July 31, 2008 – 18:59

I am not in the habit of writing product reviews on my blog, however this review was prompted by being asked for the n’th time what software I use at church to display words, videos and scripture on the projector. The short answer is to say that we use EasyWorship 2007.

The reasoning behind using it is not that good really, as it was chosen before my time and as far as I know no one really did any major research into it. However since using it I have had the opportunity to really try and get into it and to see if there are any good alternatives to do the job.

First of all we have three basic requirements, the first and most important was to be able to organise and display words during worship, the second is as a multimedia presentation platform (i.e. the ability to play sound, display video and PowerPoints) the third is to be able to display scripture during a sermon.

Second there are the alternatives two of which I have tried in a “live” situation and two I have seen used very proficiency:

  • Words of Worship– For the past three years running I have seen this in use each at [[Wikipedia:Spring Harvest]], from what I can gather it was chosen because it could display lyrics for songs on screen, other functionality can be provided by video mixing and [[Wikipedia:chroma keying]].
  • OpenSong – For a while it looked like EasyWorship was not going to be suitable for our needs, this is the first of two products we used while we were sorting out our problems, it had the capability to display lyrics and scripture on screen. Although as far as I saw media presentation was not within its abilities. In addition it is free.
  • MediaShout – This was the second application we tried in lieu of EasyWorship, the features seem almost boundless as it is extensible with plug-ins, however the user interface is very cluttered and is not the easiest program to drop into, that said MediaShout do provide extensive training as do several third parties.
  • SongPro – I have seen this used in several Anglican churches and I must say it does its job properly, I have not however ever seen it play audio or video.

Finally back to EasyWorship. In the end it turned out that we were entitled to continue using EasyWorship as it was so we did not need to look into a different product, that said we had planned to purchase it again for the following reasons:

  • It requires little or no training for the operator.
  • It allows us to display lyrics, scripture, audio. video and PowerPoint.
  • It has a convenient mechanism for searching songs (by title or by first line of verse/chorus)

There are other features that I like about EasyWorship that we are yet to utilize:

  • Video Feeds – this could be really cool having a feed from a DV Camera on the screen, particularly if it was a big or unusually shaped room.
  • Scheduling of all items – EasyWorship can add anything to a schedule it seems, currently we only add songs and PowerPoint presentations. With sufficient planning scripture and media could also be added. You could even go as far as adding music to be played at the start and end of the service.

Well that is the rather sketchy review, if I come up with anything else over time I will be sure to post back. If you have any of your own experiences please feel free to drop a comment.

  1. 10 Responses to “EasyWorship”

  2. Hi

    I used ‘Easy Worship’ on a trial basis for a Service which included video clips (downloaded from Damaris). My first experience and the software ‘locked!’ I originally thought that the problem was my laptop – but I have been advised by my computer bod, that it is beyond the specification required. Further research on the web has shown that other people have had this problem – this has made me wary of recommending it to our Church, especially with an asking price of £250.

    Have you ever had problems of this kind?


    By Mairi MacKay on Sep 14, 2008

  3. Hello Mairi,

    I can’t say that I have had any problems with the computer freezing, then again I haven’t used many videos with EasyWorship. It may have been down to insufficient memory on the laptop causing EasyWorship to have to load parts of the video from disk rather than all of it from memory.

    I have noticed that running EasyWorship from a laptop means I am unable to use the laptop for anything else, recording for example. Our main EasyWorship machine is a Quad-Core Xeon with a gigabyte of RAM and two fast disks. So we are using a vastly overpowered platform to what we actually need.

    God Bless


    By Richard Slater on Sep 15, 2008

  4. Dear Richard

    Yes, we’re using EasyWorship – and on the whole, it’s fine. Have you come across Zionworx – http://www.zionworx.org.uk – a free collaboration project rather like Open Song…


    By David on Sep 30, 2008

  5. Hello David,

    When I found Zionworx soon after sorting out EasyWorship at church, I had however forgotten about it until you mentioned it. There are a handful of projects I am working on that it may well suit. Thanks for the reminder.

    By Richard Slater on Oct 1, 2008

  6. Hi,
    I have been using easy worship in our church now for a long time i have never had any problems with it even though we use an old pentium 2 processor to run it on with 512MB RAM. think it is the laptop we have tried on one before and didnt like it. i think the two video feeds are too much for a laptop to handle.

    God Bless

    By Matthew on Nov 5, 2008

  7. Hello Mairi,

    Most of the time if EasyWorship locks up when playing a video, you have a video codec (software that decodes video or audio files)on the computer that isn’t able to display video on a second screen or isn’t directshow compatible. If you wish to resolve the problem, go to http://www.easyworship.com and send an email to support. They will be able to help you troubleshoot the issue. If you need a trial extention, they can provide one too.

    By Rodger on Nov 25, 2008

  8. Hello,
    I’m having some problems using EasyWorship in our church. No matter whose laptop we use, we all seem to have the same problem. So I’m connected up to the projector and then when we go live, the presentation appears on my laptop screen underneath EasyWorship rather that onto the projector. You then have to go onto screen setting and swap primary and secondary monitors to make it appear properley and most folk don’t have the PC skills to do this. Surely it has to be easier than this but I can’t find the solution to this problem on the web. We tried clones screens, extended screen but to no avail. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

    By Tim Cooke on Nov 18, 2009

  9. Hello Tim,

    Couple of things to check:

    1. Plug the projector in before you turn the laptop on.
    2. Make sure the extended desktop settings are configured before starting EasyWorship.
    3. Check to make sure EasyWorship is detecting the second screen

    If you have gone through those options, I would recommend talking to the support team at http://www.easyworship.com/ they should be able to advise you as the the best steps to get it working reliably.

    By Richard Slater on Nov 18, 2009

  10. Hi Richard,
    It’s 2 1/2 years since you last wrote this review about EasyWorship. I’m wondering if you are still committed to it, and/or if you’ve tried Zionworx with success, and/or whether you’ve gone to different software entirely? Thanks,

    By Rev. Jeanne Lloyd on May 1, 2012

  11. Still using EasyWorship, had a try with a few others since but found EasyWorship superior.

    By Richard Slater on May 12, 2012

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