TFWM: What are some of the key features of your newest launch: ProPresenter 4?
BW: We rewrote the entire display engine. It used to be that PP was only capable of displaying lyrics over a video background, which is great for worship sets, but kind of cramps your style if you want to do multiple text styles in the same presentation or have potentially multiple graphics on the same slide. So we rewrote our entire display engine to actually allow the more traditional PowerPoint or Keynote type layout tools to allow you to have multiple graphics, multiple videos, multiple objects, even multiple live video streams on a single slide.
And then we also updated the scripture engine that we have in the software. We’ve enhanced that tremendously to allow churches that have pastors that preach extemporaneously from the stage, (just calling out scripture verses), to actually make that happen in real-time, formatted properly for that congregation.
The third big talking point is our stage display function. The stage display, as the name implies, is the display that only the people on the stage can see. We have built in three different countdown timers that you can actually show on the stage display, that the producer of the service can actually type in the amount of time for that particular section of worship.
We’ve also enhanced our library synchronization so you can have multiple libraries on your hard drive. If a particular machine is being used for several different ministries, (like a children’s ministry uses it mid-week, and the adult ministry uses it on Sunday morning) they don’t have to maintain the same library, they can each have their own library and switch it on the fly.
TFWM: So what was that Tweet you did recently about “having twins”?
BW: Simultaneously, when we released PP4 for the Mac, the final version, we had a 4 – 5 month beta test of PP4, and we made the announcement that we were creating PP for Windows. That’s coming out this summer. The PP for Windows experience was designed identically to the Mac — so if you know how to run PP for Mac, you will be able to sit down and run PP for Windows easily. We have a completely separate team working on the Windows side, and we want to leverage each platform to its maximum benefit.
TFWM: Is PP4 available as a box you can purchase, or strictly download?
BW: We have over 100 resellers throughout the country that sell our products, but the vast majority is sold directly and it’s an electronic download. The reason for that is because we update our software very frequently – not just to fix bugs, but because we add new functionality. We’re constantly listening to our users and are always in an active state of development.