Review: Integrity Music's Flexx
I recently had the opportunity to try out one of the new Flexx video products from Integrity Music, Mighty to Save
Flexx is a product that provides you with several contemporary worship songs in a video format. It is similar to Integrity's other iWorship videos except that lyrics are the central focus of the videos. The product is designed specifically to be used in worship presentation software applications like SSP. Each song is provided as a full length video including sound and/or click track. In addition to the full length videos, however, there are several smaller video clips that each contain a portion of the song such as verses, chorus, etc. These videos do not include audio, but are intented to be used like presenting a song part slides. It's this feature that is the primary focus of the product.
The videos are nicely done and have a high production quality. This will appeal to those who like the artistic renderings and don't mind the attention they draw. The effects and compositions are sufficiently advanced in that they would not be easily implemented using SSP capabilities alone, nor could they be easily built using the resources available to typical churches.
The Flexx DVDs are data discs with the intent that you copy the video files to our computer. This is easily done with SSP's video import tool. The MPEG-1 videos work flawlessly within SSP. Navigating from one video to another is very similar to doing the same with typical song elements. Within SSP, you can add each of the Flexx video clips of a song in to a program and present them as you would other songs. Since the Flexx clips break a song into small parts, you can set up any verse order you want to use -- you're not restricted to what how the full-length video is arranged, which was a limitation of using the typical iWorship videos for a worship service.
The product design, however, isn't perfect. One flaw with how the videos were produced is that some video clips contain what amounts to two slides within a single video. This makes it impractical for the projectionist to move to the next slide except to wait for the video clip's timing. Now I expect that these videos were timed to match the typical tempos of the song, but having two slides on a single video will likely cause confusion for the projectionist and limits the ability to present each song part when wanted. It would have been better if each video clip contained only one slide, not more.
There are a few other drawbacks to using the videos when compared to using SSP's native song presentation capabilities. One is that with videos, the lyrics are not provided to you in the program panel nor the media control panel. Many projectionists rely on capability to preview song parts to help ensure that they are presenting the correct verse of a song.
Another potential issue is that the video clips only play for a certain amount of time, so some care must be taken to ensure that another video gets presented before time runs out. The videos clips seem to be of sufficient length that you would not reach the end of one before your worship leader moved on to the next part of the song, but the finite length of the video clip is something that the projectionist would need to be mindful of. (Also, it would not work to simply loop the videos due to how the lyrics are presented in the videos.)
There are presently two Flexx videos for sale, Majestic, and Mighty to Save. Combined, they contain over twenty songs. The videos are nicely done and if you find that they artistically compatible with your churches style and taste, then you'll also find that you can easily using them within SSP.