP3. You can split the recording on the fly by just hitting the tab key, say before a song or sermon, or make the splits later. I then import the individual MP3 files into iTunes and burn one disk of just the music for the music team and one of my sermon for my archive. When folks ask for a sermon, we just burn a fresh CD from iTunes. So making the leap now to podcasting should not be too difficult. We'll probably use Garage Band (free with every Mac) to do any editing.

john s. said...

We do our podcast similar to Dan, but I use my Dell notebook. I hook up from the Tape Out RCA plugs on the back of our Peavy mixer and plug into the mic/line in jack on the notebook. I use Audacity, which is an open source / freeware program that enables audio recording and editing. There is an mp3 encoder that can be downloaded and used with Audacity, and Audacity does the tags directly.

Then it is just a matter of uploading the sermon mp3 to the web, and creating the rss file for the podcast.

Clif Guy said...

Thanks for the tip. I think I'll try Audacity because I keep hearing good things about it.