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November 05, 2007
I had an informal discussion with a friend today, Rich Kelly, about how software could help in leading worship. Rich leads worship in my local church, and leads one of our church bands. Our church is currently looking at re-organising the way our music is kept. At the moment, we use large files of paper sheets that aredifficult to keep tidy and up-to-date.
After introducing him to the idea that software could help, I asked what he would require in a program to help lead worshippers and their band. Here is some of what he said (paraphrased), together with comments I have added that lead directly from what Rich said:
- The program - or the user's interaction with the program - must not distract the rest of the church congregation.
- It must be easy to use, as songbooks will often suffice. Using a mouse would be very difficult while playing guitar! Even without a guitar, how would a mouse be used if there is no surface to use a mouse on?
- Practically, could a laptop running the program be mounted on a stand?
- There could be program versions for other members of the band - e.g. one with sheet music displayed for keyboard players, ones without music (lyrics only) for singers.
- Voice recognition for song selection would be very useful. So while playing a set, the user could say the name of a song into a small microphone to select it, rather than having to click buttons.
All this shall be taken into account when designing PSALM.
In other news, here is another idea of what PSALM's GUI could look like:
Basically, the two halves have been swapped around because the left side would be used first, to select the song then displayed on the right. A little more thought has gone into the program's design, which hopefully shows in the functionality implied by this screenshot.