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Doubling the Podcast Potential in ProtoSpace

By Robert Nelson

Through research data, harvested from the bookings found on the Marriott Library’s Scheduling System, there have been some changes to the One Button Studio, Podcast Booth, One Button Booth in ProtoSpace.

Simple Video Studio

Located in the Fine Arts Library, the One Button Studio has been renamed Simple Video Studio. One Button Studio was a crowd sourced creation provided by Penn State University. They set up the ingenious system to insert a flash drive connected to a physical One Button: lights turn on, camera begins filming. Press the button again, .mp4 writes to the flash drive.

Penn State never updated the software for the interminable Mac Operating System upgrades. Eventually, a robust, easy to maintain system started failing. To remedy this, Creativity & Innovation Services (CRIS) member TJ Ferrill crafted a similar system to replace the One Button Studio. It still requires a flash drive, but now the user touches the computer monitor in sequence: one touch turns on the lights, one touch to start filming. Touch again to stop filming and the .mp4 writes to the thumb drive.

Now on the Scheduler, it will say Simple Video Studio 2500B instead of One Button Studio.

One Button Booth

In 2019, two soundproof vocal booths were placed into service in Protospace, Level 2. Booth A was for Podcasting. Booth B was an attempt to replicate the One Button Studio for video production.

When looking through the reservations in the One Button Booth, Media Studios Librarian Robert Nelson discovered that the use of the booth for video was underwhelming. Yet the adjacent Podcast Booth was booked in service continually from around 9am until 4pm.

Nelson interpreted that data as users were not always able to find a prime-time slot in the Podcast Booth: podcasting and other audio production endeavors like documentary films, oral histories and audio narrations. There was almost exactly three times the number of projects logged in the Podcast Booth as compared to the One Button Booth.

Therefore, the decision was made to remove the camera equipment in Booth B and replace it with a similar audio setup as in the Podcast Booth: Snowball condenser microphone connected to the Audacity recording software.

Now we have two Podcast Booths and with two possible circumstances:

  1. Patrons who wanted to engage in podcasting or other audio projects will have a better chance to find a slot during Monday-Friday; 9AM to 5PM.
  2. The underwhelming use of the One Button Booth, now Podcast Booth B, will grow as a complimentary space to Podcast Booth A.

One other upgrade to the Podcast Booths: the Snowball microphone sits on a tripod. Robert Nelson had rigged a yoga block to raise the microphone to be closer to the mouth(s) of the podcasters. CRIS member Tony Sams suggested we move to a swing arm environment and replace the tripod – which kept getting damaged in routine use.

Patrons can use the scheduling system in order to schedule time in either Podcast Booth A or B.

Robert Nelson | Media Studios Librarian
Creativity & Innovation Services / Media Studios

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