Yesterday I referred to SermonSpice’s release of their new, free worship presentation software: SpiceRack. I did my homework on this, including speaking with several “pro’s” in the industry and getting their feedback, too. I, honestly, don’t know where to begin. To call this product premature is an understatement. I don’t know if they were just concerned with getting it out to Catalyst attendees or what. Let me also say that calling it “Alpha” or “Beta” doesn’t excuse what I saw either. As one computer developer I talked with said, “Beta versions should have most bugs worked out and be MUCH further along before releasing.”

I downloaded the software and tried using it and was not able to. All it did was flicker. I couldn’t press any buttons or tabs. I couldn’t add an image or a video – nothing. The other thing that I and my investigative team discovered is that the software is heavily dependent upon the Web – meaning it doesn’t like it if you’re not connected to the Web (Obviously, the creators of SpiceRack want you to be able to connect straight to their mother company, SermonSpice).

I ask: Who is it that is going to be interested in a free presentation software (knowing you get what you pay for)? The answer: The startup church that meets in a school auditorium or a movie theater. Think you can connect to the web there? Nope. For the church that is portable and in setup and tear down mode every week, they probably are not going to have web access, which makes a lot of this product useless.

My 2 cents… This is a one-time purchase. Prayerfully consider how you can come up with the money to INVEST in a solid product (like the Top 3 in my software pollEasyWorship, MediaShout and ProPresenter). If you really don’t have that much to invest, then consider MediaShout Express, which I reviewed earlier and is half the cost of the leaders in this field.

If you absolutely need to go FREE, go with a proven product like Easislide or Open Song that has been around for a while.

EXTRA:
countdown creator

On a more positive note, my friends at SermonVideos.com have come out with 2 cool new things that I’d love to tell you about:

  1. HD widescreen motion backgrounds! As you know, I’ve stated before that I’m looking all over for these since we’re getting ready to go into a new worship center with widescreens. SermonVideos.com now joins the ranks of Igniter Media and Worship Films as pioneers in offering HD backgrounds to churches. Praise God. Many of their newest motions are now available in full widescreen 1280 X 720 HD in BOTH Windows Media AND Quicktime MP4 format. NOTE: Subscribers have full access to these files. I’m a subscriber. To subscribe go HERE.
  2. SermonVideos.com is happy to announce the new Countdown Creator software. If you would like to quickly and easily be able to create your own countdowns, this software is for you! Simply put your stills and videos into the creator, arrange the countdown clock and export.

PERSONAL:

I’ve received several “Thank yous” from people that read my article in Collide Magazine. It seems there are a lot of people who appreciate honest reviews of companies and products. Thanks for your encouragement!

Greg Atkinson

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