Welcome!
The Central Midwest District UUA merged in 2013 with the Districts of Heartland and Prairie Star to form the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
This site is for archival information only. For the latest events and news, please go to MidAmericaUUA.org.

Podcasts and audio and video, oh my!

Tech Talk!

We’ve been working on our podcasts page. Many congregations around our District are already podcasting and there are several ways to go about it. CMwD chose to use Libsyn.com, a podcasting subscription service. One advantage is the storage of the media files on a server apart from the main web site. Cost of a subscription for space on Libsyn is reasonable.

CMwD podcasts can be found at http://cmwduua.libsyn.com. We’re also using a free audio editing tool called Audacity.

Some things we’ve learned:

  1. IMAGES. When uploading a file to Libsyn, there is no way to resize images, so you have to do that before you upload them. I’d uploaded a large logo which made the whole paragraph hang off the side of the column. Not a great look, so I had to go back and fix that.
  2. AUDIO FILE SIZE. At one point we had a 66 MB mp3 file that wasn’t uploading. It had been recorded in 192 kbps Stereo. I tried using Audacity to reduce the file size and couldn’t quite get that to work. I later stumbled upon the “Convert Media Format” feature in RealPlayer Plus. That was able to take our audio recording down to 32 Kbps Mono and under 17 MB file size. It uploaded fine and away we went. I understand that a newer version of Audacity will have the ability to save compressed files. In the meantime, David has figured out how to make the original recording in Mono. He’s going to post separately on that process.
  3. PLAYING FILES ON YOUR SITE. We happen to be using a Joomla Content Management System on our website. I was able to install a flash player plug-in for viewing of video within a page on our site, and it allows remote files. So rather than having the player try and find a file on our server, it refers to the URL of the audio or video file where it’s stored on the Libsyn site. That way rather than having to download the file prior to viewing, it streams directly from the web page. Here’s an example: http://tinyurl.com/GA2008.

So far, so good. There’s always something new to learn!

Gretchen, CMwD communications coordinator