I'm sure you've already thought of this... but just in case you haven't... It would be nice to be able to integrate PowerPoint files into the mix.
Kudos and God's blessings on you for taking this on.
We could study the pyUNO:
I am just starting with opensong but note that for the use we have (song set followed by a presentation) it would be nice to put a powerpoint presentation in the song list, On the other hand, we can have 90% of the benefit if changingsong or opensong would allow a different background for each page in a song. For a presentation a text slide is just a page of the "song" (really the text for the talk) when an image is required, put it in as the background for that page. Bonus points (we would have nearly 99% functionality) if an animated flash image can be the (or part of the) background image.
different background for each page in a song:
- It's really an interesting idea.
- Do you have any more detailed suggestions how this should work?
- some ideas:
1) style and song could be found at different places - it should be possible to reuse same style of backgrounds for more songs
2) different backgrounds could be defined for various parts of a song (verse 1 [V1] - first background, verse 2 [V2] - second background, etc)
What do you think about these ideas?
- we could consider this.
- at technical level - the realization will be certainly more complicated.
I'm starting from a "typical" slide set from a presentation or sermon. Most slides are just some text on a plain background, the same image for each slide but usually a different image from the songs that precede it. For some slides, however, you need an image to make the point so you have a captioned picture on the slide. As you suggest, you would indicate the image on the verse tag (In most cases the image would be a composite assembled using power point or photo shop or some equivalent application). The presentation would not have things like chorus or bridges, just a string of verses, each with it's own selection of background image, probably specified on the line with the [V] tag. Not that it would hurt to allow the functionality to work on chorus and bridge pages, but it would not be necessary for MY situation. You might also make it possible for a "verse" to have no words since the appropriate caption would be embedded into the image file in case changeingsong won't put it in the right place. The default background for an image with none specified could be either the default image or the last image used, I don't know which is best and suspect that either choice will be right sometimes and wrong others.
You can, in fact, export the slideshow as a series of jpg files, in which case we just select them, in order, with verse tags that have no text in the verse.
Since I am a bit lazy, I would like to have the editor bring up a file selection dialog so I can pick the file from a list rather than cut and paste the name, but that is definitely "gilding the lily".
Flash would be nice if it is easy but you can get around it or just not use animations. As I think about the problems we need to specify location on the page, file and more stuff than it is likely to be worth. But some of our speakers do put them into their powerpoint files just because it's easy.
I think it would be good to have tags functions for the verses usable for all elements. I would like to see some integration using elements of programs like impress or gimp or some vector graphics program so that changing song could "replace" power point. The work flow would be a lot smoother if you didn't have to change programs. It could even use other programs but integrate them into the UI so the user wouldn't see them. I think flash or some other animation standard would be a good idea but i would put it down on the list a bit lower than .ppt import or integration.
Are there any other more open animation standards that could be used instead of flash? Please correct me if I am wrong but I don't see people wanting to import flash stuff more than just having some way to animate things.
Incorporating Flash would get us one step closer to playing video files... *.FLV
Just a thought: Could you work with Screen Monkey? (http://www.screenmonkey.co.uk/DNN/default.aspx) It is a second monitor/screen management program. It already has a PowerPoint plugin and someone is working on an Impress plugin. If the OpenSong rewrite has a plugin that brought the controler back to the Presentation Helper screen, one could manage images, flash files, presentations and OpenSong from sort of a "presentation mixer." What do you think?
Correct me if I don't understand your thought well.
You suggest create a plug-in for ScreenMonkey in order to be able mix ChangingSong presentation with PowerPoint or other media types? So we wouldn't need to worry about other media types in ChangingSong(CS)?
Since CS is meant to be a cross-platform SW (Windows, Linux, Mac), I would prefer solutions that brings the same functionality to all (or at least most) supported platforms. Because ScreenMonkey is not an open source application and was created using typical microsoft technologies, it would work only on Windows platform. I don't say that we should ban this possibility but only it that could exist as an alternative to another solution.
As a cross-platform solution I would suggest create for CS a plug-in that would use OpenOffice for PowerPoint/Impress presentation.
I forgot about the cross-platform capibilities. That is a VERY important consideration. Good point.