Audio

Listening to the translated Scriptures: a review of today’s digital audio players
Author: Richard Margetts

Third Edition - Revised for 2014

This in-depth review (46 pages) compares a range of today's digital audio players including the Proclaimer and Mini-Proclaimer (from Faith Comes By Hearing), the Envoy S and Story Teller (from MegaVoice), the Saber (from Global Recordings Network), the Papyrus (from Renew World Outreach) and the Audibible (from Davar Partners International).

The review is presented in several sections, illustrated with photos and giving a summary of the key features, prices, pros and cons of each player. Also mentioned are feature phones, smartphones and locally available MP3 players.

The first edition of the document was published in 2008 and compared the Proclaimer, MegaVoice Ambassador and Saber. In the past six years we have seen:

  1. New entrants to the digital audio player world: the Papyrus, the Audibible, the Story Teller, Mini Proclaimer, the Herald and the Shofar.
  2. Significant development of existing players: The MegaVoice Ambassadors were retired and replaced by the Envoy. A solar-powered version of the Talking Bible is available, as is a new version of the Proclaimer. More internal memory was added to the Papyrus.
  3. New battery technology: Most players now use newer Lithium Ion Polymer or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries rather than the NiMH type.
  4. Digital file sharing: Almost gone are the days of cassette tape. In most countries of the world, people are interacting with digital media and are increasingly familiar with memory cards and MP3 files.
  5. Mobile phones: The incredible growth in mobile phone ownership and use over the past six years means that most of the world’s population now have their own personal audio player.
  6. Download the full report as a PDF document.

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Communicating effectively to non-readers
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (21.4 Winter 2004)

In seeking to free ourselves from the biases of a print-oriented culture, we need to consider, not only the kinds of media and discourse genre (e.g. narrative) that are most appropriate for oral cultures, but also the most effective ways to use those genres and media. What do non-readers like to see and hear? What do they enjoy listening to? Their choices will not necessarily be the same as those of print communicators. If the styles of presentation are ones which oral communicators prefer, then they will be more likely to listen, to understand, and to remember what they hear.

In this paper, Rick Brown argues that oral cultures have their own preferences for ways to communicate truth, and that these are often different from what print-oriented people prefer. In order to share the message most effectively, we need to find out what media and methods work best for them. In most cases this will include a multi-media approach with an emphasis on memorizing the Scriptures with the aid of high-quality recordings from skilled actors or voicers.  [more...]

Author: Viggo Søgaard
Published by: Lausanne World Pulse, September 2009

The issue of non-readers is an issue for all countries, as we see reading declining even in countries with high literacy rates. It has been estimated that in some African countries printed scripture only reaches around ten percent of the population. The challenge is therefore to develop translations that are relevant to the media, productions that are appropriate, and distribution systems for scripture that reach the non-reading population.

Viggo Søgaard argues for the kinds of Bible translation needed for non-reading populations, conforming to "the rules and requirements of spoken rather than written language". He describes the differences between oral and written communication and highlights some of the areas translators need to pay attention to when producing translations for audio media (emphasis, direct speech, intonation, context information).  [more...]

A Beginner's Guide to Audacity (Third Edition)
Author: Richard Margetts

Updated for Audacity 2.0 (July 2012).

Are you looking to record audio Scripture, radio programmes, Scripture-based songs, Bible study discussions or publicity for Scripture products? One of the most popular programs for recording audio on your computer is Audacity. It is free to download and use, and its user interface is available in several major languages.

This Audacity manual (a downloadable PDF document) is designed for beginners and can be used individually or in training workshops. It will show you how to:

  • install Audacity on your computer, connect a microphone and begin recording;
  • edit audio tracks, cut out errors, change the volume of selected sections;
  • export audio to WAV and MP3 formats;
  • mix audio tracks together, add background music;
  • apply advanced effects like noise reduction.

An expanded French version, Comment enregistrer à l’ordinateur is also available.  [more...]

JAARS, Waxhaw, NC, USA
Sponsor: International Media Services

Courses offered include:

1. Vernacular Media Specialist Training
This training gives instruction and hands-on experience in all aspects of vernacular media work in Wycliffe. Concepts covered range from strategizing for use of appropriate media, communication principles, evaluating media, designing programs, choosing an appropriate recording platform, and instruction in various recording platforms.

2. Program and Curriculum Design  [more...]

A guide for narrators and actors
Author: Mark Datson

"Make a big effort to understand the full meaning of the text... Try to put yourself in the shoes of your character. Think of their character, their temperament, their behaviour. What do they like? What don’t they like?"

This is a list of advice for narrators and actors working on audio products for promoting Scripture Engagement. These could be dramatised Bible portions or Scripture relevance dramas.

The advice comes from a drama team with many years of experience in producing radio programmes in West Africa.  [more...]

A tool which churches perceive to be of value in furthering their goals
Author: Keith Benn

What excites us most is that people who have never before led a Bible study are now having regular studies in their homes.

This article relates how Bible study cassettes on Genesis 1-11 and James have had a big impact on the Central Bontoc people of the Philippines. It outlines the format of the Bible studies and the ways they have been used both within churches and in evangelism, and how they support the development of literacy.  [more...]

Communicating the Gospel
Author: Viggo Søgaard
Published by: William Carey Library Publishers, 1993

Pilot programs have clearly shown that extensive word and concept explanations are often needed if a non-Christian is to understand the written text as read on a cassette. The explanations will need to be provided in a format that is appropriate to both the medium and the listening context. It may be... a dramatic series of daily readings, presented in the context of a village family, and a narrator who will provide the necessary help with background information so that the listeners can place the text in its geographical and cultural context.

Although written before much of the revolution in digital media, this book provides a lot of useful strategic input for those involved in media and Scripture Engagement.

It is divided into three sections:

  1. Foundational principles for use of media in church and mission – Biblical principles, communication models, research methods.
  2. Selected media descriptions – chapters on television, radio, video, audio cassettes, print, film, music, painting & dance-drama, computers
  3. Practical guidelines for media in church and mission – strategy, planning, production, testing, distribution, evaluation.
  [more...]