Uploading the Weekly Sermon
We create an audio recording of each week’s 10:45 a.m. service to put the sermon portion online for everyone to hear at their convenience.
This page describes the tools and methods we use for this weekly task.
Recording the Service
We record the service using a Sony voice recorder, which captures the audio on digital memory chips.
The recorder is connected to the Sanctuary sound system by a cable, which must be plugged into the red jack on the top of the recorder.
The recorder has enough memory to record multiple complete services, so you can just get the recording process started well before the service, and stop it anytime that’s convenient after the service. To start recording, make sure the cable is plugged into the red jack on the recorder, then look on the left edge of the recorder for a sliding switch marked “Hold <–> Power”. Slide it in the “Power” direction. The LCD on the front of the recorder should come on. Then press the “Rec/Pause” button on the front face of the recorder. It’s the button with the red dot.
After the service is over, press the stop button on the face of the unit, then slide that “Hold<–>Power” button towards “Power” again to turn it off.
Uploading the Recording
To upload the recording to a computer, power on the digital recorder. Then turn it over to see the “USB” slide switch on the bottom. Slide that switch over to the left, and you will see a USB plug emerge from the unit. Plug that into the USB connector on a computer, and then access the recorder like a USB memory stick. The recorder appears as two attached devices, one for the unit’s internal memory and one for an extra SD card that’s inside the unit.
The recordings are dated so you can figure out which one you want. They are typically stored in a folder called “Voice/FOLDER01″ but they could be stored in one of the other numbered folders. They could be on either of the attached devices. Copy the recording you want to your computer, and then email it to whoever’s posting the service to the website. Don’t forget to turn off the recorder.
Edit the Recording
Use Audacity to open the recording file. You see a pair of horizontal lines indicating the volume vertically and the time horizontally. There are two lines for the two channels of stereo recording, but the channels are identical because we record monophonically. You can tell at a glance which portions of the recording are loud and which are soft.
We put just the scripture reading and the sermon online, so you want to delete everything before and after them. Find the start of the scripture reading by clicking within the image and pressing the play button to see if you’ve found the right thing. Then “sweep” the mouse from that point to the start and hit the delete button to drop that part of the recording. Do the same for the part after the sermon.
Note that you can use the + and – buttons to zoom in or out on the recording. That helps you pick out exactly what you want to delete.
Once you’ve got just the scripture reading and sermon, select “File/Export as mp3″ to save the file in the .mp3 file that will go on the website. Name it according to the date of the service, using the format “yyyy-mm-dd.mp3″.
Uploading the Sermon to the Website
Putting the scripture readong sermon on the website involves these steps:
- Generate a .mp3 file.
- Upload the sermon to podbean.com, which hosts the audio recording.
- Create a post on our website that references the sermon on podbean.
You need the following to do this:
- A login ID on podbean.com (get this from the church webmasters).
- A login ID on the church website (ditto).
We store the audio itself on a website called podbean.com. Start out by logging into podbean.com. You will be in a screen titled “Dashboard”. Click on “Publish” in the upper left-hand corner. On the Publish screen, create a post describing the sermon. Follow this format to title the podcast: “<date> – <preacher’s name> – Sermon title”. For example, “February 19, 2012 – Chip Low – A Glimpse of God’s Mission”.
Recommended tags are “fpcy, First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, Chip Low, sermon, Christian”. (Substitute the name of the preacher for “Chip Low”.)
At the bottom of the screen, in the area labelled “Podcasting”, click on the “Browse” button and select the .mp3 file that you created according to the instructions given above. Then press the “Publish” button to publish it to the FPCY page on podbean.com. If you get a message that we’ve run out of room, you need to archive some old sermons, as described below.
The publish step will take some time while podbean uploads the .mp3 file.
Once the file is uploaded, click on the “View Site” button near the top of the screen. You’ll see the FPCY webpage on podbean. Verify that the post that you just created is at the top of the list.
Creating a Post on the Church Website
Go to the regular FPCY website, and (if not already logged in), press the “login” button at the bottom of the screen. Click on “Add New” under “Posts” near the top-left part of the screen. (If you see “Posts” but not the sub-entries under it, such as “Add New”, click on the downward-facing triangle to the right of “Posts”.) You will create a post with two players in it — one that works on older browsers, and one that works on Apple devices. (No one player works for all devices.)
Start by selecting the “Sermons” category on the right near the middle of the page. Then enter the page title in the Title area at the top. Please follow the format of this example for consistency: “April 24, 2011 – Chip Low – Let God Be God”. Substitute the correct date, the preacher’s name, and the sermon title.
Make sure you’re in “text” mode in the editor. Enter this text in the body of the post: “Click on the “right triangle” symbol in the box below to hear the sermon. If you see two audio player boxes, try either one to see which works for you.” Now click on the “HTML” tab at the text editing area in order to insert the code for the player.
Switch back to the FPCY podbean page, and select the “Embeddable Player” link for the current sermon. You’ll see this:
Click inside the area outlined with the red oval, above — the one for the first player. Now press “ctrl-a” to select all the text in this area, and “ctrl-c” to copy it. Now switch back to your new post on the FPCY website, and type “ctrl-v” to paste it into your the post. This places the HTML code for the player into your post. Unless you know HTML, it will look like a bunch of angle-bracket gibberish.
Podbean puts in a little advertisement for itself — one that we want to delete. To do that, scroll down to the bottom of the HTML and delete the text that is highlighted here:
Now add the following text after the </div>: “<p>Alternate player:</p>”. Switch back to the Podbean page. This time, copy the code for the “HTML5″ player, the one at the bottom. Switch back to the FPCY page and paste in the HTML5 player code at the bottom. Delete the two lines shown below:
Now press the “Preview” button (upper right-hand side of the page). Make sure it looks right before pressing “Publish” to actually publish it to the website.
If the church has reached its space quota on Podbean, you need to archive some old sermons. They will still be available, but not counted against our storage limit. To archive sermons, while on the “Publish” page, click on “Upload” in the top menu bar. You’ll see a screen that looks like this. Select the oldest sermons on the list, and press the “Archive” button on the right-hand side. Please archive multiple sermons until you get a message saying that we have exceeded our monthly archive limit.