Update September 2020: These MP3s are now only available in an App. For Apple, download here. For Android, download here.
The production of an MP3 version of Christian hymns provides a valuable resource. It also has potential for use with other hymn books, since many of the tunes are found in a wide range of books.
You’ll need a computer to gain access to the music. It’s simple to install and use on a computer that has a sound card and speakers and runs Windows 98, 2000, XP or Vista. It also runs on a Mac (OS X version 10.4 or higher). If you wish to use it on an MP3 player you’ll need at least 4.5 GB of space. You gain access to each hymn through Adobe Acrobat’s free reader, selecting the hymn number at the top of the page or title in the sidebar. Each hymn has its own words page linked to play the set tune or tunes.
The recorded sound is a piano with a clear note suitable to lead singing. Each tune has an introduction, cue and the appropriate number of verses. You do need to have everyone ready to sing before pressing play, and as the tempo is fixed it requires that you sing at the recorded speed.
This MP3 version has potential for use in personal devotions, or family worship, and I could see it being of immense help to those confined at home. It will also be useful to all involved in selecting or playing hymns, as it allows you to hear, evaluate and learn them. It has special merit where no musicians are available, as the music can be played directly from a laptop, or an MP3 player and portable speakers.