Feature Request: Custom timed slide transitions for lyrics.

edited January 2013 in Development
We have a complete digital library of songs that we are importing into OpenLP.

I would like to option of timing the lyrics to auto switch while the attached media file is playing. For example set Verse 1 to display for 15 seconds, Chorus 1 to display for 10 seconds, Verse 2 display for 13 seconds, etc.

I know this could come across as nit-picking, but we have quite a few people in our church who are just not tech savvy. A feature like this would allow for more people to possibly help out.


  • I @directandy

    We have had this feature request before, but we'll make sure it is on our list.
  • directandy:  I use media maker to produce a movie file that does what you ask.  Once it starts there is no further action to be done.  It takes around 30 mins to get the slides (Powerpoint) and song timings correct. Long winded but a good work around.
  • @raoul This is exactly the type of thing I'm looking for but have yet to find successfully implemented - anywhere. It's essentially the synchronization aspect of MPEG-7 which can tie the slide transitions to the audio playback. Unfortunately, simply attempting to synchronize based on timings has not worked for me. I've tried recording a presentation in Power Point which records slide transition times it down to sub-seconds. However, upon playback, the slide transitions are not synchronized precisely to the audio. Thus, over a 5 minute song, the transitions can drift EVEN though it was perfectly recorded the first time... (I've also noticed that the drift can change over different playbacks - I've tried messing around for hours, for example to correct the timings, all without success.)

    It shouldn't be as cumbersome as making actual videos as the song lyrics' size is trivial compared to stored video displays of the image at 30 frames per second (not to mention you'd have to redo the entire thing if you just wanted to change the background image).

    The MPEG standards are a pain to try to get too involved with, but I'd recommend possibly something related to the MPEG-7 part 4 standard (and complementing part 3 standard which could be applied to the lyrics files) which looks like you could allow the user to tag high level "change slide" descriptors and perhaps match those up to the song lyrics. Thus, an audio file and a song file could be "connected" through an MPEG-7 XML (with some initial user involvement) and then be a single drag-and-drop all automated from a single start-point... I believe the benefits would be amazing in that you could setup the song once with all the timings and not have to rely on the human component of changing the lyrics ever again. (This would make for smoother and more consistent services and allow a wider range of participants to operate during the services.)

    Obviously this isn't going to be easy or someone would have done it already. However, I would weigh that the benefits would be worth the implementation cost. Thanks for your consideration!
  • I think the timings vary, because of a simple fact, music playback and slide projection have different priorities, if priorities are assigned from 1-25 then music playback is about a 20, and powerpoint slide projection is around 5.  OpenLP suffers the same fate.  What you really need is emulate what slide projectors did when I was a kid.  The audio cassette had a tone in the audio track, when a listening circuit in the projector heard the tone, it advanced the slide. 

    In this case, you would need an audio editor and add a third (inaudible) track in the audio file, with the tone, and a high priority daemon that listens for the tone and sends a page down to the keyboard driver when it detects the tone.  This would be OS family specific (it would need to be developed independently for Windows, Linux and Unix), but it would solve the problem.   The other option is to create a video with an audio track. 

  • edited April 2013
    I have also requested this audio/slide time synchronization feature for the song mode.  But until the programmers get to it, there is another RELIABLE way to sync using PowerPoint.  This may be too complex for some, but here goes: ( a lesson in PowerPoint and more! )  

    First, I import my sound track from my electric piano or any other source to become a .wav file in "Audacity"(very good and free) program.  There I can rework it, (slow it down, speed it up, change pitch, sometimes remove vocals), etc.  Then I export it out of Audacity to become a VLC file in my designated folder.

    Next, use Open LP song mode to build the lyrics slides and background that you will use for the song.

    Next,  open each slide to full screen view and use Windows Snipping Tool (full screen option) to take a photo of the slide and save it to your designated folder.  Once all song slides are in correct folder, open them using Windows Photo Gallery to "crop" them to perfection.

    Now you are ready to work with PowerPoint.  Using the "insert" tab,  enter all slides for the given song in their chronological order.  Some slides may be used two or three times in order to conform to the audio track.  Before setting up slide order, you will want to set the aspect ratio to conform to your screen.

    Once slides are set, use "insert" tab to import audio track from designated folder.  Once audio track is in the PowerPoint file, PowerPoint will ask you if you wish to trigger the audio "automatically" or "when clicked".  Press "when clicked".  Now important: you must click on the "animations" tab and look for the small "animation" window.  Click the down arrow of this window to open a drop down menu.  On the drop down menu, click "play through slides".  This will allow your audio track to continue playing while slides are changing.

    Next, highlight your first slide, click on "Slide Show" tab, and look directly below tab for "rehearse timings".  As soon as you click on this, your screen will go black except for a small window at top left and the audio track will begin playing.  In the small window at top left you will see a small white arrow pointing to the right.  While listening to the audio track, click on this arrow to advance through the consecutive slide order (according to the timing of the audio) until the audio track is finished.  As soon as the audio is finished close this little window.  This will return you to the PP file you have just completed.  Name it and Save it to your designated folder.  Then open "presentations" in Open LP, click on "New" and import your completed PowerPoint file to the presentation list.  When sent live, these PP files will open right away to the first slide and begin playing the audio track.  So you should place an image file in the service manager before and after these PP files.  If you do not touch the up/down, right/left buttons during the presentation of the song, the audio and slide advance timing will remain constant and reliable.  Good luck!
  • As much as I appreciate the suggestions, I am a one man show with a catalogue of over 500 songs. I would be dead long before all of that was completed.

  • zendoobee I have done another solution because " remain constant and reliable" is not true.  

    Powerpoint 2010 export as video is reliable.  http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/powerpoint-help/turn-your-presentation-into-a-video-HA010336763.aspx  Its bullet proof just not flexible.

    If you system is not large enough Powerpoint will drift out of alignment.  This is what MikeG is referring to.   And a system large enough can end up not large enough because anti-virus or equal kicked in.    So its a little random over playback.

    Why powerpoint drifts out of alignment may/will also effect openlp(depending on how openlp does it).   Audio/video playback is dominate under Windows.

    directandy I really wish there was a nice 100 percent dependable solution.   This is why I wish vlc subtitles were usable as well.   Even vlc subtitles can drift from time to time.

    Aligning video and audio is a true pain.
  • Any news concerning this feature request? I want to import the Brazilian Seventh Day Adventist Hymnal to OpenLP, it has 610 hymns. I did import it before, but the work to change the lyrics among song parts and chorus was kinda tedious, and required too much attention, resulting often in mistakes by the sound technician's side. It would be great if each part of the song could be timed separately, in order that OpenLP could change "slides" automatically, once the song was started.
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