Goodbye Easy Worship. Hello ProPresenter

I’ve been using EasyWorship for a long time. At one point they were the only software that we knew of that would do text over video. We probably have 8 or so venues or rooms that are being powered by Easy Worship. Gotta love site licenses. It’s been a stable program but I’ve been frustrated by some of it’s shortcomings:

-No way to sort, organize or search backgrounds. We have around 800 motion loops not including stills so this can be a huge pain in the but.
-Edits in schedule are not automatically reflected in the database. I understand why you would want this, but it’s not the way I like to work.
-Editing a song takes way to many steps
-Goofy behavior when copying and pasting text. Text auto resizes. And returns are not always recognized.
-Video playback of foreground elements has never been stable. I think this has to do with the computer scaling the video up.
-Windows based.
-Can’t delete multiple files from the database or background bins.

I’ve been messing around with ProPresenter from Renewed Vision for awhile now. And I’ve been very impressed. I was waiting for a time to justify the switch and this plasma instal was just what I’ve been waiting for.

We played a game of musical macs.

We bought a new 20″ iMac to run ProPresenter. It’s the base model 2.0 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB Ram, 250 GB HD, ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT video card with 128 MB. Can I just say this is one good looking machine! The display is awesome. I loaded ProPresenter, our backgrounds (all 90GB of them) and our music sheets.

Our worship team keeps their music/lead sheets in txt files with song info and chord charts in {} or []. I used Text Wrangler to do a batch proccess GREP search to find any and all text between [] or {} and delete it. So now I have 2 folders. 1 with the music teams lead sheets so I know what part of the song is what. And I have a folder of cleaned up lyrics ready to import into ProPresenter.

We also bought a MacPro Two 2.66 Ghz Dual Core Xeon Processors, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 256MB memory
250GB and 1 GB Ram. But I added 8 GB of RAM from OWC and a 500 GB media drive. This MacPro will replace a Dual 2.0 Ghz G5 PowerMac in our media room. The G5 has been moved into the sanctuary to run ProVideoPlayer

Both ProVideoPlayer and ProPresenter were easy to setup on and get up and running. Most of the time was just spent on formating the song slides for this weekend. I wish they came with better documentation or a better quick start guide. It’s hidden in the help menu under features you need to know about. I design our sermon gfx in Photoshop so I used bridge to batch process them into JPEGs and import them as a presentation into ProPresenter.

ProPresenter:
+ I like being able to change background elements on the fly, either during a service or just to preview
+ Sorting my BKG elements into various bins (color and speed, high energy, theme etc…)
+ WYSIWYG editing of slides
+ Smooth transitions. I like it a .5 seconds
+ Simple click on what you want live. No having to fire a cue. Cuts out lots of extra clicks during a service.
+ Told an upgrade is on the way to add some other features.
+ Good as tape video playback via firewire output. I haven’t tried it but I’m going to. I have an old Sony firewire media converter that we used to use before we got a DSR-11.

ProVideo Player:
+ This program is the bomb!!!
+ Adjust the speed, hue, saturation, brightness and contrast on a global or individual basis
+ Group video clips
– I can’t figure how to delete a clip from a playlist without deleting it from the library. I have an email into Renewed Vision.

We got a module that allows ProVideoPlayer to control the background elements in ProPresenter. This is very cool. Basically you set up a playlist in each program. And when you click on an item in ProVideoPlayer it triggers a background item in ProPresenter. Example if each playlist as 5 items. When you click on the 3rd item in PVP it triggers the 3rd item in PP3. Very cool and easy

Well I think this post is getting long enough. I’m sure I’ll have some more thoughts
-dave

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October 22, 2007. Tech Stuff.

11 Comments

  1. Thinking of buying ProPresenter - The Church Media Community replied:

    […] sanctuary. We us ProVideoPlayer to run content on some plasmas. I wrote up some thoughts on my blog here and here. I’ve been very pleased with this program. It fits the way I like to work and our setup. […]

  2. potential compatibility problems between pc and mac - The Church Media Community replied:

    […] Because of the longest Easy Worship met our needs. I wrote on my blog about why we made the switch and some thoughts after a few weeks. I just updated our computer to Leopard and it seems to have […]

  3. paul yoo replied:

    Hey,

    Our church still uses Easyworship. We agree that its not great, but I doubt we will change it anytime soon.
    I’m actually writing about the 800 motion video loops and still images you wrote about.

    Where did you get these videos? We’ve been using 10 video clips for the past 4-5 years and we’d love to be able to add some new ones.

    Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing from you.

    for One,
    Paul

  4. Dave replied:

    Hi Paul,
    The lions share of our motion backgrounds come from digitaljuice.com. If you subscribe to their newsletter they offer some great sales from time to time. We also have some videos from 12inchdesigns.com and a still library from awakeimages.com.

    If the price of those libraries are too steep you might want to check out shiftworship.com. They have a subscription based service.

  5. Aaron Wade replied:

    Hey Dave,

    We’re in the middle of the switch from EZW to PP, and we’d love to be able to import our whole EZW library into PP. Did you figure out a way to do this, or did you have your guys retype everything as they went?

    Aaron

  6. Dave replied:

    If you want to import from EasyWorship I’d give the guys at Renewed Vision a call and see if they know how to do this. They’ve been very helpful when I’ve talked to them on the phone

    We never found a way to import EasyWorship’s database. I took it as a good time to clean up songs we don’t use and we reimported everything (4-6 songs a week). It wasn’t that bad. We copied from the song sheets the music dept has on file or you could import from ccli into ProPresenter.

  7. floyd jobe replied:

    Still experimenting with easy worship but having problems.Like to have a trial version of pro presenter.

    • Dave replied:

      You can download a demo of ProPresenter from Renewed Vision’s website: http://www.propresenter.com/. It’s fully functional except (sans modules) there is a watermark on the video output.

  8. Wiellyam replied:

    Thanks Dave. It’s time to change EW. I have many problem using EW. Like you have told above.

  9. Chris replied:

    Are you aware of a way to transfer all the lyric files from EasyWorship to ProPresenter?

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