OpenLP vs EasyWorship: Software Comparison Guide
Looking for the right choice in church presentation software? We know this can be a challenging process: the various solutions on the market are really different from one another, so it’s tough to compare them directly.
We’re here to help. This comparison guide looks at OpenLP vs EasyWorship, comparing and contrasting these two worship presentation tools so you can make the best choice for your ministry.
What Is OpenLP?
OpenLP is an open-source (100% free to use) worship presentation software solution. If your budget is zero and paid church presentation software is out of the question, stop here and go download it: OpenLP is the best free solution you’re going to find.
If you’ve used other open-source or freeware, you might have a good idea of what to expect. Like the Microsoft Office clones out there (OpenOffice and the like), OpenLP can do many, if not most, of the same things as the paid competition— but the best or most cutting-edge features aren’t there.
The other trade-off is in ease of use and polish: when you pay money for software, chances are it’s someone’s job to make that software intuitive and easy to use. When that work falls to volunteers, the results aren’t as good.
Still, the community-created feature set is impressively broad. Importing Bible verses and song lyrics, creating effective visuals for the big screen, and handling external media are all here. There’s even a novel stage monitor function that offers more features than PowerPoint or Google Slides.
OpenLP isn’t the best worship presentation software, not by a long shot. But it’s a truly impressive tool, given the (lack of) price tag.
What Is EasyWorship?
EasyWorship is a paid worship presentation software solution fully supported and in active development. It aims to make the presentation side of worship services easy. Where other applications (including OpenLP) have complex interfaces and labyrinthine menus, EasyWorship keeps everything straightforward and streamlined.
EasyWorship has plenty of capability packed into that straightforward interface. It’s easy to view live, upcoming, and scheduled content from a single panel, and users won’t find it difficult to create engaging and beautiful slide content.
In addition, recently added support for a max of three outputs extends the display capability beyond what PowerPoint and other office tools can do.
Language and OS Compatibility
EasyWorship is a Windows-only, English-only app, and the company offers a free iOS and Android app for remote control. That’s enough for many English-speaking churches, but the Windows-only limitation is worth noting.
OpenLP benefits here from being open source: the community has adapted the application to work just about anywhere, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and FreeBSD. OpenLP also offers free Android and iOS remote control apps. OpenLP appears to be English-only in terms of native language.
OpenLP has a competent slide editor. The interface is unpleasant and complicated, and getting aesthetically pleasing results is harder than you might expect. But if the objective is to get content legibly on the wall, OpenLP can get it done.
EasyWorship’s slide capabilities are better and more robust. Controls are more intuitive, and the included basic media library is a big step up. Just a quick glance at either company’s site will show you the qualitative differences here. Looping video backgrounds, friendly controls, and quality-of-life enhancements like auto-resizing text make EasyWorship a better experience than OpenLP.
Both apps offer something here that’s a cut above general-market solutions like PowerPoint.
OpenLP uses an interesting approach we haven’t seen elsewhere. The app’s stage view is built to run in a web browser. It’s easy to set up: point the web browser to the right place, and there’s your stage view. But this method means you can only use stage view on an actual device — not on a screen with a video input. This means you’d need an entire PC in the pulpit or on the stage to create a stage monitor.
EasyWorship supports up to three output options. These are intended for your main feed, a stage monitor or confidence monitor, and a live stream feed. But as long as you don’t need more than three outputs, you should be able to tweak these as you see fit.
Live Video and Streaming
OpenLP doesn’t offer any specific support for live video or live streaming. You can output your presentation to a video switcher or a stream builder, but nothing in OpenLP will help you do this well or make your job easier.
EasyWorship, on the other hand, includes support for live and streaming elements, including wireless NDI and multicamera support. It also supports using something as simple as a smartphone camera. If you’re already using a video mixer, you’ll appreciate that EasyWorship can send alpha channel out to that mixer.
However, neither OpenLP nor EasyWorship can run your live stream. They can’t intake live video and output a custom combination of live video and presentation content. ProPresenter 7 is the only way to get that capability in your presentation software (so you can avoid complicated extra steps, software, and even hardware).
Scripture, Media, Song Lyrics
Here’s an area in the EasyWorship vs. OpenLP discussion where EasyWorship wins handily.
EasyWorship can import Scripture from a wide range of Bible translations, including modern ones. It integrates directly with CCLI SongSelect to import songs for your worship services. And its internal media player is sufficient for most needs.
OpenLP struggles here: some things just can’t be free, including licensing copyrighted material or accessing third-party services that cost money. You won’t find CCLI SongSelet integration here, and importing Scripture from modern translations is limited to nonexistent.
The media player is good, but it’s just an embedded VLC player, which isn’t all that elegant of a solution.
OpenLP is free, and that’s attractive. But that doesn’t mean your costs stay at zero. Consider what you will need to pay for separately (media libraries and whatever software and hardware combination you’d need to make live streaming happen outside of OpenLP) and tasks you can’t automate (importing the Scripture version you use or any modern song lyrics).
EasyWorship sells a campus license that covers all PCs on one physical campus. You’ll pay $180 per year for the basic package or $280 per year if you want EasyWorship’s premium media suite and online media designer.
ProPresenter 7 Outperforms Both OpenLP and EasyWorship
If the question you’re asking is OpenLP vs EasyWorship, the answer is straightforward: if you can afford EasyWorship and work exclusively on PCs, then go with it. If you want or need open source or if EasyWorship is too much for your budget, OpenLP is certainly worth a look.
The thing is, EasyWorship vs. OpenLP is the wrong question.
Yes, we’re biased, but a better approach is to look at ProPresenter vs. OpenLP vs EasyWorship.
Consider just a sampling of the things ProPresenter offers that you won’t find in the others:
- Better compatibility
- More native language support (10 languages, including Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese)
- A far more advanced pro-grade slide editor
- A more powerful seven-layer approach to building presentations
- Unlimited output views (limited only by your hardware capabilities)
- Robust live video support
- True live streaming capabilities (eliminate extra tools by running your entire live stream within ProPresenter)
- More included Bible translations (and dual translation support)
- And much more
We’re confident you’ll have a better experience with ProPresenter, which is why we offer an unrestricted two-week trial of the complete ProPresenter 7 suite. Download now, kick the tires, and see everything ProPresenter can do.
Ready? Get your two-week trial now.
Or, if you want to see more details on how ProPresenter fares in a head-to-head comparison, check out these other comparison guides: