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Amber Gilliland, Senior Reporter
Room 227 in the Brouillet Library Science Building looks like an ordinary conference room from the outside, but the inside holds a program that many students and faculty don’t know is available to them.
Hidden in plain sight inside the library sits the One Button Studio.
The OBS was developed by members of Pennsylvania State University and is designed to make video recording simple. The studio eliminates the need for setting up a camera and lighting, as well as the process of removing files from a video camera to an external drive. The system does it all with the press of a button.
“The One Button Studio is a great place to create video presentations,” Kandee Nelson, district computer labs manager, said. “Whether you’re a faculty member looking to do an intro video or capture a short lecture or you’re a student needing to record a presentation, the OBS is an easy solution. No video experience is needed.”
To use the OBS, students and faculty need to present their student ID card and obtain equipment from the front desk at the library. They’ll be given a box with whiteboard markers and an eraser. They’ll also need the studio’s computer mouse and lapel microphone.
Upon walking into the studio, students will see a camera mounted to the wall, a desk with two computer monitors, a silver button, a USB hub and a whiteboard with three backdrops available. The computer screen on the right side of the desk runs the OBS program through an app available in the Mac App Store. The screen on the left can be used to show programs such as PowerPoint and Canvas.
To begin recording, a flash drive needs to be inserted into the top port of the USB hub. This will activate extra lights, the camera and the video program. The lapel microphone needs to be clipped or held and turned on.
When a student or faculty member is ready, they can hit the silver button on the desk. The program will give a five second countdown before it begins recording.
Pressing the silver button again will stop the recording. Each time the recording is stopped, the program creates a video file so students and faculty can record multiple files without having to do anything except hit the button. The program then takes the video file that was created and transfers it onto the inserted flash drive.
Removing the flash drive from the USB port will turn off the extra lights and close the program.
“If anyone needs further help with video editing, the software and one-on-one help with it is available in the AAH 132 Multimedia Center,” Nelson said.
Students don’t need an appointment to use the room, Dean of Library and Learning Resources Christie Flynn said, but can reserve time up to 24 hours in advance.
The studio was installed during fall 2014, but Flynn said that it wasn’t fully operational until last spring.
“We spent most of last year piloting and tweaking the technology to make sure that it was working properly and that the sound quality was adequate for high quality recording,” Flynn said. “We made adjustments as people used the technology and provided feedback for improvement.”
Despite being installed almost two years ago, many people on campus, including faculty, don’t know that this program is available. “I have never in my life heard of the One Button Studio,” Director of Student Life Sean Cooke said.
Some students said that they like the concept of the studio, but haven’t taken advantage of it because they haven’t known about it.
“(I’ve) never heard of it,” student Ryan Krueger said. “It’s a great idea, especially for class projects.”
This lack of advertising has been done deliberately, Flynn said.
“We were intentional about not promoting the One Button Studio until we had staff trained to help faculty and students use the equipment and troubleshoot any problems that occur,” Flynn said. “We also wanted to have Kandee Nelson, the (District) Labs Manager, produce a Self-Help User’s Guide.”
Nelson and District Staff Assistant Kali Cruz trained the employees of the Student Multimedia Center at the end of January on how to operate the program. These employees have been working on updating the signs in the studio, as well as creating brochures on how to use the program and troubleshooting tips.
Flynn said she anticipates usage of the OBS to increase in the spring.
“As more students learn about it, they can share it with faculty,” Flynn said. “And as more faculty learn about it, they can share it with their students.” [/responsivevoice]
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