Hello, I'm new to G&G but have been reading blogs about the pros and cons of these software packages until my eyes hurt. Problem is, none of the blogs I found were very current. So I would like to propose this age old question again, referring to the current versions of both MediaShout 4.5 and ProPresenter 5.
I am the Video coordinator for a small church, about 400. We currently use EasyWorship 2009, which works fine, but we are outgrowing it and I have been watching for updates or upgrades and there seems to be no hint of this forthcoming. That said, we're looking at either MediaShout or ProPresenter for Windows 7, running on a year old HP with a GEForce video card. Our church uses dual monitors and one confidence monitor in the back. I'm more of the graphics person, not so much the "techie" or hardware guy...we do have one...but we are both volunteers and do the best we can.
We're not opposed to moving to Mac (we both are familiar and own both Macbooks and PC's for home use), but just having gone through a major building addition new equipment may not be in the budg for a while. Plus a new Mac OS may be too much of a learning curve for the other volunteers; they're all PC people. I set up all the services and other volunteers then run what I set up. SO an easy play list is key. I like to use a lot of video and graphics behind lyrics and usually create our "logo" in photoshop and import it in. I do our announcements in PPT 2010 and import them to run before and after our services. Every now and then we use outlines and I usually do those in PPT as well.
I have demo'd both. Here's what I've found; please feel free to comment on any of these items. Please note that I think both these products are wonderful; I'm just trying to find the best one for OUR congregation/size/ability.
I first demo'd PP. I had high hopes as my tech guy had watched it at another church and they were really happy with it. I found it hard to use. For purposes of full disclosure I'd sometimes rather beat my head against a wall than read a manual or watch a demo. I had read that "anyone could learn it in 5 minutes or less", so it made me feel pretty stupid when I took several hours just to figure out how to create a page break on slides. I did finally watch a few video demos and learned some things. Got excited; figured out how to create page breaks, play lists, and a few other things that I couldn't figure out on my own. I went to create a "hot folder" as that was just pretty exciting for me, and it crashed. I kept trying to reopen PP and it kept trying to import (which I thought this weird since the hot folder should just adding a location, not importing what was in there, right?). I finally had to REMOVE PP and reinstall it. I tried creating a hot folder again, pointing to a different folder and it crashed again. So I quit.
So I downloaded MS and it seemed much easier to work with, perhaps because it looks more like EW. I liked how I could drag and drop ppt and video in to the playlist pane. I also like the preview panes. Not a fan of the "firebox"; wish that was on the normal toolbar, but not a deal breaker. Bible verses were easy (I can't demo this with PP). The only thing I had a problem with was just making a generic slide and saving it for future use. For instance,a "Kids are dismissed for children's church" slide. (Again, I'm terrible about manuals and demos...I'm sure it's all there.)
So my question is, am I missing something? Everyone in the forums I read raves about PP, but I seem to lean towards MS. Seems the majority thought PP's design was better and easier than MS. We have some older volunteers and I don't know if they could use PP.
Of course, the biggest factor is stability. One main reason we want to move from EW. I have read that both programs are prone to freezes, although it seems these newer versions perhaps no longer have this issue, at least while running live?
I'm looking for advice from people who have used both NEW versions, if possible? If not than please chime in on the new version you are on, and any pros and cons to help me form a good working knowledge of which program is best for us. THANKS and God Bless you all in your ministries of bringing God to the screenl moving people, and winning hearts. Well done, good and faithful.