Regarding DVD media, I'm with you 100%. I haven't seen the kind of rigorous
tests yet for DVDs that were done for CD media. I'd really love to see an
update of that test NASA did a few years ago where they listed specific CDR
brands in their test results. The later NIST data doesn't list particular
brands, as I recall. I don't believe NIST or NASA have done this kind of
life-torture tests on DVD media.
There's also the all-eggs-one-basket fear with DVD media. 4.7 gigs is a lot
of audio. Even if you made a few copies, if the media is prone to degenerate
over time, what good was that? I'd worry even more about the dual-layer DVD
media, just based on historical experience with multi-layer plastic
I would bet that for every one DAT mechanism ever manufactured (and I'd
guess maybe 50% of all ever made, or more, are no longer in good working
order), there have been 20+ laser-bearing drives made that can read most or
all formats of 5" plastic discs. And for every DAT tape ever spooled, maybe
50+ blank CDR's have rolled out of Asian factories. That's a good harbinger
for the long-term viability of the CDR format. This is an example where
industry standardization on a method and form factor is a very Good Thing.
I'm hoping very much that DVD+/-R is a continuation of the Good Thing but
it's pretty early to pass judgement.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Requiem for the DAT (redux, was Storage of audio
> At 10:46 AM 10/3/2005, Karl Miller wrote:
> >And, on a related note. I guess I must not be keeping up with things much
> >lately...but yesterday a friend of mine was asking about recommendations
> >on which DAT machine to buy to replace his...I was rather surprised to
> >that the format seems to be disappearing quickly.
> >Perhaps someone on the list has some information on this...are DAT
> >machines about to go the way of the 8-track cartridge?
> Hi, Karl,
> I posted this on August 17th of this year:
> >From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> >Subject: Requiem for the DAT
> >It is my understanding from several audio technical lists that I'm
> >on that the last manufacturer of DAT transports (Alps) has ceased
> >production and no more DAT machines will be made. Parts will also
> >become scarce in the not-too-distant future.
> >A word to the wise to any archive holding DATs. Sony no longer lists
> >DATs in their ProAudio Web site, and I've been told that Tascam has
> >stopped listing them as well, though Tascam still has cassette
> >Oh, and repairing and cobbling analog reel machines is child's play
> >compared to trying to make a from-the-ground-up DAT.
> >Good luck!
> I am very concerned about this.
> There is an archive that has more Mitsubishi X-86 tapes than
> remaining head life, as I understand it. While that situation will be
> easier to sort out with musicians dumping DAT machines on eBay (they
> are much more common than X-86 machines) I must urge people as I did
> a month and a half ago that it would be good practice to transfer all
> their DAT holdings (which many of us recommended against as an
> archival format from the beginning) to a more stable medium. Gold
> CD-Rs for the short term, or managed, perpetual storage for the long term.
> Many of us in the tape restoration business are set up for digital
> DAT transfer as Tom Fine pointed out. One of the challenges is
> deciding what to do with 48 ks/s DATs. Do you save them as files or
> downsample to 44.1 ks/s for audio CDs. I guess the answer is
> partially, "it depends." Here's where a file system makes things
> easier. Perhaps the answer is "both."
> I may be a Luddite, but I'm still a wee bit nervous about DVDs for
> long-term archival storage (as files, of course).
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Media web: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm