Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 in Review

2007 was a big year for, especially because it was the launch year for the website. (The idea of Scripture Casting was conceived at latest in 2006).

Since I've started taking stats, over 2900 chapters have been downloaded for a total of over 21 days worth of audio.

Meanwhile, the audio for Alma 10 still can't be found on the audio website.

I hope 2008 will also be a great year. I hope to have a few extra features available soon. I've even created a special link for you to read the entire Book of Mormon by the end of 2008, starting today (whenever that might be for you.)

Suggestions for features are welcome, just leave a comment!

Friday, November 16, 2007

One hundred thousand seconds

Since I started counting file downloads about 2 weeks ago, there have been over two hundred chapters downloaded, and almost one hundred thousand seconds of audio downloaded. This is over 27 hours of audio, or more than the whole length of the Book of Mormon.

This fantastically makes me happy to see that something I designed might actually be helping people with their scripture study.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fixed some 3 Nephi summary encodings

Some of the character encodings for the summaries in some of the chapters in 3 Nephi were bad, and thus, iTunes choked on the podcast feed. I found this myself as my progression through the scriptures hit 3 Nephi 12.

The problem is fixed now, and iTunes seems to be downloading 3 Nephi chapters as usual.

Also, while I was at it, I removed some bad links from the chapter summaries. (There were some relative links pointing to Matthew).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Audio file tracking

If you look closely at the source code for the RSS podcast feeds that we create, you will notice that the addresses for the enclosed audio files have changed. They now look something like These URLs will redirect to the actual audio file from the source site. They also allow us to keep usage statistics on the audio files.

There is a rate chance that some pod-catchers will re-download the audio files.

General Conference now added!

You can now get a custom podcast of general conference. Just go to and create a podcast feed of conference at just the rate you want.

I suggest setting your rate by a completion date which you can set to be just before the next April conference. That way, you can be reviewing conference talks at a slow pace all year round!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Slower Reading Rates

If you decide to subscribe to a scripture podcast using the "Set Rate Manually" mode, you can now be fed feed items more slowly than before; as slow as one item per month.

I think this will be helpful if I ever put general conference into the database, so you can listed to just a few talks a month if you would like.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Better feed titles

I thought I would just add a small little enhancement to the RSS feeds that are generated. I haven't forgotten about this project at all. I actually am using it more and more consistently to help me with my scripture reading. But one thing I found is that after I create the feed, I forget how fast it is feeding me new chapters, so I added the rate to the feed titles.

Now that I have added the rate, I see that the feed I'm subscribed to feeds me an average of 9.5 minutes per day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Change of algorithm

Today I changed the algorithm that determines what chapters to push out when on the "Set rate by end date" feeds.

Unfortunately, the change means that current feed subscribes will jump forward by about one chapter in their progression. I apologize about any problems that may result from this change. is still in beta, so changes like these aren't totally unexpected.

In feeds created with "Set rate by end date," new chapters are pushed out at variable rates determined by the length of the chapter. This new algorithm waits a short time after short chapters and a long time after long chapters before pushing out the next chapter.

Monday, June 18, 2007

End of feed bug

I'm aware of a bug where there is an error given when the feed has run out of chapters to push. The problem is that the system is looking for chapters beyond the end of the book and they just don't exists.

Update 8/28/07: I fixed this bug that was showing itself with long expired "Set rate manually" feeds.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Character encoding

One of the last remaining bugs that I will have to conquer before launching is getting all the character encoding set to be the same. When I inserted the summaries for the Doctrine and Covenants, somehow the encoding for such was different than the encoding for the summaries of The Book of Mormon. This will have to be straightened out so that users don't see weird characters coming up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Doctrine and Covenants added

Today I added the full Doctrine and Covenants. This is in addition to the Book of Mormon which has been available. You can create your custom D&C podcast the same way you create your custom Book of Mormon podcast.

I haven't fully tested the D&C (or for that matter, the Book of Mormon) so if you find a chapter or feature that doesn't work, your feedback would be appreciated.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Better calculations

Today I improved some of the algorithms to give a more accurate minutes per day measure when creating a podcast that ends on a specific date.

In doing that, I was able to display on the creation page about how many minutes per day average you would listen too dynamically, to help you choose a good ending date.

When you are finally done creating the feed, it also gives you a link to preview your feed, which is also a good way to listen to the audio or get at links to the full text.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sharing is good

Sharing is good, especially when you share the gospel. Second to sharing the gospel, is sharing this site. So if you know someone who likes the scriptures, or who likes podcasting, you should tell them about this site. One of the ways you can share this site with others is to click one of the sharing links at the bottom of the home page.

Flash Players

The podcast feeds contain a link back to a web page which is another way of viewing the feed. The page contains links to the full chapter text, the MP3 audio file, and the chapter summary.

Today I added a new feature which allows you to listen to the audio right on the page, using an embedded flash player to play the sound file.

Feed information

Today I added a small feature to the service. When you are done creating your custom feed, the page gives you more information about the feed you just created. It tells you the reading rate and the date you will finish. For those who created a feed to finish on a particular date, it will tell you the average number of minutes it will give you each day. For those who created a feed based on a number of chapters each day, it will tell you when you will finish.

Feedback appreciated

I'm really excited to fully announce this website, but I would like to get some feedback from some users before I do. If you have any suggestions or comments, simply comment on this post. Thank you for the feedback, it should help in making podcast feeds better.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Beginning in beta

A few years ago, a member of my family made some comment about wanting to have chapters of the Book of Mormon emailed to him daily so that he would remember to keep up with his reading goals. This week, I am launching the beta for, a service which would help people who would like technology to help them stay consistent with the scripture reading goals. allows users to create custom podcast feeds of the scriptures. The user can create a specify the rate with which they want to progress through the scriptures, and a podcast feed will be created matching the specified rate. The user can then subscribe to the feed with their favorite podcast or newsfeed reading program, such as iTunes, MyYahoo, or Google Reader.

Chapters of scriptures are pushed out on the podcast feed as the specified rate. If the user selected to read 4 chapters a day, a new chapter will be pushed out every 6 hours. The user can choose to read new chapters throughout the day, or let them queue up to read all at once. If the user selected to finish a volume of scripture by a particular date, the rate that chapters are pushed out depends on the length of the scripture, as short chapters will be pushed out more rapidly than long chapters.

The podcast feeds include links to both the audio and text of the chapters, so even if you want to read the chapters, listen to the narration, or both, you can do just that. Please note however, that text and audio support depends on the feed/podcast program that you are using.

Right now, the only volume of scripture loaded into the system is The Book of Mormon. Soon, however, other volumes of scripture will be added, including The New Testament, The Doctrine and Covenants, and even LDS General Conference. I might get the Old Testament and other LDS Church resources added someday as well.

Not all code and services are perfect when they are first released. For the first couple of weeks, while this service is being tested, will be considered in Beta, meaning that it isn't quite a finished product. I invite you to try out and give me feedback about how you like it, or if you find any problems. While the service is in Beta, there will probably be regular changes, so I thank you for your ability to be flexible with any changes.