Many churches are sharing audio files online through their websites or other Web presence of sermons, Bible studies, presentations, retreats and workshops as a part of their Web ministry. While there are many advanced details to recording, editing and posting quality audio files to your site or the Internet, we will share the basics here and then point you to some other websites for more information.
SHARING AUDIO FILES
First, you need a digital recording of the audio you want to share. Most audio files are in one of these formats: .aiff, .avi, .mid, .mp3, .ram, .wav, .wma. Depending upon the file format you share and how you share it online, people may need to have a specific media player installed on their computers to hear the file.
If you are creating an audio recording from scratch with your computer, you will need a microphone and software. Windows PCs come with the Sound Recorder program already installed. It is an easy-to-use program that allows you to record short sound clips. You can purchase a microphone from any office or electronics store for less than $100. Record your audio clip, and save it in an appropriate file format for sharing online.
Next, be sure you edit the audio file to remove any unnecessary portions so the clip is exactly what you want to share. No one wants to hear “dead air” while the pastor gets into position or clears his throat before delivering the sermon. Keep in mind that most free online audio sharing services have a limit on the file size or length (usually 10 minutes or 10 MB), so chunking your audio clips into smaller bites is a good idea. Plus, most people will not want to listen to something that's much longer than 10 minutes at one time. You may want to make the file downloadable or delivered as a podcast for offline listening. To learn more about how to podcast, see the link below.
For more robust audio recording and editing software programs, consider one of these free, Open Source options:
When you’re ready to start sharing audio files, you can post them directly to your website or other Web presence and/or to a number of audio sharing sites, such as:
Note: Many popular video sharing sites also accept audio file sharing, too. See the Video Sharing link below for more information.
Finally, be sure you follow copyright guidelines, especially regarding recorded music. Most music used in worship is copyrighted; and while churches can use this music in live worship with the CCLI license, these cannot be used legally as online recordings without additional licensing and permissions. It’s always a good idea to check with the copyright holder first before posting audio of music performed in worship or other church events. When you post these recording with proper permission, be sure to state that with your posting.
Learn more about audio sharing:
How to Prepare and Share Audio Online (March 2, 2010)