Space Limitations Enhance Video Editing Systems at Middle Tennessee State University

The Department of Radio-Television and Photography at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro offers one of the country's best state-of-the-art facilities where students can get hands-on experience in all types of electronic media. For example, students can produce programs for a cable television channel, as well as newscasts for a 100,000-watt FM National Public Radio station. And courses, such as Digital Media Communications, include training on a variety of video editing systems.

As the video systems manager for the Department of Radio-Television and Photography, Marc Parrish works with the faculty to instruct students on proper usage of nonlinear video editing systems used to prepare footage for various video production classes; he also maintains these systems.

A nonlinear video editing system enables students to select the order of footage seen in the final cut, regardless of when that footage was actually shot and digitized. By loading their footage into the system's hard drive, students can select the video images, as well as add graphics, audio and text to prepare the footage for a specific running time.

The department has about 11 nonlinear video editing systems from Fast USA, a company that specializes in Windows systems (both hardware and software) for editing electronic media. Eight of these systems include Fast USA's Purple editing systems each with 38 GB of local storage on SCSI hard disk drives. Three of Fast USA's Silver editing systems connect via fibre channel to a storage area network with a half terabyte of space. A 200 MHz-based Windows NT server, which has limited storage space, acts as an Ethernet hub to network these editing systems.

Each semester, between 50 to 70 students use these editing systems for video class projects. Students mostly work in groups of three, with files that can range from 6 GB to 80 GB. Prior to getting these editing systems, Parrish used to give students removable 9 GB hard drives. But with those hard drives students would fill up a drive, causing it to lock. When this happens students are forced to delete their work and start over. Since the new editing systems have resolved those storage issues, Parrish no longer has to give the students removable hard drives. Instead, they can login to the system under a group name, utilizing a folder built on hard drives that have the same name as the group. Normally, Parrish assigns up to three groups of students to each system per semester. So, he may allocate up to 12 GB each to two groups and 10 GB to another group. Because students are loading so many minutes of footage on the hard drive, they have a limited amount of time to edit the footage and then free up the space for the next group. "Students have to really plan their usage of storage space," says Parrish. "If they load too much footage, then they might not finish the project on time or in the space allocated."

To protect the hard drives and ensure that students in each group have equal access to the group's allocated space, Parrish turned to W. Quinn Associates' QuotaAdvisor, a Windows NT-based disk space allocation management product. The product, which he installed on the server, enables Parrish to put a directory allotment on the amount of space assigned to each group, and to set up alerts so students will know when they are getting to the allocated limit. For example, they receive an on-screen, pop-up message when they reach 75 percent of their quota and another one at 80 percent. The second message tells them to stop digitizing either the audio or the video. When they reach 100 percent of their quota they get an on-screen message telling them they've reached their quota and can't digitize any more footage until they've deleted something on the drive. QuotaAdvisor won't allow the students to go over their set limit. "Since I get new groups each semester, I now find it easier to work with students because of the space limits set by QuotaAdvisor," says Parrish. "It has a space monitor screen that I keep open to see how much space each group has used. I can also send e-mail to professors if one group has reached its limit. QuotaAdvisor has saved me a lot of time and keeps us from having to add more disks."

 

Contact Information

TX@XOpenTag000he Department of Radio-Television and Photography at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro offers one of the country's best state-of-the-art facilities where students can get hands-on experience in all types of electronic media. For example, students can produce programs for a cable television channel, as well as newscasts for a 100,000-watt FM National Public Radio station. And courses, such as Digital Media Communications, include training on a variety of video editing systems.

As the video systems manager for the Department of Radio-Television and Photography, Marc Parrish works with the faculty to instruct students on proper usage of nonlinear video editing systems used to prepare footage for various video production classes; he also maintains these systems.

A nonlinear video editing system enables students to select the order of footage seen in the final cut, regardless of when that footage was actually shot and digitized. By loading their footage into the system's hard drive, students can select the video images, as well as add graphics, audio and text to prepare the footage for a specific running time.

The department has about 11 nonlinear video editing systems from Fast USA, a company that specializes in Windows systems (both hardware and software) for editing electronic media. Eight of these systems include Fast USA's Purple editing systems each with 38 GB of local storage on SCSI hard disk drives. Three of Fast USA's Silver editing systems connect via fibre channel to a storage area network with a half terabyte of space. A 200 MHz-based Windows NT server, which has limited storage space, acts as an Ethernet hub to network these editing systems.

Each semester, between 50 to 70 students use these editing systems for video class projects. Students mostly work in groups of three, with files that can range from 6 GB to 80 GB. Prior to getting these editing systems, Parrish used to give students removable 9 GB hard drives. But with those hard drives students would fill up a drive, causing it to lock. When this happens students are forced to delete their work and start over. Since the new editing systems have resolved those storage issues, Parrish no longer has to give the students removable hard drives. Instead, they can login to the system under a group name, utilizing a folder built on hard drives that have the same name as the group. Normally, Parrish assigns up to three groups of students to each system per semester. So, he may allocate up to 12 GB each to two groups and 10 GB to another group. Because students are loading so many minutes of footage on the hard drive, they have a limited amount of time to edit the footage and then free up the space for the next group. "Students have to really plan their usage of storage space," says Parrish. "If they load too much footage, then they might not finish the project on time or in the space allocated."

To protect the hard drives and ensure that students in each group have equal access to the group's allocated space, Parrish turned to W. Quinn Associates' QuotaAdvisor, a Windows NT-based disk space allocation management product. The product, which he installed on the server, enables Parrish to put a directory allotment on the amount of space assigned to each group, and to set up alerts so students will know when they are getting to the allocated limit. For example, they receive an on-screen, pop-up message when they reach 75 percent of their quota and another one at 80 percent. The second message tells them to stop digitizing either the audio or the video. When they reach 100 percent of their quota they get an on-screen message telling them they've reached their quota and can't digitize any more footage until they've deleted something on the drive. QuotaAdvisor won't allow the students to go over their set limit. "Since I get new groups each semester, I now find it easier to work with students because of the space limits set by QuotaAdvisor," says Parrish. "It has a space monitor screen that I keep open to see how much space each group has used. I can also send e-mail to professors if one group has reached its limit. QuotaAdvisor has saved me a lot of time and keeps us from having to add more disks."

 

X@XCloseTag000X@XOpenTag003X@XOpenTag001Contact InformationX@XCloseTag001X@XOpenTag002
X@XCloseTag002X@XCloseTag003W. Quinn Associates Inc.
Reston, VA
(800) 829-3453
www.wquinn.com

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

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