Managing Songs in OpenLP

One of the primary features in OpenLP is the ability to add, import, edit, and project song lyrics. Here’s a brief overview of how you can manage songs in OpenLP.

The Song Library

After running the First Time Wizard, the application window pops up. On the left side of the screen you’ll see the Library with several tabs labeled Songs, Bible, Images, and so forth. These tabs expand when you click them so you can see the contents. This post is about Songs, so click the songs tab. If you added the sample songs in the First Time Wizard, all the sample song titles will appear. If no, this section will be blank.

Creating a Song

Before you can project a song, you have to have it saved in OpenLP. There are several options for importing and creating songs. If you don’t already have any song resources from any other software, you’ll need to create your own songs.

At the top of the Songs Library tab you’ll see a row of icons. These will help you manage your songs. To create a song, click the sheet of paper with the green + symbol. The song editor window pops up with several blank fields. The most basic required fields are as follows, listed by their tab:

  • Title & Lyrics: title, lyrics, verse order
  • Author, Topics, & Songbooks: authors

In order to comply with copyright licensing laws, I recommend being sure to get an account with CCLI and adding the Copyright info & CCLI number for each song as well.

Adding Title & Lyrics

Filling in the title is self-explanatory. However, the lyrics can be a bit tricky at first. You’ll type each stanza (Verse, Chorus, etc.) of the song on its own slide and then add a typical verse order.

To add a slide, on the right find and click Add. A new window pops up where you can type in the stanza, line by line, and give the stanza a name. How many lines and how long are entirely up to you. The visuals will be handled by the themes, so for now you’ll just want to get the song typed in. Once you get the stanza typed, click OK. Once all your stanzas are typed in, you can fill in the verse order.

To fill in the verse order, type the 2-digit Letter-Number abbreviation next to the stanza. So if you have 2 verses, a chorus, and a bridge, your verse order might be V1 C1 V2 B1 C1 C1. Notice that every stanza has a letter and number, so even if there’s only one Chorus or Bridge slide, it’ll have a number.

Adding Authors

To add an author, simply type the name in the Author field. If you have other songs by that author, their name will pop up. If not, you’ll be asked if you want to create a new author. Then you’ll click the Add to Song button to add the author to the song.

Copyright Info and CCLI

This information can be found many places. I prefer to go straight to the CCLI website, but many other sites like PraiseCharts and MultiTracks have this information as well. One note, if you want the copyright symbol before the year, click the © beside the Copyright Information field… it’s actually a button that adds the symbol to the field.

Saving the Song

Once you have the Title, Lyrics, Authors, and Copyright information stored, you’ve got everything you need for your song. Songs have several other advanced options as well, but these are the basics you’ll need for every song. Click Save and the song is now listed in your song library.

Editing a Song

To edit a song, click the icon of a sheet of paper with a pencil at the top of the Song Library. This will pull up the same song editor window you use to create the song with all the song information ready for editing.

Projecting Song Lyrics

There are a couple different ways to project the song. One way is to project the song live from the Song Library. This is useful if, for example, the song leader changes songs on the fly to something not in the service. To project a song live from the Song Library, click the projector icon at the top of the Song Library.

You can also add the song to a service. To add a song to a service, single-click the title of the song in the Song Library. Then click the + icon at the top of the Song Library. The song title will show up in the Service Manage tab on the right side of the screen. (I’ll cover services in a later post.)

More Information and Assistance

For more information about creating, importing, and managing songs, including importing songs from other services, check out the OpenLP manual on their website, http://manual.openlp.org/songs.html. If you run into any particular issues or need more assistance, feel free to send me a message and I’ll be happy to try to help 🙂

Getting Started with OpenLP

OpenLP is an open source, feature-rich lyric presentation application. In layman’s terms, it’s free projection software with it has all the basic features as well as plenty of extras. It was designed especially for churches to present song lyrics and message slides. This makes it a great option for smaller churches with limited budgets that desire a way to project song lyrics and other kinds of images, messages, notes, etc. for services.

Getting up and running with Open LP is pretty straight-forward, but it can be a bit intimidating for the first-time user. So if you’re looking for some help getting started with Open LP, please keep reading.

Download and Installation

It’s usually best to download software from the company’s own website when possible. This is typically the most secure and up-to-date option. The OpenLP installer packages can be downloaded directly from their website, http://www.openlp.org.

On the website, click “Download” from the top menu. Then download the installer for your computer system. I recommend using the Direct Download option.

To install the application, find the downloaded file. There are several ways to do this, but the two most common are either double-click the downloaded file when it shows up as complete at the bottom of your browser or use your Finder/Explorer to find the file in your Downloads folder and double-click it. Then proceed with the instructions.

Setup with the First Time Wizard

To run the program, find and double-click the application icon on your desktop, in your start menu, or in your applications folder. This will launch the First Time Wizard. First, select the translation (I recommend Autodetect). Then read the directions and click Next through the wizard.

You’ll be presented with options for Plugins (leave these alone), Sample Songs (skip), Sample Bibles (skip), and Sample Themes (skip). As for the remainder of the settings, I suggest just leaving them as they are for now. When you get to the last page of the wizard, click Finish, let OpenLP do its thing. The application window will appear and you’re ready to use OpenLP.

OpenLP Manual and Assistance

If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide with visuals, head over to the OpenLP Manual at their website, which you can find at http://manual.openlp.org/. If you run into any particular issues or need more assistance, feel free to send me a message and I’ll be happy to try to help 🙂

Editing Audio on iOS with Ferrite

Mobile devices are very powerful. At times, they’re also quite a bit more convenient than traditional desktops and laptops. If you have an iPhone or iPad, one very useful app is Ferrite. It’s marketed toward podcasters and journalists, but it’s a great all-around tool for editing church audio on the go.

Importing Audio

  1. When you install the app, Ferrite is added to the “Open In” iOS menu.
  2. To import audio, find the audio file you wish to import.
  3. In the More Options (3 dots) menu, tap “Open in” and tap “Copy to Ferrite.”
  4. You can also share/export audio from another app into Ferrite.

Editing Audio

  1. Once imported, the audio shows up on the main screen.
  2. To edit, tap the icon that’s a square with a pencil.
  3. The app shows a loading bar at the bottom of the screen.
  4. When the audio is finished loading, the waveform displays.
  5. Tap the waveform once to drag, edit start and end points, and fades.
  6. You can also two-finger pinch horizontally to zoom in and out.
  7. The wrench icon provides track tools like effects and automation settings.
  8. There are several other features as well for more advanced editing.
  9. When you’re finished, tap the icon in the lower left with the paper and check.
  10. Notice that edits show up as a new edit, preserving the original sample.

Sharing Audio

  1. To edit clip information (title, export format, etc.), tap the “i” icon.
  2. To delete the edit, tap the trash can icon.
  3. To export the edit, tap the share icon (box with up arrow).
  4. You’ll need somewhere to save the file, I typically upload to the cloud.

Pro Version

Ferrite has an in-app purchase that upgrades to the Pro features. I can’t remember which features are included and which features need the upgrade, though you can probably look it up on the Ferrite website. If you need the features included in the upgrade, it’s definitely worth considering.

Basic Audio-Video Settings on a Mac

Apple computers are especially well-suited for audio and video projects. But if you’re new to using Macs, changing audio and video settings can be challenging. Here’s a simple guide to changing basic audio and video settings.

Changing the Audio Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left on the menu bar (if the menu bar is hidden, move the mouse to the top left corner and it will unhide).
  2. Click “System Preferences,” then click “Sound” (the speaker icon).
  3. If you’re sending audio from the computer to another source, change the output setting appropriately (for example, you might be using the headphones jack to send audio to a mixer).
  4. If you’re bringing audio into the computer from another source, change the input setting appropriately (for example, you might be using an audio interface to record audio from a mixer).
  5. The output volume can vary greatly depending on your setup. I typically set it about halfway on the computer and let the source I’m sending audio to handle additional volume adjustments.
  6. If you’d like to access this menu easily in the future, click “Show volume in menu bar.” This puts a speaker icon in the right of the top menu bar that you can single-click to bring up some quick settings and a link to this preference window.

Changing the Video Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left on the menu bar (if the menu bar is hidden, move the mouse to the top left corner and it will unhide).
  2. Click “System Preferences,” then click “Displays” (the computer screen icon).
  3. To change the display resolution, click “Scaled” and choose the desired resolution.
  4. If you don’t want the screen to “Automatically adjust brightness” then uncheck this option.
  5. If you have a second screen connected, you can the options for both screens to show up on the current display by clicking “Gather Windows” in the bottom right corner of the window.
  6. If you have a second screen connected, you can turn mirroring on and off by clicking the “Arrangement” tab and (un)checking “Mirror Displays” (note: screen resolutions might have to be adjusted after switching this setting).

Creating Image Posts with the Divi Theme

The Divi Theme is incredibly powerful. It’s also incredibly complex, which can be intimidating and confusing. Here’s a gentle introduction to working with posts with the Divi Theme showing how to create an “Image” style post.

Creating a New “Image” Style Post

  1. Log in to the Dashboard for your website.
  2. On the left menu, hover on “Posts” and select “Add New.”
  3. Give the post a meaningful title (this may also appear in the url).
  4. Click the purple button under the title labeled “Use The Divi Builder.”
  5. Click “Insert Columns” and choose the long rectangle at the top left.
  6. Click “Insert Modules” and choose the “Image” module.
  7. Click the black button at the top right labeled “Upload An Image.”
  8. Choose the file in your Media Library or click the tab “Upload Files.”
  9. To upload a file, follow the prompts on the screen.
  10. Click the blue button at the bottom right labeled “Set As Image.”
  11. Go to the Design tab to adjust styling (like centering and box shadow).
  12. Click the green button at the bottom labeled Save & Exit.
  13. Adjust the page settings (like No Sidebar) and check the Categories.
  14. Click “Publish.”

Editing an Existing “Image” Style Post

  1. Editing an Image style post is nearly the same as creating one.
  2. Just go back to step #7 above and choose or upload a new image.
  3. Then continue through step 13, and click “Update.”

Manually Changing WordPress Menu Links

WordPress menus are very flexible. The default menu typically includes the site home page and about page. But menus can easily be edited to include various kinds of pages and links, depending on your selected theme. Here’s how you can change an existing menu item to follow a custom url link.

How to Manually Change Menu Links

  1. Log in to the dashboard of your website.
  2. On the left, hover over “Appearance” then click “Menus.”
  3. On the right section, find the link you want to change.
  4. Click the down arrow to make the link menu open.
  5. To change the link, copy and paste in the new link.
  6. You can also change the name by typing it in.
  7. When done, click the up arrow to close the menu.
  8. At the top of the section, click the blue “Save Menu” button.

YouTube Playlist Basics

YouTube is a great resource for churches, small groups, and other events or venues when maybe you don’t have any musicians or song leaders but you’d like to have some time worshiping the Lord together through music. Here are a few tips to help you do that using a YouTube playlist.

Make a YouTube Playlist on a Mobile Device

  1. Open the YouTube App.
  2. If you’re not already logged in, log in.
  3. Find a video you want to add to a playlist.
  4. Tap and hold “Save.”
  5. To add it to an existing playlist, tap the playlist.
  6. To create a new playlist, tap “+ New Playlist.”

Make a YouTube Playlist in your Browser

  1. Go to http://www.youtube.com.
  2. If you’re not already logged in, log in.
  3. Play a video you want to add to a playlist.
  4. Click “Save.”
  5. To add to an existing playlist, click the box.
  6. To create a new playlist, click “+ Create new playlist.”
  7. Type the name and click “CREATE.”

Rearranging Videos on a YouTube Playlist

  1. Open the YouTube App or visit YouTube in your browser.
  2. If you’re not already logged in, log in.
  3. Find the Library section (location varies by device).
  4. Click the playlist you want to rearrange.
  5. Click or tap the left side “=” of the video and drag up or down.

Play a YouTube Playlist on Another Device

  1. Open the YouTube App or visit YouTube in your browser.
  2. If you’re not already logged in, log in.
  3. Find the Library section (location varies by device).
  4. Click the playlist you want to play.
  5. Shuffle videos by clicking or tapping the crossing arrows.