The following instructions define how to go about recording, editing, and uploading a priest or deacon’s Sunday homilies in the form of a podcast. This blog entry will also show how this process can be automated to where:
- the podcast may be automatically displayed and playable on the parish website
- the podcast may be subscribed to via iTunes or RSS feed
- people may subscribe to the podcast by email, so they are notified with an email when a new episode (i.e., homily) is available for listening
All of the above in one blog entry! Ready? Set… Go!
Step 1: Use an Audio Recorder
Here’s a good one that’s very affordable off of Amazon:
Olympus WS-600S Digital Voice Recorder 142610 (Silver)
Place this recorder on the ambo and hit “record” just before you begin and “stop” when you are finished.
If you’d like better audio quality, attach a wired lavalier to the input in the recorder and wear the recorder, just as you wear the lavalier for the sound system. Here’s a good one that fits the Olympus recorder:
Olympus ME-15 Microphone
Or, you can hook your audio recorder directly into your church’s audio system, if it has an audio output. In that case, you’ll need someone to hit ‘record’ and ‘stop’ for you.
Step 2: Transfer the file and edit it
By using a simple USB connection, you can transfer the audio file from the recorder to your desktop computer. Then, you can edit it with some audio editing software. The main reason you may need to edit it would be to remove any unwanted audio from the beginning or end of the recording. Be sure to save, publish, or export it as an MP3 file on your computer. For example: myhomily.mp3
For free audio editing software, I recommend:
Step 3: Sign up for an account with Liberated Syndication
Go to http://libsyn.com and sign up for the “Libsyn Classic 50 + stats – $7.00/month” plan. When you are signing up, you will be asked to provide a “Show Slug.” This is part of the URL or link to your podcast. I recommend using your name. For example: frjonathan
Step 4: Publish your homily to Libsyn.com
Once you log into http://libsyn.com, click the “Publish” button. Enter a title and short description. Upload your file. Click the green “Publish” button.
Once the file has been published, it is now accessible at http://yourname.libsyn.com and the RSS feed to your podcast is http://yourname.libsyn.com/rss
(To learn about what an RSS feed is, watch this video or read this Wikipedia entry)
Step 5: Set up the widget on your website
Now, we’ll embed the widget on your parish website, which will automatically pull in your podcast episodes from your RSS feed and allow the user to listen to your homilies directly on your parish website! The best part about this is that it is automatic. You never have to update your website after you get it set up.
Here’s the embed code, which you may copy/paste:
<div id="mediaspace" style="border: 1px solid black; width: 620px;">
This text will be replaced</div>
var so =
Simply embed the above code upon whatever webpage you would like for the player to appear. Be sure to change yourname to the slug you picked in step 2 above.
Also, note that, in the embed code above, http://saccatholic.com/assets/swfobject.js and http://saccatholic.com/assets/player.swf are assets hosted at saccatholic.com. You may wish to download these two files and place them your web server. If you do, be sure to change the URLs to reflect the change. For example: http://yourdomain/foldername/swfobject.js or player.swf
The player will end up looking something like this:
If you would like to see an example of the above player in action, visit this link.
Step 6: Submit your podcast to iTunes
Many people search for and download podcasts from Apple’s iTunes library. They do this at iTunes.com (For an example, click here) or through the iTunes app on their Mac, PC, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, etc.
To submit your podcast to iTunes, first make sure that iTunes is installed on your computer. You can get it at iTunes.com.
- Launch iTunes.
- In the left navigation column, click on iTunes Store to open the store.
- Once the store loads, click on Podcasts along the top navigation bar to go to the Podcasts page.
- In the right column of the Podcasts page, click on the Submit a Podcast link.
- Follow the instructions on the Submit a Podcast page.
Step 7: Setup email subscription through Feedburner
Google’s Feedburner service allows for free email subscription to any RSS feed.
- Create a free Feedburner account at Google.com/Feedburner and log in.
- Enter your RSS feed link and click the “Next” button like this:
- Keep hitting the “Next” buttons to advance through various screens until you reach a success message like this:
- Click the “Publicize” tab.
- Click the “Email Subscriptions” link.
- Click the “Activate” button.
- Follow the detailed instructions you are presented with!
Those instructions in Step #7 above will show you how to embed an email subscription widget in your parish website so visitors can easily give their email address and click a “subscribe” button to get on the email notification list. You will also be given a link that you can email folks, which when clicked upon, brings you to the same email subscription form.
Step 8: Get the Word Out!
Last, but not least… tell anyone and everyone about your new podcast! Toot your horn and let folks know they can listen to it on the website, subscribe by RSS feed or email, and even find it and listen to it through iTunes.
Finally, pour yourself a drink to celebrate your accomplishment in getting Jesus’ Word out the world.