Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Putting Sermons Online?

I know I don’t have a large readership for this blog—it isn’t really geared toward anyone but myself—but I’ve seen people here from time to time, so I’ll throw this out there: Does anyone have any experience putting sermons online? I’m thinking that it would be a good idea to start putting my pastor’s sermons online, and I’m wondering where to start. In terms of putting up a transcript, that wouldn’t be a problem, I could just start a blog and type it all in, but I’m wondering about putting up the audio files, too.

I guess this is very much like a “podcast,” so if people have experience with that, too, any advice would help. But really, all I’d want is a place where the audio files could go, in conjunction with the blog. (Regardless of what medium I eventually decide on, I’ll still want a text transcript for people to read.) What I’d love is an audio equivalent of YouTube; someplace where I could upload my audio files, and then, if at all possible, have a player that I could embed in the blog posting with the transcript, so the reader could click Play, to hear it. But I’m not just looking for features; I’m also looking for a reliable service, that I can figure will be around for a while. If you want to upload video, YouTube is the hands-down winner, but if you want to upload audio, where do you go?

Worse-case scenario is that I’d have to get a web hosting service with a lot of storage space, and just store the audio files there. But even when you use MP3, my pastor’s sermons are forty-five to sixty minutes, and a sixty minute sermon takes up a lot of space. (I think the sound files we’re capturing are about 40MB, if I remember correctly.) I’d be in a constant cycle of running out of space and having to upgrade my account, and running out of space again, etc. YouTube has upload limits (I think), meaning that you can only upload a certain amount per day or per month or whatever, but once you’ve uploaded something, it’s there for good. You’ll never have to think about deleting it, to make more room on the server.

As an aside, someone had suggested simply creating a video, using the audio—i.e. use the audio file from the sermon, and create a movie with a still picture and the audio, and upload that to YouTube. But YouTube limits you to ten minutes for a video, so for my pastor’s sixty minute sermons, it would mean I’d have to break each one into six pieces. That’s kind of unwieldy.

If anyone has any thoughts, feel free to comment here, and let me know.

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