PodBible

We are beginning to make PodBible available in a new way. Bible 60 packages chapters from the PodBible reading of the CEV in convenient clusters. Each package will be about 60 minutes, ideal to dub to a C60 cassette, or write to an audio CD, for someone who’s eyesight is going, or an easy 20-30MB download to listen to on a journey…

The first book available in Bible 60 packages is the first book of the Bible, Genesis:

Other books will be available soon!

We plan several significant new things in the next year or so:

  • PodBible for mobile phone, we expect soon to go live with the PodBibe.mobi site (at present it is experimental) it will offer the PodBible readings for download to mobile phones. The website is phone friendly, and the audio will be 4-5 times smaller than the MP3s on this site. The bad news is that they only play on phones, or computers with Quicktime installed, and that they are slightly lower quality šŸ™

    Mobile phones are much more widely used than Internet in many parts of the world (including Africa and much of Asia) so this will extend the ways PodBible speaks to the parts print Bibles do not reach.

  • Bible 60s collections of chapters from a book or related books that last for about 60 minutes, as high quality MP3s, designed to be downloaded and put on CD or C60 cassette tapes for people who have difficulty reading but do not use computers or MP3 players – ideal for those elderly members of your local church.
  • Bible books high quality MP3s of the chapters of each book in one ZIP file for easy download – ideal for study purposes, share them with your students, youth group, Bible study group etc. (either as MP3s or on CD for the car…).

To do all this needs both more time, some of which we may have to pay for though we mainly use volunteers, and more webserver bandwidth, which will cost more. Currently we are delivering 30GB/month, to raise this to the 200GB/month we expect to be delivering this time next year means moving from cheap shared hosting to a “virtual private server”.

To do all this will cost more than our current income which comes from a Balmoral Baptist Church “mission parcel”, so there are two ways people could help:

  • If you have good computer skills and some time to spare you could help splicing the WAVs together and making the MP3s and ZIPed colections.
  • If you can donate some money just make a bank transfer to:
    Balmoral Baptist Church 12-3021-0296342-00
    please mark it
    “PodBible” (NZ tax payers making larger donations can even arrange to get a receipt to claim the tax back šŸ™‚ phone 09 620 5114 to arrange this.
  • If you are a PHP wizard Nathan K might be glad of some help with getting PodBible.mobi going.

Bible in a Year (glitch)

August 18th, 2008

We have had a small glitch in the Bible in a Year, the feed was dropped for a day or two and still one day is missing. I think that apart from the missing day, which I will try to fix, we are back on track. Please let me know if you spot anything else wrong!

Today we reached Psalm 117, the shortest chapter in the Bible.
The day after tomorrow we tackle the very longest chapter Psalm 119.

For the computer afflicted that means jumping from 136KB for Psalm 117 to a whopping 4.23MB download for Psalm 119.

Between the two lies Psalm 118, in Protestant Bibles this is usually the chapter that people figure to be the middle chapter of the 1189 in the whole Bible.

Does this make these three Psalms special? Probably not (the chapter divisions are not after all part of the traditional Bible being invented in 1205 by Stephen Langton). But – as they say – you be the judge!

See Chapters and Verses — Late Comers by Daniel P. Fuller for more details.

PodBible for mobile phones

June 14th, 2008

We are trying to make the PodBible audio Bible (podcasts) available to users on mobile phones, when that project is ready it will be at http://podbible.mobi but at present that’s just an experimental site. We have a problem though with MP3 files, they are still too big!

On FutureBible (the overarching project to deliver the Bible in various ways to mobile phones) David introduces us to a (to me) new file format AMR: An alternative to mp3, I have tried it, using the conversion tool David points to, and it works, a 1.11MB MP3 (at 32kbps) becomes a 218KB AMR (at 6.7 MR) which sounds “nearly” as good though till I amplified it was a bit “quieter”.

However, I have two questions you might be able to answer for me:

  1. What mobile phones can or can’t play AMR files? So if you have a phone can you try downloading this AMR file and seeing if it plays, and report the make, model and result below, please!
  2. What exactly are the licensing issues with AMR there is a link on the Wikipedia site to an VoiceAge legal page, but I go cross-eyed trying to find out what that means for ordinary non-commercial users. Any comments on that would be helpful too!

YouPod (help wanted)

May 24th, 2008
We’d love to hear your stories. In particular it would be a great encouragement to us, and probably to other listeners if you could tell us when a chapter has meant something special to oy, or when the Think|Pray|Do ideas have sparked your ideas in a special way.

Ideally we’ll do this simply by changing this blog so that each day posts the current day’s chapter as the title of the post, which can other wise be blank or better with just a short invitation like “Tell us our responses to this passage here:”

The chapters in PodBible are podcast using PHP to read the directories and create both the RSS feeds and the corresponding web pages. So… what I need is someone who can help me create a blog using the same (sort of?) mechanism.

If you know someone who might (a) be interested in helping and (b) might have the necessary skills please let me know!

Add PodBible to your blog

May 22nd, 2008
If you have a WordPress blog, and want to add a link to a daily Bible chapter (in the sidebar), just go
to Widgets, and find “RSS” and “add” it then click “edit
and use this URL for the feed: http://podbible.com/rss to add the day’s section from the Bible
in a year use this URL http://podbible.com/bible-in-a-year-rss to get
just one segment a day choose to display “one item”. Give the widget a
title like “Today’s Bible reading” and away you go!

Sadly this does not work for blogger or other blogging platforms šŸ™ so I can’t demonstrate it here, or for static webpages, but you can see it at work here http://asiabible.wordpress.com/ so, if you have a WordPress blog, how about it?

If I can discover how to do it in HTML I will post instructions here.

Bibleref but no markup

May 8th, 2008
For more than a decade I’ve wanted an easy way to make Bible references like these: Amos 7:14; Ruth 1:16-17 into links to the Bible or to popup the verses cited, I put a lot of work into doing that for the Amos commentary.

But now… Thanks to the kind people at Logos, who I expect will benefit from their kindness through lots of links like this one, I have been able to add a cool tool to this blog, and my others that automatically takes most Bible references I type and uses Sean’s clever Bibleref system to add the verse as a popup, and make the reference a link to the passage. My only disappointment is that apparently it does this without rewriting the source code for the page, so probably Google etc. will not be able to use this semantic markup šŸ™ maybe in a later implementation?

John has a link to an interview on Christianity Today with Maureen Girkins, Zondervanā€™s CEO in the interview she says that Zondervan’s singing and dancing all celebrity Audio Bible The Bible Experience was their best-selling Bible in 2007. That should be no surprise to PodBiblers, our un-advertised, read-by-plain-ordinary-people, Bible delivers more than 40,000 audio Bible chapters each month!

They asked her:

Can you tease out an example of how publishing will change?

Wireless phones, which didn’t exist 20 years ago, have changed not only the way people communicate but also the way they live. People are going to read, and they’re going to read paper for the rest of our lifetimes. But I’m convinced that different distribution for content will change the way we live. We have entered the digital world. It’s not like we’re just stepping our toe into it. The Bible Experience audio Bible was the best-selling Bible of 2007.

I think we can make some predictions today for how further distribution changes will alter the way we live our Christian life. The spiritual journey many of us have will be changed by the Internet and digital technology. But I’d like a little more time in this discovery process before I can vocalize how.

Now, this is cautious, but much less cautious than print-based publishers usually are! It makes projects like David’s for mobile phones or our PodBible relevance visible!

David Ker, who works in Mozambique – where mobile phones are less expensive to run than NZ, and Internet less available – is putting together a project to make the Bible available in various ways by mobile phone. To listen in, or join the discussion just subscribe to the blog

Incidentally if you have any knowledge or ideas that can help with making PodBible more accessible to mobile phone users please comment, we have the domain PodBible.mobi but do not yet really know how to use it!

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