So this post is coming a little later than intended. What can I say? A couple of weeks ago we told you all about Christ United Methodist Church's newly redesigned website. Today, we'll take a look at a new feature of SiteWrench, our content management system: Media Archives. First of all, we've had a Media Archives system in SiteWrench for several years now, but with even more emphasis being given to media on websites, we completely redeveloped the Media Archives system to accommodate a more intuitive workflow and a more dynamic presentation.
As we walk through the new Media Archives system, I'll do my best to supply representative screenshots, but if at any point in time you'd like to see the system in action, by all means, go ahead, there are links below! Before we get started, please note that CUMC is not currently doing anything in the way of video for its sermons, so I'll talk through some of the video capabilities (its one of the areas that the Media Archives system shines brightest).
I'll start off with the back-end screenshots in SiteWrench; then we can move on to how it appears on CUMC's website.
In this screen, I've selected the Sermons channel and the February 2011 series (note the names of the channels and series are 100% customizable). There are a few things to note right off the bat. You'll notice the 3 sermons that have already been published in the February 2011 series. You'll also notice the type of media that is associated with each sermon (audio, video and transcripts/notes are available). Lastly, you'll notice the XML RSS Feed for the Sermons channel. Podcast geeks are already rejoicing, but for folks who don't podcast or who have to manually update your current podcast, let me fill you in. Once you submit this RSS Feed to your favorite podcasting service (iTunes for example), your podcast will automatically update anytime you publish a new sermon/episode along with any audio and video files associated with it. Put simply, our Media Archives tool automatically creates and updates your podcasts. How cool is that?
Next, I'm going to take you into an individual episode. One of the biggest talking points of the individual episode view is its expanded support for externally hosted files. This means that you can pull audio, video and transcript files into your sermon archive if they're already hosted somewhere else. We know a lot of our clients already have media servers setup, so we've eliminated the need to have any kind of a re-upload process into SiteWrench. In addition to being able to accommodate externally hosted files, the video player also supports videos from YouTube and Vimeo.
Once you have your episode setup, it's time to check it out! The new front-end interface now creates a channel view for your audience to easily browse categories and see all available selections.
The new episode view is built around a large, on-page player and includes options for your audience to quickly and easily share your media through social networks. We've also made it easier for someone to subscribe to your podcast straight from the page!
Overall, the new Media Archives tool is a phenomenal asset to the SiteWrench system, and we're excited to see it being used so effectively. Of course, if you'd like to see the system in action, head on over to the CUMC website and take a look around!