Since December 24, 2010, I have been experimenting on a new (or relatively new) internet medium, podcasting. A “podcast” is defined as
a free service that allows Internet users to pull audio files (typically MP3s) from a podcasting Web site to listen to on their computers or personal digital audio players. [HowStuffWorks]
I like this definition (by Stephanie Watson) because: (1) it immediately says that it is free, (2) it identifies the kind of file used (typically, an MP3 file) and (3) it tells you how to use it.
So, I have started podcasting, that is, instead of just using the webpage to get my idea across, I am now using also my voice — albeit recorded — in an MP3 file which you can listen to using Windows Media Player or whatever player you have installed in your computer, or any digital audio player. Since December, I have uploaded four MP3 files at http://biblista.podbean.com. My intention is to complement the text-based bible study/reflection guides provided at the Bible Workshop with files that our BEC leaders can download and even use during meetings (if they want to and only as a way of summarizing the discussions made on the Scriptural passage). Each podcast is actually based on the explanations posted at Bibliya Tagala with some additions.
The podcasts are in Filipino, and read from a text I’ve written for the purpose. You can listen to these via your browser, if you have installed a media player (with Windows users, it is usually Windows Media Player which is integrated with IE). If you go to the Bible Workshop, you’d find a PodBean audio player graphic. Click on the arrow (“Play”) and the audio player begins buffering content to play it. You can also follow the links above the graphic to get to their original page at PodBean.
From the PodBean page, one can also download the MP3 file being podcasted. Once in your harddrive, you can transfer the file to your favorite audio digital player (I use a player purchased at SM, “Sa mga Muslim”, if you know what I mean). The PodBean page of the Biblista podcast files offers other opportunities. Apart from listening directly to the audio files there, one can also help me by sharing the page-link to others who may want to listen to the Bible-study audio files. Click on the “Share this” button, choose “Facebook” if you have an account there, log into your Facebook account, type something as a description and click on the button for “Submit” (or “Share”). We have a lot of OFWs who listen to our radio programs via the web browser, perhaps there will be some who would want to listen to our Biblista podcasts too.
There is as yet no fixed structure for each Biblista podcast — perhaps I can work it out in the future, once I have familiarized myself with this new medium. At the moment, my podcasts sound like an article being read — and that is what they practically are. I write an article based on the posts I’ve made for a particular Sunday gospel appearing at the Workshop, or at Otium Sanctum — rewriting it at times for the “heard-medium” — and then I read it to a digital audio recorder. The resulting MP3 is then uploaded to my account at PodBean.COM … and that’s it.
For our BEC leaders, the podcasts can be downloaded and played in a cell meeting, but only as a supplement. No audio file can take the place of a “live” cell leader taking charge of the proceedings in a cell meeting. Besides, there will always be more “content” in a cell-meeting than in a pre-recorded Bible study/reflection MP3 file. When a community of faith comes together to listen to the Inspired Word and talk about it, Jesus’ heart is opened up once more — as Augustine would say — and reveals to us His love. This is the goal of every cell meeting. And I hope my pre-recorded “lectures” can also contribute to it.
Below is a podcast that you can listen to directly through your browser:
More podcasts here.
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