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Written by Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 06 October 2009

The Mormon Channel iPhone application is the first software release from the LDSTech community. Not only does it stream the Mormon Channel on the iPhone, it also plays recordings of general conference talks, Church magazine articles, and scriptures. The application was given a four-star rating in iTunes and has been downloaded more than 55,000 times in more than 53 countries.

Views of the Mormon Channel iPhone application while streaming the Mormon Channel, browsing magazine content, and listening to magazine articles

The Mormon Channel Project will create version 2.0 of the iPhone application and also create applications to stream the Mormon Channel on Windows Mobile, Palm Pre, Android, and BlackBerry devices.

More than a dozen developers, quality assurance testers, and graphic designers worked on version 1.0 of the iPhone application, collaborating virtually through the LDSTech wiki, e-mail, and on the phone for a period of two months. Due to the excitement of building an application on the iPhone platform, the project gained a lot of momentum and community involvement early on, and sped through development to execution in a surprisingly short time.

About the Mormon Channel

The Mormon Channel, launched in summer 2009, is the official radio station of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and features LDS-related content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The station is online at radio.lds.org and on the air for HD radios in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Phoenix, and Seattle.

Content for the Mormon Channel comes from the archives of the Church, partner organizations, and a series of newly launched programs. Many of these programs break new ground for the Church, moving it into the podcast space with story-driven themes, informal discussion formats, and an emphasis on conversation and community. These new programs include the following titles: Everything Creative, Stories from General Conference, Conversations, Mormon Identity, Church News, Into All the World, History of Hymns, Legacy, Light of Men, Music with a Message, and Scripture Stories.

Several of the new programs on the Mormon Channel (radio.lds.org)

Not only did the Church move into the podcast/radio space with about a dozen new programs, each program releases a new show almost weekly. Both guests and hosts for the shows include a wide breadth of participants, from BYU professors to writers to professional basketball players. In addition to their inclusion in the Mormon Channel stream, the new programs are available as individual podcasts in iTunes.

Additional Audio Content

The Mormon Channel iPhone application also ties in to a Web service to deliver general conference, the scriptures, and the Church magazines in audio format. Although this additional audio content wasn't in the scope of the original project, the LDSTech community felt the content was important to include and so added it. The addition significantly expands the offerings from the Mormon Channel application, putting more audio from the Church into one source so you can listen to a variety of content, anywhere and anytime.

Features Planned for 2.0

The LDSTech community is working on version 2.0 of the application. Improvements include the following:

  • The program will remember where you left off and resume from that spot when you exit and return to the program.
  • When you're streaming the Mormon Channel, you will see more information about what's currently playing and what shows are coming.
  • When you finish listening to one article or chapter of scriptures, the next in sequence will automatically play.
  • As you navigate the application, you will see more graphics to enhance the visual experience.

Getting Involved

We need developers, testers, and designers of all varieties to join the project, especially developers who can create applications for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Android, and Palm Pre platforms. To take the first steps in the project, see Getting Involved.

To learn more about the project, see the Mormon Channel project information on the LDSTech Wiki.

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