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Return of the One Button Studio

By Robert Nelson

The One Button Studio has been a very successful and popular media production studio located in Fine Arts (2500B).

Our colleague, Tony Sams, discovered that Penn State University had created a simple yet effective way for users to film short videos. The convenience of U of U users booking studio time was a complement to more formal video projects that required a staff person from Media Studios to book and shoot in the Video Studio located in the Faculty Center. Typical hours Monday-Friday; 9 to 5.

Now a student, staff or faculty person could go to the Marriott Library scheduler to book an hour in the One Button Studio whenever the library is open. No intermediary needed. Convenience did not trump the quality of the project.

The Penn State setup lasted several years. Their software was never meant to be updated since they were essentially giving it away for free to users to adapt. Alas, Spring of 2022 the one button approach had a critical failure.

What next? Media Studios is one spoke in the wheel of Creativity & Innovation Services (CRIS). TJ Ferrill, Head of Creative Spaces in CRIS, offered to have a go at something that could replace the Penn State setup with something similar. TJ, applying both creativity and innovation, came up with a replacement.

Gone is the button. In its place is a computer touch screen. And here is how it works:

  1. Insert flash drive….even if most people aren’t using digital devices with USB drives, there needed to be something to kick start the video recording process. The replacement system TJ invented retains this component.
  2. Touch the Turn Lights On tile on the computer screen. Lights come on.
  3. Touch Start Camera. Camera begins filming.
  4. When finished, stop the camera from the screen.
  5. Turn off the lights from the screen.
  6. File writes to the flash drive as an .mp4.
  7. Anyone who doesn’t have a digital device with a USB slot can go to either the Media Editing computers in Protospace (Level 2) or a computer in the Knowledge Commons (Level 2) to offload the .mp4 onto cloud storage like U Box, Dropbox or Google Drive.

The One Button Studio (2500B) does need to be scheduled in order to use it.

Once we think the new video recording system is robust, we will adapt the One Button Booth (2750B) in Protospace as well.

Try it out and let me know how it works or doesn’t work.

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

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