UPDATE: I changed the title of this post to read as above instead of “Great and Horrible” because of the responses I got from Logos developers at their forms. Please jump to the end to read about it …
Logos added a new tool their arsenal of Bible and church software – Proclaim. This worship presentation tool has many great features to commend it.
- Cloud based – edit on home PC and presentation is ready on church PC
- Interface – beautiful interface
- Integration with Song Select for lyric import
- Integration with Logos for Bible verse/translation import
- Displays images, video, Bible, lyrics, and more
Syncing your presentation through the cloud with multiple computers makes proclaim an awesome tool for people who edit their presentations on one computer and display them on another. Teams can all work on the presentation at their various work stations and everything shows up on the computer in the sanctuary. So when I learned about the product, I jumped for joy! Finally, a tool that will let me and my team work from home but have it ready to go when we get to church.
Unfortunately, along with the great options Proclaim has some clunkiness to it. Keep in mind its in beta and hopefully Logos will get this stuff ironed out soon. They promise to make it free till the end of the year and will be a subscription based model afterwards. I just doubt they can make it useful enough to make me willing to fork over my church’s limited resources. They have another 20+ days till the end of the year. Maybe they will see the limitations and extend the free beta period.
Here’s the heavy lifting their programmers have to do before I can justify switching from MediaShout to Proclaim.
1. Image Import: I cannot import all of my images and then order them easily. The drag/drop is slow and painful if you have a lot of images. If I want to split my slideshow of images with a bible reference or a video, then I have to import just the files before one of those elements. Afterwards I add the element, say a Bible verse, and import the next set of images and then the next element and then the next set of image … etc.
2. Video Formats: I cannot use any of my video files because I create them as M4V files using iMovie. Proclaim won’t recognize them.
3. Complexity: Initially I though the interface seemed simple and elegant. Then i tried adding files to my presentation. I have to click a minimum of 6 times just to add one picture. That doesn’t include the clicking I have to do to find the file on my computer (opening folders).
The solution? Just let me important all of my offline content and put it in a temporary “box”. Let me drag and drop from that box to the presentation list. Then let me upload the presentation at that point. That way I can do most of it offline and it will speed up my work. When I upload it, then it will be ready for the next person to edit or for download on the worship center computer. As all the files and the presentation are uploading, I can go do other work. This makes me more productive and happier as I’m using the program.
Logos is the kind of company that I was always sure they’d get it right, in the past. Lately, I’m
not as sure and this is just one more reason to doubt it. (UPDATE READ BELOW) Because it is in beta, I’m giving the program an incomplete. But based on the direction they are going, I don’t think I’m going to be happy. Check back in a month when they are actually charging. If things haven’t drastically changed I won’t recommend it.
To paraphrase another great mind, I’m stuck with the worst presentation software on the market (MediaShout), except for all the others. Someone has to be able to get this thing right. I hope Logos can be that someone.
UPDATE: I posted some of my concerns in the Logos Forums and got a great response from one of the developers. First, the problem I had with ordering slides, which I didn’t even include in this post, will be worked on according to the response I got on my Forum post.
Regarding issue #1 above, I got a response as well.
Regarding issue #2 above, I got a response for that one too.
Great Job! Logos!! I am less skeptical now that Proclaim will make it to the point where I can use it in my church setting.