I hope I posted this in the right location. Please move it if I haven't.
Mostly what I need is you all's advice as to whether I'm going about hosting a&v files the best way.

My father has his own domain name and online space. Recently, we have thought of hosting audio and video files (of church conferences and sermons) on his website. I have videotaped the pastos, edited the footage, and now I want to make sure I render the media in the appropriate format.

Video situation:
Currently, most accesses to our website are most likely from visitors with dial-up internet. Therefore, I rendered the video, using Pinnacle Studio, in RealPlayer format, size 160 x 120, and with a target audience of Dialup modem. The result is an hour and 6 minute video file of 16.5 mb.
I am new to the whole experience of hsoting videos and such, so if you all have any advice on the way I am going about things, let me know. Also, if you know of a better format for my video that would benefit my dial-up visitors.

Audio situation:
So I also want to make available the audio files of those videos in a separate download, since I thought that n audio would download faster. At first, I thought I'd render them in .RM format as well; however, whereas Pinnacle Studio does have the ability to render the footage as soley an .RM audio file, the size of the result is much like the size of the video file. For example, a rendered audio file is 16.2 while the video file is 16.5. Of course, this little difference in size defeats my purpose of hosting the audio in the first place.
So I turned to WavePad, opened the .rm file, and saved it as an mp3. Of course, with a bitrate of 128, the resulting mp3 was huge, so I decreased it to a bitrate of 16, and now I'm getting a 5mb file, which is great.

Do you all know of a better way of getting small mp3 (or even .rm audio) files? (For the record, I use the free version of RealPlayer, version 10, and encourage my online visitors to download the same.)

Advice of any kind is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Personally I'm not a fan of real media. I would use (cringes) windows audio and windows video formats, mostly because people won't have to download anything new to watch or listen.

Thanks DanceInstructor for the input. Here in Brasil (where I'm currently living) RealPlayer is more of a household name in terms of online video, and I was under the impression that RM files are smaller, so thats why I choose RP in the first place. I'm such a noob it hurts, so I appreciate your input.

I'm not a fan of RealPlayer either, so I took your suggestion and rendered a 3min, 7sec video clip for 56 kbps in WMV mode, as well as rendered it in rm for dialup. The end result is the WMV file at 840kb and the RM file at 800kb. Theres a real difference in the quality though of the WMV clip: the audio sounds "sandy" (rough) and the pitch is deeper then the actual voice.
So it appears my Pinnacle Studio editng software works more kindly with the .RM files then the WMV ones.

Thanks again for the comment.

I didn't say windows was better! Have you thought about splitting the files into 2 or 3 parts?

quality is always a must have and dnaceinstucter i must agree that realmedia is no good when it comes to music or video...

I would STRONGLY suggest moving to Flash for your video & audio needs. You can edit your videos in your current software, then use Flash to encode and deliver your video.

Plus, with the ability to do "progressive download" your video will start playing almost immediatly instead of taking forever to start.

If you don't have Flash you can get an inexpensive alternative that you can author Flash projects and video with called Swish. You can see it at:

http://www.swishzone.com/

I used it to create some down and dirty streaming video (instead of using Quicktime and WM). Follow my link in my signature to view.

Friends, thanks so much for helping this noob.

I am now looking into flash for my needs, and wow. I should have known about this much sooner. It throws RM and WM out the window.

I do have a question regarding flash. What I have experimented is using Riva encoder (link) to make .flv files and then using the free Flash Video Player (link) when displaying the video on a webpage. This gives pause/play abilitity to the streaming video.

However, for my small video needs, we purchased the video converter AVS Video Tools (link) and it gives me the ability to convert my WMV and RM to .swf. However, even after a lot of Google searches, I still can't find how I'm expected to show these swf videos in a player online (one that gives me the same pause/play abilities).

This is the first time I've ever worked with flash. (btw, I don't have Flash program itself.) Am I wrong in expecting .swf to be very similiar to .flv? How am I to display these swf videos?

If someone could point out where I may be wrong (i.e. wack me along side the head) I'd appreciate it!

Thank you!

Okay, just a little update. Thanks to some links here on DaniWeb and other articles, I've been able to search Google more intelligently, and sort of understand the difference between .swf and .flv.

In short:
FLV=Use streaming way to play, allow embed cue points
SWF=Needs to load all movie data into memory to play

Seeing this difference I would most def feel inclined to use the flv format.

However, I am still wondering if there is a video player style way to display swf's. Otherwise, I'll have to use my Riva encoder to convert to flv, instead of using my AVS converter to convert to swf.

Does anyone see a benefit in using a swf? Thanks!