Our world is
about to change (again).
My first Podcast
In the same way
that radio changed our world, and television changed our world and
the Internet changed our world, our world is about to change again.
What is going to cause this change?
What is Podcasting? It is a new
technology--new enough that I had to teach the newest version of
this software how to spell the word--where content can be delivered
on a subscription basis. In a way, the first example of this was the
BLOG, which is a means by which you could sign up to have text
content delivered by way of Email.
The really interesting Podcasting in this era
is audio Podcasting. Video will soon follow. The process of
subscribing to and receiving the information is the same. You sign
up to some content deliverer and on a regular basis new content is
delivered to you. If you have an IPOD (you NEED an IPOD!) or,
presumably other MP3 player, you can have the content delivered
directly and automatically to your IPOD. If you don't yet know what
an MP3 player is, you might not be ready yet for Podcasting.
Here is an example. I have often said that the
best preacher I have ever enjoyed sitting under is Sam Shaw, now
pastor of Germantown Baptist in greater Memphis, TN. I have
occasionally gone online and listened to Sam's messages, but there
was no quick and easy way to take those messages with me so I could
listen to them on an airplane or while I am driving. Now there is. I
have subscribed to Germantown's Podcast and each week a new Sam Shaw
sermon gets delivered to my IPOD. Once you subscribe, it is
completely automatic. Best of all, it is free. The vast majority of
Podcasts are free, including the Josh Hunt Podcast.
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My dream is to
provide a monthly training Podcast that you can burn to CD and give
to your teachers as a training piece for them.
Where is this heading and why is it going to
be such a revolutionary change?
It is a pretty short trip to imagine the
future from here. Some day soon, we will all have a device sitting
on our TV that looks and works a little like a VCR on steroids. It
will have a hard drive, a DVD burner, and a Internet connection. The
interface will allow you to sign up for whatever subscriptions you
want. Perhaps you like watching old episodes of M.A.S.H. or you
would like to see old Leave it to Beaver re-runs. You will be able
to subscribe and define at what intervals you want the content
updated. You will tell the machine to keep so many episodes of Star
Trek and so many episodes of Friends. When you watch an episode, the
machine will go out and get a new one, leaving you with fresh
content all the time.
What would be really great is if they could
get a refrigerator that works like this, so that each time you used
some milk it was automatically replaced, but, alas, electronic
content is easier to replace than milk and vegetables.
This is not too different from the current
generation of Tivo and ReplayTV. The difference is, this devices are
limited to the content of broadcast, or cable TV. Podcasting has no
such limits. It could be a sermon, or a training piece, a movie, a
song, a concert, an old Billy Graham sermon, early James Dobson
radio broadcasts, or any other content that anyone creates.
We have moved from broadcasting to
narrowcasting. Narrowly casting whatever specialized content is
subscribed to by the individual. Thus, there will be a quick, easy,
and inexpensive way for anyone--including churches to deliver fresh
content on a subscription basis to anyone who desires to receive it.
You will soon have access, for example, to virtually any preacher
you care to hear, and hear their messages at any time that is
convenient to you.
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The state of things as they are
These are not all pipe dreams about a distant,
far-off technology. I listened to my friend Sam this week. There are
hundreds of churches that already have Podcasts set up. It is ready
for you to take advantage of today, and it is free.
You don't need an IPOD or any other equipment
or software to take advantage of this exciting technology. You can
download ITunes from www.apple.com
for free. Click on the button that says Music Store, then Podcasts.
Do a search for the word "church" or "sermon" and walla! hundreds of
churches are available for you to choose from. If you want a
particular preacher, say John Ortberg, do a search for that.
Sometimes, it takes a little sorting out. I think in the case of
John Ortberg I had to go to their web page
www.mppc.org and look at the
instructions and work backward.
Two other Podcasts you might be interested in
are Andy Stanley's Catalyst Podcast (not the weekly sermons; you
have to buy those) and John Piper's radio broadcast. Let me know
which Podcasts you have found that are interesting at http://joshhunt.blogs.com/blog/
Now, here is the really cool part: do a search
for Josh Hunt. Subscribe today. It is free. My goal is to create
regular audio content that you can use to train all your Sunday
School teachers and small group leaders, hopefully along the line of
one new session per month. Feel free to burn CDs for all your
teachers to listen to in the car. Of course, your teachers could
sign up for the Podcast themselves, but let's face it, it will be a
while for some of them. Alternatively, you might make a training
Podcast of your own. If the training content is of a general use
nature (that is, not specific to your church) you might share the
word. One place is on my blog at http://joshhunt.blogs.com/blog/
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How I set up my Podcast and how you can set
Every church ought to be setting up a Podcast.
Just as we all had tape ministries in the 70s and transitioned to
CDs in the 90s, it is time to transition again to the Podcast. Good
news here it is free, and, in the broad scheme of things somewhat
I got fired up this Wednesday to set up a
Podcast. Within 24 hours, I had it up and running. Here is how I did
it, and how you can set up one for your church. I don't purport to
be some expert on this; I know just enough about it to get it done.
This is not the only way, and it may not even be the best way, but
it is one way.
I am old fashioned enough to enjoy reading
actual books printed on paper. (Very low-tech, I know.) So, after
Googling around a bit unsuccessfully, I decided to pay a visit to my
friendly Barnes and Noble store to look for a book on Podcasting.
They had about half a dozen or so. Not knowing which one to choose,
I went home, looked on
www.amazon.com for the one with the highest rating. Then, I went
back to Barnes and Noble and purchased Podcasting Solutions.
It provides far more information than you need--in the next
three paragraphs I am going to tell you how to set up a Podcast. By
this time tomorrow, you should be on ITunes.
As it turns out, this trip back to the mall is
the most expensive part of the set up. It cost me $40. $20 for the
book and $20 because my daughter talked me into walking across the
hall and buy her a new pair of shoes. What is up with girls and
The starting point for Podcasting is to
convert your audio to MP3. The sermon can be recorded directly
into MP3 on your computer, using any number of inexpensive programs
to do that. Alternately, you can rip the audio from a CD. You may
want to get familiar with and tinker with some of the settings. MP3
is usually working with songs which are short and demand high
quality to sound right. Sermons, in contrast, are long, but don't
need the fidelity that music needs, so you can get away with high
compression and it still sounds fine. Experiment.
The easiest way to get started is to start
with a BLOG. This was counter intuitive to me, but apparently, the
whole idea of Podcasting came from blogging. Some of these are free.
As it turned out, I already had one set up at
www.typepad.com. I pay $5 a
month for that. There are some free services. Don't ask me why I
signed up for the one that costs. Some other choices are
and this took a little poking around for me, find where it says to
insert an MP3. You want to put an MP3 into the blog, which is
otherwise text. A little counter-intuitive, I know. You don't have
to understand it; just do it.
Once that is set up, make a note of where your
URL is for your blog. Mine is http://joshhunt.blogs.com/blog/
It will likely look something like that.
Now, go to
www.feedburner.com The site will ask you for your blog address.
Type it in and hit go. You will see a few choices. Make your best
guess. One more step. You only need to do this once. Once it is set
up, you just need to update the blog and this will do the rest
Once this finishes, you need to submit this
address to ITunes, so it can find it. From within the ITunes
program, hit Music Store, then Podcasts, then Submit a Podcast. You
have to sign up for a ITunes account, but it doesn't actually cost
any money. They want to make it easy for you to buy music or audio
books from them. From this point, it takes about 12 hours for ITunes
to approve the Podcast. From here on, all you have to do is add new
content to your Blog and the rest takes care of itself.
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