Despite significant advances in Smartphone and tablet computing technology of late, as of now, the bulk of my work still gets done on my laptop. Like typing this post for instance!
While there are countless lists of worship leader apps for iOS or Android devices, there are not too many on what a worship leader can do on a regular computer.
So if you’re like me, here’s a list of 10 programs that are especially useful for today’s worship ministers:
Since the modern worship ministry has lots to do with music, it’s important to have a robust media player. KMPlayer is an awesome multi-media manager to manage almost any type of audio / video file format (including support for 3D video). It comes with excellent playlist organising features, seamless playback of split videos, DVDs & Blu-Ray playback, winamp plug-in support and more in a modern interface with pleasing eye-candy.
2. Cheetah Sync
This is a syncing tool that keeps files up-to-date between a PC (Mac version also available) and an Android device. Once you install its desktop & Android apps and select the folders to be synced (a music folder for example), Cheetah Sync updates files between both devices over a Wi-Fi connection and facilitates accessing files locally on both devices.
3. Song Suggest
Song Suggest is a unique program with a preloaded database of around 600 worship songs. It provides a slick interface to search for songs, lyrics, chords and YouTube videos and build worship set-lists for a variety of occasions. While the iOS app costs $2.99, the desktop version is free. There’s no Android version though.
Not all musicians are proficient enough to listen to a song and learn to play it just like that. When trying to work out the notes of a Lincoln Brewster guitar solo or complex vocal parts etc. it helps to slow down the playback. Audio Pitch & Shift is an open source program, which as its name implies does a remarkable job of slowing down the speed of playback without affecting the pitch. The app also helps to detect the BPM of a song, loop-playback a specific segment of a song and more. Great for learning and rehearsing songs!
While Audio Pitch & Shift finds the tempo of a song, MixMeister BPM Analyzer is a great help when there’s a need to figure out the tempo of songs in bulk. It can index an entire folder of songs and output a consolidated text file with song title and respective tempo within minutes.
Most of the time, I lead worship for people whose projection needs are very simple: nothing more than clear, readable lyrics onscreen. OpenSong is a stable, user-friendly program that takes less than 20 minutes to learn and setup. It can also double up as a master song repository, where lyrics with chords can be stored for ready reference.
This one’s for songwriters and poets. VersePerfect is basically a text editor with a built-in real-time rhyming dictionary, song/poem templates, instantaneous syllable counting, hyperbolic thesaurus, online word lookup (Wikipedia, wiktionary, dictionary.com etc.), word explorer and more to develop and complete your song/poem ideas. One feature I’d love to have is a way to record melody ideas. My workaround is to do the actual writing on VersePerfect, then store a copy in Evernote, use the voice recorder in the Evernote app on my Android phone to record the melody idea and sync. This also ensures a cloud-backup of my songs.
Windows Photo Story is a high quality software from MS to create videos out of photos with titles, transitions, special effects, music and captions. It’s a useful tool especially for creating ‘lyric videos’ for songs.
Windows Live Writer is probably the best free desktop blogging tool out there! Clean interface, rich text editor, photos, videos, spell check, support for multiple blogs & blogging platforms apart from plug-ins, HTML mode and more make this a wonderfully complete software for easy offline blogging.
Any.Do is an user-friendly task list manager with notes and reminders that helps us to stay organized. It syncs with multiple Google Tasks accounts and enables task sharing (with worship team members for example). Works out of a desktop browser (Chrome extension only for now) apart from apps for Android and iOS. To repeat: its USP is simplicity.
Can you share your favorite desktop apps that are helpful for your ministry?