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Robert Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Dec 14 2011 8:37 PM

I am new to presentaiton software, outside of PPT.

I am trying to understand the benefits of Proclaim (beside cost) to see why or if this should be our long term platform. Another benefit I know of is what seems to be a very short learning curve.

Can anyone shed some light on how this compares to other platforms?

Rob

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2011 9:31 PM

Robert,

The best thing you could do is download and try out some competing worship projection software. Because of Forum guidelines I'm not free to say what other ones to try, but there are three-four that would be worth taking a look at.

Proclaim was originally conceived of as a platform for churches that lack technical people to learn somewhat more complicated software. Connect that with the possibility of collaboration and of live during the service 'signals' to compatible devices, and you have most of what I understand Proclaim to be about. You have to trade off some things: flexibility of design, availability of the Internet, and on-going cost. Most stand-alone worship software packages (if not all) have no subscription fee. They may offer service and upgrade plans that cost a monthly fee, but I believe all of them can be purchased and you are done with costs for some time. With Proclaim you are paying at least $200 a year for as long as you want to use it.

Again, if you have tried Proclaim out, try a couple of other packages. Most of them cost what a small church would spend on Proclaim for two years.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 1522
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 14 2011 11:52 PM

Let's just say that I present like a pro! Wink

Posts 6
Robert Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 15 2011 6:46 AM

Well, I am surprised that in the interest of selling their platform, discussing why it is better (per scenario) is against rules. That doesn't make sense to me at all.

My level of responsibility is way too high to try 3-4 different platforms. That isn't going to happen. 

I have grown, with regard to professional audio equipment, to value forum participation and reviews in selecting products. I had hoped to find the same style of support for this genre as well.

If anyone is open to the idea, I would not mind a personal email if you have something that may help.

robert(dot)smith at new destiny c f dot org

Thanks for the conversation

Rob

 

Posts 1281
toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 15 2011 7:30 AM

at $200 per year, Proclaim has less than 2 years to "break even" with other much more robust and advanced software. So it is "pay me now or pay me later" on the MONEY issue.

honestly, I could NOT even start it up to try it - it required my address which it could not parse correctly, so it locked me out of even trying it for free. This is not an isolated case and I attribute it to being very "green" and immature.

I also disagree with the rule prohibiting even mentioning direct competitors (or am I misunderstanding something). If Proclaim is so great, what would mere mentioning of ..., ..., and ... accomplish?

How about an honest and unbiased side-by-side review?

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 15 2011 7:47 AM

Personally, I don't disagree with Bob not wanting to advertise other competitors. But it is true ... on my other software forum sites, they compare quite freely. The Finale vs Sibelius competition is the most interesting. I wonder if it's because outside electronic publishing, cross-software movement is common since they read each others formats?

Also, I don't 'do' presentation software, but in small churches, Sunday morning is always a struggle. At our small church. we have super-sophisticated stuff that far exceeds our ability to keep trained people from week to week. REALLY simple is good. The Logos offering would not survive in our small world (though price isn't an issue).

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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Forum MVP
Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 15 2011 8:12 AM

Robert Smith:

I am new to presentaiton software, outside of PPT.

I am trying to understand the benefits of Proclaim (beside cost) to see why or if this should be our long term platform. Another benefit I know of is what seems to be a very short learning curve.

Can anyone shed some light on how this compares to other platforms?

Rob

As with any software, first determine your needs, then look for the solution.

Do you want to use this exclusively for the presentation of song lyrics?

Do you also want to project Bible verses? Sermon outline/notes/etc.? Other worship elements?

Do you want your software to connect automatically with SongSelect (a CCLI serivice) to download lyrics?

Do you want control over every slide of every song, or the "theme" of every song, or over the "theme" of the day, etc. (level of control varies by software - and preferences within software)?

Do you require integration with PowerPoint?

Do you need/want to be able to store music (full scores, lead sheets, chords) with the song lyrics?

Do you need to collaborate in the production of the presentation programs? Along with that, do you need the ability to produce programs from multiple locations, or from a location other than the projection computer?

[There are probably a few other key questions to ask too.]

If Proclaim meets your needs and fits within your budget and its specifications, it's a good option. If it doesn't, there are other solutions out there, some better than others, some free, for others cost varies widely (while that cost does not always correlate with features!). Search for church presentation software, or church presentation software comparison in your favorite search engine. Most programs will give a demo or 'try before you buy' option. Note that many of the "comparison" sites don't include freeware versions (there are many, of varying quaility/usefulness). You may have to search for and compare them separately.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 19 2011 6:05 PM

toughski:
I also disagree with the rule prohibiting even mentioning direct competitors (or am I misunderstanding something). If Proclaim is so great, what would mere mentioning of ..., ..., and ... accomplish?

There's no rule against mentioning competitors. (ProPresenter, MediaShout, EasyWorship, plastic transparencies...) Our marketing team would really prefer that you don't provide links to competitor's web sites, though, because a link from our site would give them extra "search engine optimization juice" on the keywords important to both of us. :-)

Logos avoids comparison charts in marketing because we want to sell our products on their merits, not by attacking our competitors' products. We know many of the people who build competitive products, and almost without exception they're great people, fun to talk with, and individuals who share our passion for the Bible and the church. Why would we want to knock them? Yes, we compete for business -- but I think that it's our collective users who are the winners of that competition, not any one company, in light of the way we're all spurred to do better work. 

Go ahead, compare -- on another site or blog. We just don't want to host or facilitate the head-to-head stuff here. (Again, it's not that they can't be named, or we're afraid of the comparison. It's just the wrong forum. If someone made an unfair or inaccurate statement about Product X on a blog, the Product X team would probably be comfortable commenting there. They might not feel it as free to post a response on our forums.)

Again, none of this is a "rule", just how we think about it.

Posts 6
Robert Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 19 2011 6:48 PM

Bob, 

Thanks and I understand your perspective. Being bi-vocational (industrial/pastoral) I tend to be very business like with regards to products and vendors and less (BoC Inclusive), especially when it comes to purchases.

Being a small plant, the responsibility for wise and frugal purchasing practices is huge and doesn't allow "me" to take your stance and my lack of knowledge in the field of products complicates it further.

I will however honor your wishes on your forum.

Regards

Rob

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Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 19 2011 6:55 PM

Robert, my post was not to squelch discussion. You said you were new to worship presentation software which is why I made the suggestion you try some others out.

Since this isn't a general worship software forum you may not get a lot of folks offering their experience with other packages. I'll give you mine. I use SongShow Plus and have for over ten years. It is much more customizable than Proclaim, and does not really take all that long to learn how to use.

Recently I sampled MediaShout and ProPresenter. ProPresenter is probably for congregations who really want to do a lot with displaying media, not just worship songs. It interfaces with more sophisticated video equipment and can project seamlessly across three projectors with proper equipment. It seems to have been designed for Macs as the Windows implementation seems to lag behind the Mac version.

MediaShout is a capable program not unlike SongShow Plus but I didn't like the interface and there was no way to import the tons of songs I've already set up the way we need.

I am no expert on ProPresenter or MediaShout and may have forgotten the most important ways they can be distinguished from each other (and SSP).

Any one of these three is a step up in complexity and features over Proclaim. You can use whatever backgrounds you want, design the basic song templates in ways you want, use text and text effects as you decide, and can use static and motion backgrounds and in some cases change those on the fly as songs are being projected. They are all basically single user programs, unlike Proclaim which allows collaboration. None of them have the on-air signals Proclaim offers. They do not require annual fees although there are options for support and upgrades that would involve such.

My advice is to evaluate where you want to go over the next five years with worship software and pick a package you'll be happy with. You can spend a lot of time developing your content and style in a package and lose all that by changing to another. For the present and immediate future SongShow Plus does all we need it to do and we have a lot invested in it. Either of the other two packages would suit our needs. Proclaim does not. Dependence on an Internet connection and limited customization are the big drawbacks, besides losing our developed resources because there is no import facility in Proclaim (ProPresenter and MediaShout do not have this either as far as I could tell).

 

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 6
Robert Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 20 2011 8:56 PM

Thank you.

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