Yet another query about importing songs efficiently

edited November -1 in Development

Basically, I'm looking for efficient ways to create a tidy song database from what we already have. I know this has been addressed in many posts but I haven't found quite what I need.

This Sunday, the worship team want to have an open worship session where the congregation can request what they want to sing. I'd been planning to switch to OpenLP and gradually build up our song collection from scratch, making sure we have all the right words, the correct copyright entries etc. But this scenario ruins my plan :-/ Previously we'd been using SundayPlus in which we have a decent database of songs, making this kind of task relatively easy.

So I have a choice of:

  • importing all our SP database in advance and letting the projectionist tweak the songs at the last minute. Result: Our song library is still as messy as before and it still takes a moment to edit each song before we use it.
  • using SundayPlus this week.
  • importing the songs one by one as needed. This will take a few moments as they will need editing before display.
  • importing the songs from the original Mission Praise text files in advance. Most of our songs come from there and this would give us a nice tidy song list. But I would need to work some SQL magic to get the copyright and authors into the right places.

If I was on projection duty, I might consider importing from SundayPlus on the fly. However, there is still the issue of the copyright info which needs to be deleted from the last verse (typically) and pasted into the author and copyright field. That would take a minute or so which might spoil the spontaneity of the event.

I can work with SQL but I'm not sure that there's a reliable way to extract the authors and copyright notice from the song and add them to the required place in the DB. I'll try to work some magic with the Mission Praise text files but I would welcome any input from someone who has already done this. Do some of the other importers already pick out copyright and author info? Does anyone have any advice on this dilemma (complete but messy song database vs small but perfectly formed song database)?

Sorry, I ramble a bit :-)


  • edited October 2012
    Hi Carl,

    Yes other importers do pull out copyright information, and there appears to be a bug report for your problem with SundayPlus.

    In all honesty, if this is a one off service, it seems to me it'd be most sensible to use SundayPlus on this occasion if all your songs are already there.

    Also we may be interested in the future to add an import for the Mission Praise text files like we have for Songs of Fellowship, assuming this file is distributed with the music books? However as we don't have a copy I'm wondering if we could work with you to help with this?
  • edited October 2012

    You're very sensible :-) We will probably end up using Sunday Plus.

    I have no idea where the Mission Praise text files came from but I've been told they're perfectly legal. There's at least one file I spotted which has the wrong content but a random sampling of others seemed pretty consistent (author (c) year copyright holder \n mission praise nnn). I'd be delighted to help with a new importer.

    The SundayPlus author info was added manually by me and others and is nowhere near as consistent. The best we could do would be to delete anything that's in a small font, or separated from the rest by a few lines and contains (c) or a year or the word licence. I've been wondering whether it would be possible to (semi)automatically retrieve copyright info off the CCLI website (free since we don't need the lyrics), but they have so many different versions and arrangements for each song, even the worship team don't seem to know which one we're using.

    Always impressed by how much time you guys manage to put into these projects. You're very responsive and effective. I'm not the busiest person in the world (at least I shouldn't be) and yet I never seem to have enough time... I'll do my best to look at the importer code.

  • edited October 2012
    > . I've been wondering whether it would be possible to (semi)automatically retrieve copyright info off the CCLI website (free since we don't need the lyrics), but they have so many different versions and arrangements for each song, even the worship team don't seem to know which one we're using.

    I have thought about this, but using database that comes with the copyreport software. Unfortunately I have not got anywhere as the database is Java specific and I cannot find a python library to read it.
  • edited October 2012

    If the database is Java specific, there are a few, is there an ability to use Java to pull out the database into a text file formatted as SQLite sql statements, ready to go into the OLP Songs database, then run that SQL to inject them into the users database.  


  • Hi gushie,

    At the risk of adding to a thread that's a couple of months old, you were asking about Mission Praise.

    I've just gone through the labourious process of importing them for our church. The song files aren't distributed with the song book but are available to download as individual songs from You pay an annual fee to gain access to the database and can download as many as you want. I ended up downloading them all which took a while ...

    The files are RTF so I ended up writing a vb macro to convert them to OpenSong XML format and using the OpenSong import. There are a few gotcha's like the verse, chorus order sometimes changes, repeats are often listed as first line of the chorus followed by ....., songs with male/female parts have funny formating, lines can contain ; as punctation which OpenSong iterprets as the start of a comment and strips out the rest of the line etc.

    Happy to provide some samples and my macro if that helps, a dedicated importer would be great!


  • Hi
    I am also looking for a way of importing 'Mission Praise' hymns. They are in RTF format. Is there any idea of when an import for this is likely to happen? I appreciate there must be lots of other things to sort out as well.

    So has anyone managed to import mission praise songs quickly and without any extra work?
    Many thanks
  • opsreys, it might be worth sending andyc a message (click on his username then click "send message") to ask if he'll send you a copy of his mission praise database.
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