The Android app for OpenLP adds some nice fexibility to the operation of OpenLP. I personally use this to add songs "on the fly" from the stage on Sunday mornings. It is also useful for speakers that want to control what is being displayed and I'm sure many many other uses. We have recently had a few questions about the remote feature and the setup. You can find detailed instructions in the OpenLP documentation and also info for the Android app.
Before we get to the tips, we need to be sure have a good understanding of some basic networking terms.
IP Address: This is the unique number that is given to a computer on a network. Think of this as a street address of a house. On most local networks It will look something like this: 192.168.1.100.
LAN: Local Area Network, this is the local network. If you have a typical home setup with a modem and a wireless router the wireless router connects all the computers and assings IP addresses on the LAN. Many users have confused the LAN with the internet. A LAN doesn not have to be connected to the internet at all, it simply provides a way for several close by computers to communicate. A LAN is all that is needed for the remote feature of OpenLP to work.
WiFi: this is the means that you connect to a Local network wirelessly. Again, this does not mean you are connected to the internet.
Now, to the tips...
Get on the Same Network
Many people use the Android app on their mobile phone. One of the most common issues I have ran into when someone is running the remote app is they are not on the network that the OpenLP machine is on. For most setups this means you need to be on the same WiFi network that the OpenLP machine is on.
Connect to the Correct IP Address
Most networks use DHCP to hand out IP addresses, this means your OpenLP machine may not have the same IP address every week so it may be necessary to check that if you cannot connect with your device. You can find the IP address from the remote settings screen in OpenLP. You can also find the IP address by entering the command "ipconfig" in the command prompt in Windows, or by the commands "ip a" or "ifconfig" on most Mac, Linux, and BSD machines. You can also find your OpenLP computer if you know its hostname on your Android device by using an app such as eZNetScan.
Be Sure to Apply Your Settings
If you need to change your IP address on the Android app be sure to tap the Activate button to activate the changes.
Consider a Static IP Address
A static IP address will help keep you from having a lot of these issues. This may not always be possible, another way to achieve something close to this is using a tool most routers have to reserve dhcp addresses usually bound to the MAC address of a computer. Check your routers documentation but this is usually a pretty simple process.
Tracking usage of OpenLP is incredibly difficult. Because it is an open source project, there are no registrations to check, you don't know how many times OpenLP has been copied and given to other people. So we don't ever have a true idea of how many churches are using OpenLP.
Tracking downloads is also quite difficult due to OpenLP being available in a number of distribution channels. We know roughly how many downloads there are of the Windows and OS X versions because most folks just download them from our SourceForge.net mirrors. There are a couple of BitTorrent downloads, which we cannot track, but it is such a small download that most folks just do a direct download.
Tracking downloads for the various Linux distributions is far tricker, as there are no download statistics available. We cannot retrieve any number from FreeBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian or Arch. Having said that, we do have a PPA (Personal Package Archive) on Launchpad.net for our Ubuntu users, and we are able to track those downloads.
So, using the data we do have available to us, we can surmise that as of the time of posting, OpenLP 2.0.1 has been downloaded 43,781 times. That's over forty thousand times! The real figure is probably a lot higher, thanks to the downloads we can't track, but this still gives us a rough idea of the impact of OpenLP.
The OpenLP team has always supported older versions of Ubuntu, even when they were no longer supported by Canonical. Unfortunately this places a strain on the team and on which tools we can use to continue developing OpenLP. For this reason we have decided to only support versions of Ubuntu that Canonical themselves support.
Recently Canonical announced that they would be ending support for Ubuntu 10.04 and 11.10 at the end of April. This means that only versions of Ubuntu 12.04 and higher are supported by Canonical. OpenLP therefore will only be supporting releases on Ubuntu 12.04 and higher as of immediately. This also means that the upcoming 2.0.2 bugfix release of OpenLP will only be available on Ubuntu 12.04 and higher.
Since 12.04 is the latest Long Term Support release of Ubuntu, we are hoping that this should not affect anyone. If you are affected, and there is some reason why you cannot upgrade to a later version of Ubuntu, you can come into our IRC channel and chat with us about getting OpenLP running on your computer.
After six months of testing, we are proud to announce the release of Version 1.0 of the Android client.
In addition to various features and bug fixes, 6 new translations have been added, which brings the total of supported languages to 25.
If you already have the remote client installed, you should see an update for it. If you don't have it installed, and you want to try it out, you can get it from the Google Play store, just search for "OpenLP"
Unfortunately it seems that the 2.0 release of OpenLP didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, and a few bugs crept into the release just a few days before the deadline. Fortunately we've been able to track these bugs down and fix them.
The bugs we've fixed are:
Song export and import now works correctly
Transparent themes are once again transparent
PowerPoint/lmpress files with unicode characters in the filename can be imported
OpenLP is now more usable with the XFCE desktop on Linux
Please note that it will still be necessary to use an older version of VLC on OS X (2.0.3) as more recent versions are still troublesome (2.0.4 and 2.0.5) and we are attempting to rectify the problem.
We hope that despite the name, this version is less buggy than the previous one and that you can use it with confidence during your acts of worship.
As usual, you can grab this release from the download page. The torrents, portable versions and various Linux packages will be updated over the next week or so.
A feature we have been using regularly at our church has been images as a slide show. We use images for announcements since we have someone who is gifted with photo editing software. It makes some really nice slides for announcements and very personalized. This could also be useful for those last minute needs such as someone wanting to show pictures snapped at a youth event or outing or a variety of other things.
We've had a number of reports recently of users with Windows 8 being unable to run OpenLP. Unfortunately from our side we have not had any problems with our tests on Windows 8. If you have Windows 8 please contact us to let us know your experiences, both good and bad. Even if everything is working perfectly fine, we want to know that.
We also need a few technically-inclined people who are experiencing these issues to help us figure out what is going wrong. You should be comfortable with the command line as there are a number of technical bits and pieces that you will need to do, such as installing Python and some of OpenLP's dependencies.
Secondly, we have found two regressions in version 2.0, which have been fixed but are waiting for a release. The first is an issue with transparent themes which are no longer transparent, and the second is a bug in the export function.
Interestingly, we never realised how much the export feature was used until it was broken. We've had quite a number of folks reporting the issue.
If you are experiencing either of these issues on Windows or Mac OS X then we recommend downgrading to version 1.9.12, which can still be found on SourceForge. Users on Linux can either patch their version of OpenLP with help from us, or sit tight until we make a bugfix release.
We're hoping to make a release sometime in December.
We're hoping to release version 2.0.1 on Sunday the 6th of January, the first release of the new year.
Videos are a great way to enhance the worship experience. Sermon illustrations, home grown videos for announcements before or after a service, showing videos to help set a “mood” of worship before a service starts or through a multitude of other creative ways, videos can be effective tools for worship. OpenLP has the ability to play videos as part of the service using the Media tab. You simply add your video, or audio to OpenLP then use it as you do a song or Bible verses in your service. Easy.
If this works for you, don’t read any further, but what if you set up OpenLP and videos do not perform correctly? Actually, if videos work for you keep on reading anyway you might still need this someday. We are going to walk through a sure fire way of getting videos working in OpenLP without a lot of work.
First, lets look at how OpenLP plays videos. OpenLP uses resources already installed on your computer to play videos. That is enough detail, if you want to do an in-depth look at audio and video codecs by all means please do but just understand in theory if your computer will play a file, OpenLP “should” play this file also. Theories are great, but as with many this theory fails many times in practice. In the past the solution was to install codec packs and do a variety of other rather hackish things with hopes that videos would work. This is no longer the case, thanks to another open source project VLC paired with OpenLP 2.0.
OpenLP does exactly what it should: it displays lyrics, text, images, video, and Scripture. It works quietly behind the scenes without being a distraction during worship. This software is worth hundreds of dollars, but is, quite incredibly, free