Tips & Tricks
Converting Conference Messages to MP3
Describe the steps to edit (polish) the recorded messages and convert
them to MP3 using Audacity.
The instructions below pertain to version 1.3.13 which was in Beta at
the time of this writing.
following presuppose the message has been recorded using Audacity
(version 1.2.6 at press time) and that you have access to the source
Audacity files of the recording.
The goal is to create two files to post to the website:
- An All-In-One
This is the entire message as one file. The advantage of this is that
people can click this link and hear the entire message if
browser is configured to stream mp3 files.
- Multiple Files:
This is a ZIP file that contains the message as seperate, 5-minute,
tracks. The advantage of this is for personal music players or playing
in a car. One can skip around making it much easier to pick up where
you left off, especially if your player always starts at the beginning
of a track.
These files may be of higher quality (higher sampling rate).
Making the Recordings
- Be sure to Save the session before you start recording, creating
the properly named directory in the process.
- Select a directory (folder) outside the website area for all
the Audacity files and for all the intermediate files you will create
(mp3 files to be zipped etc). TODO: Put in an example, in Media.
recording, be sure to select the proper input and output. The input
could be Line In, or it may be another audio device. Below we are using
a Sennheiser USB audio device so both the speaker (headphones) and the
mic (the line in from the system) selections are for the Sennheiser
device. Your situation may be different:
the meeting paying attention to the recording levels. The levels should
not be too low nor too high. What is shown above is OK, but slightly
too low. Adjust the input so as to achieve a level that goes up to or
near the 0.5 mark. Below the mic input is circled, this is the input
- When the meeting ends, stop the recording and save the project.
Single, All-In-One, FileThe following process is to create a
single mp3 file of the entire meeting. This file can be played directly
from the website (streamed). However there are not 'chapters or tracks'
which makes navigation or starting up where you left off more
difficult. This will yeild a single track perhaps up to 2 hours long.
This process also lowers the quality of the mp3 file so as to make the
file as small as possible.
For the small, single mp3 file:
- Open the original Audacity File (it may still be open.)
- Trim any unneeded parts of the audio, using
Edit-->Cut, or just highlight and then use the delete key.
the project is saved, select the entire project and then select Effects
>> Normalize and be sure the checkbox is checked to remove the DC
offset. Then select OK.
The Normalized value of -0.2 is desired but the default value of -1 is OK also.
This process may take a minute or so.
or Reduce Volume on any portions by highlighting thefect- section, and using
Effects->Amplify Use negative numbers to reduce volume, positive
amplify. Try numbers like 3, 5 or 10 and and use "undo" if it
doesn't sound right. Once a desired amplification is
it can easily be repeated for other similar portions by using command-R
- Effect-->Fade In or Fade Out is also sometimes
helpful at the beginning and ending.
it is already mono, go to step (7).
If recorded in stereo, convert to
mono by clicking the audio track title bar just to right of the X
(close) box on the audio track (typically says Audio Track in title bar), and
selected Split Stereo To Mono :
- Then click the X (close) box for
second track to delete it.
- Click the audio track title bar, then Set Sample Format and set the sample
format to 16bit pcm.
This takes a minute for the conversion to occur.
- Use File-->Export. In the Save as Type
drop down, select the type of MP3
- Navigate to the proper
directory (creating it if necessary, one directory per message) and
name file (as Msg01.mp3, etc), and select MP3
the Format menu. Click the Options
the settings for minimum
- Bit Rate Mode: Variable
- Quality: 9, 45-85 kbps
- Variable Speed: Fast
- Channel Mode: Stereo
- OK when done
- Click Save and a dialog box will appear. Type in the tag data.
Suggestions are (substitute dates and
- ARTIST: Ed Marks
- ALBUM: Spokane Conf. Oct
- TITLE: Msg 1: Living a Life
According to the Highest Peak of the Divine
- YEAR: 2013
- GENRE: Speech
- Save tag using Save... so that you don't have to retype it. The
saving process will take a few minutes.
if this is the first time you've used Audacity to export mp3, it may
ask you to locate the libmp3lam.dylib file which can be freely
downloaded from http://lame.buanzo.com.ar/)
- Select Ok to save the file
Multiple-FilesThis process will yeild multiple track files in
a single album. Each track will be 5 minutes in length. The quality
will be higher. Playing these files makes it easier to navigate (jump
in 5-minute increments) and to pick up where you left off.
Follow same steps as above, except when you get to step (9), jump back here and proceed as follows:
Prepare the Labels for Multiple Tracks
Click on the menu item Analyze
then select Regular Interval Labels...
- Time to place first label: 0
- Label placement method: Label
- Label interval: 300
(this produces multiple smaller files, 300 seconds or 5 minutes for
- Label text: _S13Msg01
This indicates the conference was in the Spring of 2013. The leading
underscore will seperate this text from the auto generated track
numbers. The result will be 01_S13Msg01, etc.
- Minimum # of Digits in Label: 2 (before label) This will cause single digit tracks to have a leading zero: 01, 02, etc.
- Add final label: Yes
- Adjust label interval to fit length?: No
- Click Okay (This produces a Label Track)
In the picture above the labels are at each one minute. This was done
for documentation purposes. Your labels should be at 5 minute intervals
and may be bunched really close together depending on your zoom setting.
Export the file as Multiple Tracks
- File-->Export Multiple...
- Export format: mp3
- Click Options...
- Bit Rate Mode: Variable
- Quality: 4,
145-185 kbps (this results in a higher quality than the
all-in-one file above.)
- Variable Speed: Fast
- Channel Mode: Stereo
- Click Okay to get back
to Export Multiple Dialog box
- Make sure the Export Location is as desired
Note: It is best if you DO NOT build these files in the website
example, store in
- Split files based upon:
- Labels radio control (no change)
- Name files:
- Select the option for: Using Label/Track Name
- Click Export button
Select Yes if prompted to create a non-existent directory.
in tags substituting the proper title and date. Is should remember the
last values. If not, and you saved your settings, you can load them.
The entries should match what is above in step on Meta Data.
will be prompted to click OK as many times as there are tracks. So just
keep clicking OK. Track numbers increment though everything else
remains the same.
- Audacity will now create mp3 files for each section. When done it
will display a dialog showing all the files it created. Select OK.
- You can close Audacity now as you are done with it. (Save the
project when prompted if you haven't already.)
- NOTE: This results in a
bunch of files with the track # in front of the filename
and the track titles are all the same (F11Msg03). Need to figure out
what steps are needed to get the track titles to include the track
Zip the files
- Use windows explorer to navigate to where Audacity stored the individual track files
- Select all of the small MP3 files - the ones with the sequence
- Right click select 7-Zip
- Then select the item "Add to <file name>.zip" where
<file name> is the name of the message you are working on.
the Zipped file AND the single MsgX file (large, all-in-one file) to
the website directory where the message files are stored
- If you want, you can delete the unzipped small files back in the 'raw files' directory (not in the website directory.)
Update WebsiteIdeally someone familiar with website editing
will have already setup the web page and created the text and links.
You should only need to FTP the files to the proper location on the
website insuring the filenames are in the expected format. They are
case sensitive. E.g. Msg01.zip and Msg01.mp3.
Below is a quick list for someone familiar with editing web pages.
- Open Nvu and navigate to the ministry messages directory.
- Open the index.htm file.
the page accordingly and create the links to the files. Note that the
files may not yet be on the site so you may have to type the link
location (cannot select a file that isn't there.)
- Save the page when done.
Post The Files to the Website
- Open FileZilla.
- Connect to the Church in Spokane website. (Hopefully you can simple click the button to connect to the last connected server.)
- Insure the Toggle Synchronized Browsing selecting is selected so that when you navigate on one side the other site will follow.
- On the left side of page, navigate to the folder
- Make sure the corresponding location on the webserver is also
opened (e.g. messages/EdMarks/...)
- You should see on the left (PC side) the message files you just copied there.
- Control and select the two files that you would like to move to
online server example (message3 large Mp3 and message 3 Zipped files). Also select the index.htm file if you recently edited it.
- Drag the files over to the right side of the page.
- You should be able to see a bar with a percentage of files being
uploaded to the web.
Lev 25:32 (note 1)