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Chapter 15: Broadcasting Your Church Service on Internet Radio

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Church Worker Handbook--What You Didn't Learn in Bible College and Seminary

Outline of the Sequence of Events for Creating an Internet Radio Broadcast of Your Church Service

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© 1996, 2000, 2003, 2012 G. Edwin Lint

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

 

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You may be asking, "Why should our church fool around with Internet radio? Here are a few reasons:

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This chapter is based on your prior knowledge of basic routines involving your church's sound system and broadcasting over standard AM or FM radio stations. If you lack knowledge in either of these areas, return to these chapters to refresh your information:

5. Shopping For and Using a Microcomputer
8: Using Mikes and Using a Sound System
9. Making a Broadcast-Quality Recording of Your Church Service

Outline of the Sequence of Events for Creating an Internet Radio Broadcast of Your Church Service

Warnings

Before you get started with this project, make you sure you have the full approval of your pastor and the church board.

This chapter is not intended to replace the operating instructions provided by your equipment and software manufacturers. This chapter should be reviewed by a person that is well versed in Internet Radio procedures as well as the sound person (or committee) to assure that it is consistent with your church's equipment and policies. If this material is outdated or incorrect regarding the equipment and software your church is using, this chapter should yield in every instance.

This chapter was originally written for use with the MusicMatch Juke Box software. However, MusicMatch has been taken over by Yahoo Juke Box. As of this date, July 15, 2007, you are still able to download the original MusicMatch Juke Box. Here is a download site you can try: Download MMJB

I have not used this version of MMJB so you are on your own.

Or, you can use any mp3 recorder that has the features you need as noted in this chapter

 

Desktop or Online

With hot links to free software
1
Online
Download a free copy of the MP3 player of your choice for test purposes

2

Online

 

Set up your mp3 recorder for recording an MP3 copy of a cassette recording of your church service.

3

Online

Apply for and create a radio station for your church at the on-line Live365.Com radio server.

4

Online

Download a free copy of 365Easyloader, the software needed to upload an MP3 file to your radio server.

5

Church

Make a broadcast-quality recording of your church service on cassette or reel-to-reel tape  as detailed in Chapter 10 of the Church Workers Handbook. Or use previously-recorded tapes if they are of broadcast quality..

6

Desktop

MusicMatch Juke Box or equal to encode [record] your prerecorded church service as an MP3 file at the appropriate kbps bitrate.  This will be saved to the hard drive of your computer.  We suggest a hard drive of at least 20 gbs so you won’t soon run out of space.

7

Online

Use 365Easloader to upload your church service’s new MP3 file, using the appropriate bitrate, and correct user name and password for your new radio station.

8

Online

Add your new church service MP3 file to your play list; create one if one does not already exist.

9

Online

Navigate around your radio station to do such maintenance items as add and delete MP3 files from your playlist, save a changed playlist, start and stop broadcast.

10   

Online

Your church service may now be heard around the world where there is Internet access by everyone that has a computer, a modem that accepts the bitrate of your broadcast, and an MP3 player. Live365 provides a free player during a first-time listener's setup. Or any player such as RealAudio, Winamp, or SoundJam may be used.  Until you record and upload more services, this one service will play all day, every day.

11

Everywhere

Publicize your new radio station, and the link to your broadcast, everywhere.  Use the techniques outlined in Chapter 11 about publishing on the web.

12

 

Next week, repeat steps 5, 6, 7, and 8

13

 

If you already have a library of recorded church services, use these tapes to repeat steps 5, 6, 7, and 8 until your 100 mgs of storage is full.

14

Online

After your 100 megs of storage is full, you may delete the oldest church service in your MP3 library to make room for newer church services.

Sequence of Events for Creating an Internet Radio Broadcast of Your Church Service

1.     Download a free copy of the MP3 Player365

2. Apply for and create a radio station for your church at the on-line Live365.Com radio server. You will be asked to fill out a simple form, where you will select a name for your program and a name for the DJ. Here is an example: NazareneWorship, Pastor_Judy_Carney

Of course, you will be asked to give a credit card for paying for your new Internet radio station. The cost begins at $9.95 a month when you pay annually.

The URL below will take you to a page where you can search for Broadcast Packages, Features, Costs,

http://www.live365.com/index.live

When you sign up for a broadcast, you will be asked to create a password. Something like: pilotpttx

[You Nazarenes may recognize this as Pilot Point, Texas!] Make sure you write it down and remember where you wrote it.

You will also need to select the target bit rate for your audience, based on the speed of the modem and the size of the MP3 files you want to create and store. It is my opinion that 16 kpbs/28K modem speed is about right for an analog recording of a church service. This is considered AM radio quality. Also, you probably want to go with mono instead of stereo, especially if your church sound board is not set up for stereo. Stereo also makes MP3 files that are much larger than mono

Before you broadcast, you will need to create a play list. Your play list will appear on the screen when Live365 is playing your program, so be a little more informative. Example: Morning Worship from Church of the Nazarene

3.     Download a your favorite mp3 recorder, the software needed to copy a regular analog cassette tape of your church service to digital MP3 format.

Set these as follows:

Custom Quality:  Drag the slider to 32 kbps [if you are broadcasting for 56K modems]

Recording Source: Set drop down box to Line In

CD Recording Mode:  Analog, if you are using a conventional analog cassette recorder

Click the Tracks Directory button. Find the scroll button [square button with three dots ... to the right of the Directory for New Songs field. Scroll to the new folder you have created to store your MP3 files.

My New Tracks directory is:

C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\Up radio

4.     Prepare the recorder for recording a copy of your church service cassette in MP3 format:

·        Use a regular patch cord with an RCA plug on one end and a mini-plug on the other end to connect the Line Out jack of your cassette recorder to the Line-In jack of your computer. Consult your computer's manual if you're not sure where the Line-in jack is located.

·        Make a test copy from the cassette to your computer. 

·        Test the test copy with your computer’s MP3 player.  As a rule, if you double-click the test MP3 file, it should play via your computer’s mp3 software.  If it does not, trouble shoot by reviewing the steps thus far.

On my computer, I had trouble finding the proper Line-In jack in the back of the tower so I could make a recording from my cassette recorder to the computer. When I got the wrong jack by accident, my MP3 recording were blank until I found the right jack.

5.     With the recorder on the screen, click the refresh button to clear any previous titles

These instructions and examples will be for making an analog recording with a cassette or reel to reel recorder. If your church service is recorded on a CD, treat your recording as you would any other digital CD.

  1. Click the Options button at the top of the recorder screen. Select Settings, and then the Recorder tab.

  2. Set the Custom Quality as MP3 CBR with your choice of kbps. Set Recording Source as Line In. Set CD Mode as Analog.

  3. In the main Recorder window, you will see the words Artist and Album. Click Artist and it will be selected. While it is selected, type First Baptist Church. Click Album and type Morning Worship: 10:30 A.M.

  4. Click in the title field and the following text will be selected: Edit track name here before beginning. Type
    April 15, 2004

    Check the Record level, especially if the playback level is not loud enough.
    Here's how to check the Record level


    Double-click the speaker icon in the task bar. A single click brings up a Volume slider and mute button. A second click brings up the Master Volume control panel. Select Options>Properties. In the Properties dialog box, click the Recording button and in the window, check the functions you plan to use. Of course, you will want to click LINE IN. Click OK. Now you will see a Recording Control Panel for your selected functions. Adjust the sliders to suit and make sure the needed function is checked at the bottom of the panel. The LINE IN volume level should not be above 25% of maximum to start.


5. Cue the cassette recording to the beginning of sound.

6. Poise the mouse button right on the recorder’s REC button.  As soon as you hear sound from the cassette, click REC and the recording will start on the computer.

7. It will be best to make a continuous recording on the computer of the entire service.  If you need to change or reverse tapes, do so as quickly as possible and do not stop the computer recorder.  If you stop the recorder, you will create another MP3 recording.  Then you will need to assure that part 2 always follows part 1 in the Live365.com play list.  To put it mildly, this will be a nuisance!

8. Download a free copy of 365Easyloader Use the EasyLoader to upload your new MP3 file to Live365.com

If you have a cable or DSL connection, your upload process will be fairly fast. However, if you have a dial-up connection and 57K modem, you may need to be on line quite a while to upload one 90-minute church service. Be sure you have a phone that someone will not be using during this time and that your ISP has a local access number.

You will need the following information to upload an MP3 file:

9. Add your new church service MP3 file to your play list; create one if one does not already exist.

Navigating Around Your Radio Station in order to do maintenance

  1. Tune to your station just as any listener would do. Here's a sample URL: http://www.live365.com/stations/64768

  2. Log in with your user name and password. Click the Remember me box, to make it easier to log in again.

  3. Click on the Broadcast button

    Click on the Tabs They will give you full access to the various functions you need to perform to maintain your station.

9. Click the Broadcast and then the Control Tabs to do the following.:

10. Next week, repeat the process until your 100 megs of storage is full. Then each week, delete the oldest service from your play list to make room for the newest one.

11. Publicize your broadcast near and far.

Your Internet radio station is just like any other URL on the Internet: if you don't publicize, no one will know about it. And if no one knows about it, no one will listen.

At first, your most likely listeners will be near: shut-ins, kids from your church that are away at college, missionaries your church may support, and anyone else that may already have an interest in your church. To publicize your broadcast to such persons, click the Tell Your Friends about Your Station icon. This is a yellow envelope down near the bottom of the broadcast page, after you log in. When you click this button, you will get an e-mail message that includes your broadcast URL. It will look something like this:

Check out one my radio station at
http://www.live365.com/stations/83339
It's an online radio station on Live365.com. Just click on the link to listen.

Make sure you publicize your radio broadcast on your church web page. Load a clickable icon with your program's URL. Then all a prospective listener needs to do is click on your "broadcast" icon.

Also, you will want to include your radio URL in all the church e-mail signatures. In other words, include your station URL on everything you publish, digitally as well as in hard copy.

Later, your listeners may be far: Visit this link to learn more on how to publicize any Internet web site, including Internet Radio Stations.

This chapter of Church Workers Handbook was written when Internet Radio was in its infancy. My first Internet broadcast went out April 15, 2000 and this is being written August 12, 2000 and updated April 29, 2006. By the time you read this, Internet Radio may be far more advanced than this chapter covers.

Glossary of Terms
If you click the link above, you will go to the Live365.Com glossary. Or, you can scroll down and read the glossary I have prepared for this page.

The terms in this list pertain specifically to Internet Radio broadcasting.  If you don't understand terms that relate to your church's sound system or traditional AM or FM broadcasting, return to those chapters for review.  Computer terms will not be included unless they have a specific application to Internet Radio.  If you need to review computer terms, return to Chapter 5. Shopping For and Using a Microcomputer

Convert. EasyLoader has a setting that makes it possible to change an MP3 file from one kbps to another.

EasyLoader A Live365.Com utility that uploads MP3 files from a computer's hard drive to Live365.Com Once such MP3 files have been uploaded, they are stored in your MP3 Library on Live365.Com and need no longer be stored on your computer's hard drive.

Internet Radio  Internet radio is based on the concept of streaming audio. An Internet  radio server (such as Live365.Com) sends out a stream of audio signals in the form of MP3 files over the phone lines, with each stream, or station, having a specific [and usually long] URL. Those who want to listen to a specific program, set their web browsers to the URL of the radio station they want to hear. The browser then directs the stream of audio to an MP3 player inside the computer, such as Winamp [for Windows] or SoundJam [for Windows or Macintosh]. The computer then plays the incoming stream of audio signals through its sound board and speaker system.

KBPS.  [Kilobits per second] This is the speed  at which MP3 files travel along the phone lines.  This speed is set when the file is created by the mp3 recorder.   It can also be converted when the MP3 file is uploaded by EasyLoader. The higher modem speed required to play your music, the higher the kbps rating.  For example, a 56K file is broadcast at 32kpbs.   A 28K file is broadcast at 16kbps. We have found that analog recordings from a cassette sound good when processed at 32K [16kbps].  This makes your broadcast available for more listeners.  In addition, an hour-long  28K file [16 kbps] takes up less storage space on the radio server than a 56K file [16 kbps].  Warning:  the speed at which the file is recorded by a digital MP3 recorder and uploaded must be the same in order for the broadcast to take place properly.

Live365.Com MP3 Library.  The place on the Live365.Com  server where your MP3 files are stored.  You may store up to 365 mgs of MP3 files.

Live365.Com Play List.  This is the order in which you want your MP3 files to be played.  You may not want them to be played in the order they have been uploaded into your MP3 Library.  For church service broadcasting, your play list will probably be in chronological order, with the last uploaded being the first played etc.

MP3  The type of audio file that is required to send sound along a phone line to a computer that is equipped with an MP3 tuner such as Winamp, or SoundJam. [This is the type of file we will use in this chapter for broadcasting a church service.]

mp3 recorder   A computer application that will enable you to create MP3 files from the line output of a cassette recorder.  This is the use we will make of the recorder when broadcasting your church services.

Radio Server  A website, such as Live365.com, that hosts radio programs and broadcasts audio streams on a specific URL.

Streaming Audio A continuous flow of audio signals in the form of an MP3 file.

URL  Universal Resource Locator.  This term applies to radio servers, such as Live365.Com as well as to all other web hosts.

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