How to add a sound file to our church website?
April 16, 2009 9:01 AM   Subscribe

What's the easiest way to add a sound file to my church's Wordpress-based website?

I have Sunday's Easter service (approx. 60 min.) on a CD, and I'd like to post it online so out-of-towners can access it. Our church website is built on Wordpress. We'd like to post the service (or at least the sermon portion) online, but this is completely new to me.

It doesn't necessarily have to reside on our website as long as we could link to it.

We use a blog theme from called Red Essence. My skill level is intermediate. I use Windows XP.

Any guidance would be appreciated.
posted by rdauphin to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't used it myself, but this Wordpress plug-in for podcasting should do what you need.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:11 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Z-share is free and will let you upload 500 MB anonymously and 1 GB is you register I've been using it to spread an mp3 of mine around.
posted by edbles at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2009

If you just want to put a song in a post, you could use Wordpress Audio Player. You install and activate it like any other plug-in. Once it's running, you can post a link to an mp3, and it will replace the link with a little audio player.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 10:25 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I said "song" but any audio will work the same way.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 10:26 AM on April 16, 2009

Well, there are a few considerations here, and all of them are technical to a degree. I will lay it out for you, and if it's outside your ability to do, you will probably have to find someone more technically inclined to handle it (surely someone else at your church could help).

First of all, it's on CD, which means you need to rip it and encode it, no matter what solution you go for. CDs contain raw PCM data, and an hour's worth of 2-channel audio is 600M, far too much to offer on a website. There is lots of free software that will do both ripping and encoding, and I hesitate to endorse any particular one because I personally use linux software. That said, I know for a fact iTunes does both, and is very straightforward to use. You can get it off the Apple website. It should auto-detect CD insertion and give you the option to rip the tracks. Someone more familiar with Windows software might have a better recommendation.

The second consideration is bandwidth and audio quality. If you plan on streaming this on the website, you need to know how much bandwidth you have available and take into account how many people might be streaming it at the same time. A good rule of thumb is that if it's all voice, you should use a very low bitrate (32-64) and use CBR (constant bitrate) instead of ABR/VBR (average/variable). This is to prevent bursts of bandwidth being necessary at more complicated portions, which you may not be able to provide. You need to lower the sample rate and use a lowpass filter at these very low bitrates or it will sound like crap. I am almost certain that iTunes doesn't give you this kind of control, so you will probably need WinLAME to make a second stream-friendly encoding. There are good tutorials on the web for doing this that you can find with a quick google search (e.g.)

If the above sounds too daunting, you should really avoid trying to stream it on the website and offer it as a download link. You will of course still benefit from making a low-quality version if you pay for bandwidth. This page seems to describe how to do that with WordPress. Good luck.
posted by cj_ at 2:21 PM on April 16, 2009

I take that back, iTunes importer does what you need. If you go the import settings, change the encoder from AAC to MP3, and select Custom bitrate. Put bitrate at 32, sample rate at 22.050, uncheck Variable Bit Rate, check "filter frequencies below 10Khz", and select Mono. This will give you a small, low-quality (sufficient for voice streaming, but not for music) MP3 file that you can upload to your hosting provider. You can then stream it with the audio player arcanecrowbar linked.
posted by cj_ at 2:44 PM on April 16, 2009

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