Working Smarter

Using Synchronization in Multimedia Ministry

One of the biggest challenges in most ministry positions is being as efficient as possible. When it comes to multimedia ministry, this is especially important. With the sheer amount of files a media tech is required to create, download, convert, or otherwise manipulate it’s no wonder this is one of the highest turnover ministry departments in the church (right below the nursery ministry).

Keeping everything organized and up to date on one computer is hard enough. But managing several computers on one campus or dozens of computers over multiple campuses can challenge your very sanity. That’s where the old adage, “Work smarter, not harder” comes in handy. With that in mind, there is a fairly new concept of connectivity that is beginning to hit the mainstream worship presentation industry referred to as “synchronization”.

Many churches… have adopted the use of online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive. If you haven’t already made this move, you need to.

Many churches have already abandoned the arduous task of emailing attachments or transferring files with a USB flash drive and have adopted the use of online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive. If you haven’t already made this move, you need to. It can potentially save you hours of extra work every week tracking down files and transferring them the old fashioned way. In fact, some professional worship presentation software companies now integrate with one or more of these cloud-based services. (Why didn’t they have this when I was first starting out?) However, while external online services are incredibly helpful they are still a glorified, cloud-based flash drive. Sure, you can transfer files from one computer to another or even backup your important documents. Synchronization, on the other hand, provides yet another important ease of use aspect – collaboration. In fact, SongShow Plus and ProPresenter have developed their own, proprietary sync service designed for this purpose and built it directly into their software. This allows you to upload and download files from within your worship presentation software. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you’re working on an announcement loop for next Sunday’s service and you suddenly remember the youth pastor wanted to have an announcement reminding parents to sign their teens up for an upcoming missions trip. You could upload the announcement loop from your computer and then notify the youth pastor that the file was ready for him to edit. He can then open the slideshow from within the presentation software on his office computer or laptop, add a slide, save it and sync it. The newly revised file would show up on your computer and on the sanctuary computer at the same time so it’s ready to go. But what if he accidentally deleted one of the slides when he added his new slide? No problem, just pull up the old version and make the necessary corrections and you’re back in business!

Synchronization is also intelligent enough to know when the same file has been altered slightly, like the name of the file was changed. This saves room in your repository folder because the server will know not to upload the same file twice. So not only are YOU working smarter, your presentation software is, too!

As you can see, synchronization is the wave of the future and, pretty soon, this will be the standard way to share, edit, and store files. So while you’re waiting for your pastor to finish the next revision of Sunday’s sermon, go grab a coffee with all of the extra time you just saved!

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