Streaming Audio


small real player

Before you read this story, please note that I have a limited vocabulary when it comes to technical terms, and read with a forgiving attitude! You may know much more about this kind of thing than I do, and wonder what my problem was, or you may know much less than I do, and also wonder what my problem was! Suffice is to say, whether or not any of us understand exactly why, there was a technical problem, and I couldn't solve it!

It was time to renew my yearly hosting fees for the Sermon Illustrator website, and this year, I was being offered 3 GB of space. When I first joined this hosting company, only 150 MB of space was offered to me, and last year, when given the opportunity of renewing to 750 MB of space, I quickly latched onto it. Now, 3 GB of space was a very tempting offer, one that I also couldn't refuse. There was a catch, however. In order to renew to more space this year, all of my files would have to be transferred to one of the provider's other servers.

"Don't worry," I was told. "It will go off without a hitch!"

Nothing goes completely "hitchless", however, and this was no exception. Unbeknownst to me, none of my audio files had been saved onto the hard drive of my new desk top PC, and I didn't discover this until the transfer had been made and my old files erased from their system. I also no longer had the software that had made streaming audio possible on my site. I didn't think this would be a problem, however, and by using Dell Jukebox, I had no trouble copying the audio files (which in reality are sermons) from Cds onto my PC. That program even let me save the files in a computer compatible format. The only problem was that each of these sermons were 19 MB or larger! Way too big to be run on Real player format. What should I do now?

I began to search the Internet. I looked right and left, up and down. I left no stones unturned, and after wasting a whole afternoon I found myself frustrated, confused and flabbergasted. It didn't stop me, however. I persevered well into the evening, but it was all for nothing. None of the promising programs I downloaded were of any help to me.

It didn't dawn on me until I had reached my frustration-saturation point that I had just wasted an entire day trying to solve a problem on my own. I hadn't even taken the time or effort to ask God for help! And did my own efforts prove anything to anyone? No! This realization left me even more frustrated (if this would have been possible!). After all, isn't He the Creator of the entire universe? Isn't His knowledge way beyond mine? Isn't He almighty in every domain, even including computers?

I felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself, and I immediately stopped my search and set out for a friendly talk with my Forever Friend. I shared my frustrations and my unsuccessful attempts to solve my dilemma with Him, and asked His forgiveness for not having approached Him first.

His response? "Trust me."

Then I realized that even during my prayer I was unawaringly (I even invent new adjectives! Can you imagine that!) trying to control my situation. I humbled myself and left it all in His hands. I couldn't do anything to solve my dilemma anyway! Right away, I was reminded of the following text: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matt 11:28-29 NIV)

Peace immediately filled my inner soul. I wasn't in control of my problem any longer. God was! And while reveling in His presence, He showed me how to solve my dilemma. On one of my old DVDs was a program that would do the trick. He then told me technical details that didn't make any sense to me, but in the end, I knew how to make my audio files available not only on Real player format, but also in Windows Media player format.

Right away, I began to do what I was told. When I searched that particular DVD, I found an audio program I had never even known I had. It was called Windows Media Encoder. Then, by following the directions I had been given during prayer, the audio files were reduced to 1.77 MB or less each, smaller even than before, and now all of our audio files could be viewed either by Real player or by Window Media player users.

There was no way I could have figured that out by myself. Why had I insisted on wasting hours trying to solve my problem on my own? God is faithful and always comes to the help of His children. Didn't Jesus say: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matt 7:9-11 NIV)

Why waste time in futile attempts to solve problems on our own when we have a Heavenly Father who cares for us? He is faithful!

Are you ready for the transfer? Don't forget to back up your audio files!

Rob Chaffart

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