Hey Will,

It depends on your budget obviously,
but assuming that you already have a nice front-end application and only
need back-end production software like OBS,
I suggest looking into vMix <>, which is what I use as
an encoder directly off my laptop.
Prices vary from the free version to $700, I use the $350 version myself to
make good use of the overlay channels.

I'd need to know more about your setup but it's worth looking in to.

On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 6:14 PM Will Martin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> A couple of years ago, we built a video recording studio based around
> the One Button Studio software available from Penn State.  We dutifully
> purchased the hardware listed on their components list, and even built a
> new room to house it.
> Initially, everything went great.  As advertised, it was dead simple to
> use: plug in your USB thumb drive, hit the button, record, hit the
> button again, and it would save the video to your USB drive.  Voila!
> Unfortunately, as time has drawn on, the software has proven itself
> fragile. It breaks at the drop of a hat.  To name just a few issues:
> 1) The lights that are supposed to come on automatically, often won't.
> 2) Audio and video wind up out of sync on the final video.
> 3) Sometimes the five-second count down gets stuck indefinitely at "1"
> and never starts recording.
> 4) Sometimes it takes longer to save the finished file to the USB stick
> than it did to actually record it -- such as a ten minute presentation
> taking twenty minutes to save, without even a progress bar to indicate
> to the end user that something is still going on and it's not just
> frozen.
> 5) Software updates are rare, and I have never managed to actually talk
> to a human being at Penn State who knew anything significant about how
> the thing works.
> At the moment, it's been out of commission for a week, and we have a
> class of two hundred students wanting to use it.  It casts the library
> in a bad light. We set this thing up, and sang its praises and invited
> everyone to use it.  And now we're more often than not in the position
> of trying to explain why they can't use it.
> And so, we've concluded that we have to jettison the One Button Studio
> software and find something else. I thought of OBS (Open Broadcaster
> System) immediately, but it is apparently not compatible with the
> Blackmagic H.26 Pro Encoder we're using.  The Blackmagic Media Express
> software that came with the hardware can get a signal from the camera,
> but the interface is ... not straightforward.
> So I ask Code4Lib: are or have any of you been in a similar position?
> What did you do?  Any suggestions for alternative software we could use
> to glue together our rather expensive video-recording hardware would be
> greatly appreciated.
> Will Martin
> Head of Digital Initiatives, Systems and Services
> Chester Fritz Library
> University of North Dakota