Wired for Worship
By James C. Moberg
So... you don't have your own personal band for either youth group or Sunday worship? Are you using accompaniment CDs to compliment your ministry? Have you considered using computers and multimedia?
You can! MP3 is a new audio format that can make it easy for you to use CD quality tracks in your ministry without having to continually fumble with CDs.
What is MP3?
MP3 is a file format which stores music files on a computer in such a way that the file size is relatively small, but the song sounds near perfect. It is radically changing the way that people organize and listen to music. For example, I've converted my favorite CDs to MP3 format and no longer have to stop and reach for a new CD while working on my computer. I can also listen to any song from any CD in any order.
So how does this apply to ministry?
How do I play MP3 files?
- You can play your favorite music during your youth events and never have to worry about CDs mysteriously disappearing.
- You can instantly play any song and never have to worry about having to switch CDs while singing to them.
- You can download songs by new CCM artists and hear what they sound like. Jennifer Knapp and others have their songs available for download.
- Eye Candy. Yep... Eye Candy. There are lots of cool plug-ins that allow you to do nice real-time multimedia with the music. This is perfect before and after youth group meetings. Geiss is my favorite! (Here are some screenshots.)
- MP3 files are smaller than any other digital format. A 3½ minute song converted to WAV format was 38.9mb while the MP3 format was only 4.2mb.
- You can take your music on the road with you using portable MP3 Players. Just download all your songs into the player and take it with you... no more seat-hogging boomboxes and broken CD cases on your trips.
If you are going to play MP3's, you need a player. Winamp
is a fast, flexible, high-fidelity music player for Windows 95/98/NT. Winamp supports MP3, MP2, CD, MOD, WAV and other audio formats, custom interfaces called skins
and audio visualization and audio effect plug-ins
. Download the shareware version
and give it a try.
How do I make my own MP3 files?
If you are going to create your own MP3's, you need a ripper and an encoder. AudioCatalyst is the best that I've found so far and it allows you to take any CD, make a perfect digital copy on your hard drive, and transform that file into an MP3 file. And it happens in one easy step. Download a free trial version of the AudioCatalyst and see if it is compatible with your CD-ROM drive.
James has packed many of his CDs away for safe storage and jams to his own MP3 playlist while working on YouthPastor.Com.|
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