Audio Streaming of Sermons, Presentations and Music
Principle Contributor: Bill Aumack
What is the best way to put a sermon or presentation online -- text or streaming audio?
There are two best ways:
- One is best for the person who wants to listen to or read the sermon/presentation.
- The other is the best for the person who is posting the sermon/presentation online.
Best For The Person Who Wants To Experience The Sermon or Presentation:
Text and Streaming Audio
When I'm online looking for a sermon or presentation on a particular topic, I prefer to have a text transcript available. It allows me to very quickly scan through the sermon/presentation and see if its the material I'm looking for. I can then print-out the transcript and take it away from the computer for further study, or save it to my memory storage for future reference. Also most people can read faster than a presenter can speak, so in our "don't have much time" generation a text version of a presentation can be a more efficient method of assimilating information. So I think there are several advantages to having available a text version of the sermon or presentation. However, unless your pastor or speaker is willing to completely type out the sermon/presentation, it can be difficult to produce and post a text version online. First the sermon/presentation would have to be recorded, and then perhaps need to be converted to a format that can be used with a Dictaphone or similar transcribing devise. Then someone would need to sit down and manually do the transcribing. There is technology available that can directly convert audio to a text document, but this computer-generated transcript would still need to be checked for abberations by the pastor or speaker. So again, unless your pastor or speaker completely types out their sermon/presentation, converting the message to text is a fairly daunting task.
Best For the Person Posting the Sermon or Presentation to the Website (You):
Streaming Audio Only
This option is usually fairly straightforward. First of all there are three common file formats used:
- Real Audio
MP3 Audio (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3)
A popular audio file format for the streaming of audio over the Internet. It is a digital audio encoding format that uses a form of lossy data compression. It is also a common audio format for consumer audio storage and the de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players. The MP3 file format was designed by engineers of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as part of its MPEG-1 standard. It has a filename extension of ".mp3".
AAC Advanced Audio Coding
Designed to be the successor of the popular MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates of streaming speed. Like MP3, it is a lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. It has been standardized as part of the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 specifications. AAC is also the default or standard audio format for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player and Playstation 3. It is supported on PlayStation Portable, Wii, Sony Walkman MP3 series and later, and on mobile phones made by Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and on Android-based devises. AAC filename extensions include the following: .aac; .mp4; .m4a; .m4b; .m4p; .m4r; .m4v; .3gp.
Streaming with Real Audio has been in decline in favor of the MP3 and AAC file formats. Real Audio files have an filename extension of ".ra", and sometimes ".ram".
All three file formats can be played by various free players, so the person listening to your sermon, presentation or music, will not have to pay to get a player. However, the person converting the audio recording files to one of the streaming audio compressed file formats may need to purchase some encoding software. Free encoding software is also available online.