Sooner or later it had to happen to me. And sure enough it did. I was handed an iPhone and asked if I could plug it in and play the audio from it. iPhone…not a problem, right? If only it was that easy.
As technology changes, you and I
have to (MUST) keep up with the changes. Looking at the world of portable digital audio, I can probably safely say most of us could plug in an iPod and play an audio file. But look at all the other possible players out there!
We have the;
- iPod Nano
- iPod-styled players
- Modern Cell Phones
- And the list keeps growing!
How do I…?
Here is where all of these technologies have the potential to get us in trouble; the interface.
It's easy enough to plug a digital device into an open channel on your mixer. But each different device has its own unique interface for stop / play / rewind / fast forward / and volume control.
There are three ways of looking at the problem of multiple interface designs;
- Buy / borrow them all and study the interfaces. Make notes for reference when you are handed one.
- Learn from the owner. When you are handed a new device, ask for a walk-through of how to use the basic functions.
- Deny it as a form of playable media based on your church audio format guidelines.
Out of these three, I like the idea of number one. Not the buying part, but the borrowing part. It's a great way to spend the time with the device so you know not only how to use the audio player but how to navigate to the application in case you accidently exit the application.
I'm not opposed to number three. However, I see exceptions to that rule popping up, primarily through missionary visitors. For example, your church supports a foreign missionary who has come back to the states for a short time. They walk into the church and say "I need you to play this audio file for me to sing with the native people as a backing track." You just can't say no in that scenario.
The biggest issue I've faced with using digital audio devices is the screen lock. As long as the owner has turned off the locking feature or has given you the unlock code / swipe movements then you don't have to worry about it locking up midway through the service and you are frantically looking for the owner so they can unlock it for you.
Technology is evolving and you and I are expected to play whatever media is thrown our way. Let's be ready.
Question(s): How do you deal with such requests? What have you been given in the past?
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