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Downey Church uses SongShow

Like many churches we started our media experience with PowerPoint. When we needed more features, we started by listing the features that we thought were important that were missing from PowerPoint. We read every review and article we could find. One of the great features of worship presentation software is they all allow some type of trial. We installed them all and evaluated them as well.  This is an important step that everyone who is thinking about changing systems should do. Nothing says more about the software than actually trying it on your own system. There were some software packages that were highly rated, that just didn’t feel right to us. That’s an important item to consider as you will be using this software every week.
One of the features that was important to us was to have one presentation system that could display announcements, songs and sermon points. We didn't want to use PowerPoint for half of the service and switch to another system for the other part of the system. This one feature greatly reduced the number of entries in our decision process in 2007 when we did our evaluation (that might have changed by now). 
Eventually SongShow Plus was selected as the system that best met our needs. None of the packages we evaluated was perfect, including SongShow Plus, but it best met our requirements. Some of the features we like and regularly use in SongShow Plus are available in most presentation systems. We are using motion backgrounds and videos (the biggest single thing missing from PowerPoint).  But we also run a slide show for announcements between the services, yet we can also show individual slides during the announcement time. This is very useful feature for us.
Additionally, you can create your slide shows in SongShow Plus or PowerPoint.  You can import PowerPoints into SongShow or there is also an integration feature that allows you to show and control PowerPoint from within SongShow. Very useful if your pastor is giving you PowerPoint slides for his sermon notes.
Songs can be imported from PowerPoint, text files and imported from SongSelect. This is a great time saver for us. Songs and backgrounds can be fixed, meaning a specified order for verses with a set background or you can use Improv. Improv will easily let the person running the show set the backgrounds as they see fit.
There are features we haven’t even gotten to yet, but these maybe important to others. Some of the newer features are control by iPad or Andriod. You can also have stage monitor feed that shows text without the backgrounds for ease of viewing while on the platform. There are options for text over live video as well.
But the most important thing is to try out the software and see if it fits right for you. Download the trial software and give it a spin. Get on the forum for the product and see what people are saying.
It's made by R-Technics Inc.
$299.95 for basic
$449.95 for professional
additional licenses for a site are $95
Bill Aumack is a volunteer and Head Elder at Downey Seventh-day Adventist Church (www.downeychurch.com) in Downey, CA (Los Angeles area). In his spare time he is a Senior Engineer at Northrop Grumman. He is interested in helping his local church reach people for Jesus; sometimes that involves technology and computers, sometimes not.