I am in the process of learning a new software program called Media Shout. To add to the fun it is on a new computer at church that is running Windows 7, and I'm a Mac guy.
Last fall we started a Praise Worship service at our church at the request of many of the younger families. They just didn't get into the more traditional services we had and many had migrated to another church in town to get what they wanted.
We started putting the service together using PowerPoint on a laptop and used a projector and portable screen in front of the church. I had volunteered to build the PowerPoints, knowing if I had trouble C. could bail me out. The congregation voted to purchase a new system complete with two video screens in front of the sanctuary and a computer in the sound booth. It was finally installed in January.
While the new computer has PowerPoint installed, our Tech guy also purchased and installed Media Shout, which he said was the going thing for churches. I can best describe Media Shout as PowerPoint on steroids.
There is no manual, but they do have online tutorials and lots of tipsheets. Good Thing. I spent most of one afternoon at the church just playing with the software trying it out and figuring out what button did what, and why I would want to use this. I still did the first week with PowerPoint.
Then I got brave (or bullheaded) and decided to do the next week on Media Shout. I spent 5 hours at church on a Wednesday building the first service, mostly. I had a glitch with one song, but that was a problem with another software program. I thought I was set. Friday I went in to fix the one song and WHAT HAPPENED? It wouldn't run!!
I couldn't even get things to play on the right video screen. After three visits with the tech, I found out he had come in Thursday and fixed a couple of his issues, but messed me up. I had to reformat all my cues (slides) and reformat Pastor's PowerPoint sermon illustrations. Another 4 hours.
Last week things went much smoother. It only took about an hour at church after building most of the cues at home on my Mac, running as a PC. I still have some formatting issues, but I think I know what they are and can fix them.
Why bother with Media Shout? I can now see how powerful it is and the possibilities are amazing. I can control the backgrounds separately from the foregrounds and have a music layer run independent. I can change out cues or slides while the program is running and insert them seamlessly. The director of the bell choir has asked about using a video as background during their playing bells, no problem.
Next I want to visit other churches and see what they are doing so I can get better. Maybe I should add a countdown timer so Pastor knows when he should be done with the sermon.