Responding to Claire Michelle Viola's request for information:
<While we have been transferring here and there to CD-R, mainly in order
to provide service copies, the audio engineers here at Eastman are now
seriously considering the option of transferring directly to hard drive,
with several servers to provide for back-up.>
The Naropa Audio Archive Project is in a one-year pilot (NEA
funded)project to test the migration of analog audio cassette from 30
years of lectures, performances and panel discussions onto various
digital formats, including hard drive, for preservation and for access.
We've been moving over audio since October.
Both considerations - preservation, and access - have specific
requirements that need to be addressed before any material is migrated,
or you run the risk of having to redigitize it.
For preservation - neither cd-rs or hard drive are 'approved'
preservation mediums for audio at this time. That means your DAT is your
oficial preservation copy. Any format you migrate to is provisional and
needs to be as pristine a copy as you can afford (uncompressed file,
high sampling rate, professional equipment). You're likely to have to
migrate off the cd's or server at some point in the near future, so
budgeting for multiple (continual) migration is a consideration. As is
the format and encoding you intend to employ in creating your digital
copy of the audio.
For access, how are you going to catalog the transferred files, how do
you want access to be handled from the server, what kind of permissions,
copyright, or releases are necessary, how are you going to log material
as it's transferred for which cataloging format...gotta work all that
We have a small audio lab equipped with a professional grade (nakamichi
dragon) cassette playback, (for your project this would be replaced by
DAT playback machine). After converting analog to digital the signal is
transferred in realtime into a digital audio workstation (computer with
audio programming - ours is a SADiE). We're sampling at the highest rate
we can afford to store on - 44/24. We want a high-quality preservation
master, because the cassettes are going to be unplayable soon - even if
we are calling it our 'preservation' copy. Is it worth it to go even
higher? Everyone we talk to disagrees.
Once the file is in the computer, we create:
-one CD-DA (audio)for reference - this is a flat, unaltered transfer
-two CD-Rs in BWAV format - also the unaltered file (BWAV is the most
open format we could find - we want the files to be able to be read in
20 or 200 years). We burn copies of the audio files on two different
manufacturers' CDs because there seems to be almost 10% bad cd stock on
a random basis. We're using Mitsui gold and Taiyo Uden, although I don't
think TU is making gold alloy anymore. Anyone know another supplier?
This is a preservation issue - gold alloy being
most stable. We may move over to DVD's as standards emerge.
-one back up BWAV file on AIT data storage tape in case the CDs reach
some as-yet-unknown end of lifespan
As we transfer into the computer, we log the material for all fields
required in Dublin Core cataloging. We'll test capturing info sufficient
for Marc/Ead records next month - then we'll make test-catalog records
for both to see what level of cataloging we can accomodate on a
moving-forward basis. We want the public and researchers to know the
material's available, so cataloging for digital web-based access is very
important to us. We're also logging the content so as to better describe
the files. We're not creating transcripts at this time.
All copies made to this point go to a temperature and humidity
controlled storage facility as the preservation copies. We intend to
check the cds and AIT tape annually for loss of data and migrate as
-For access, we take the original file that's still in the SADiE, and
put it through noise and hiss reduction programs. We edit out the
intermissions, smoking breaks, and other dead air. We create an access
protection/dubmaster CD-DA (audio copy) and a listening copy.
This is at a 3-1 ratio - three hours of real time to process one hour of
original audio. It takes up a lot of CDs. At 44/24 every hour of
original uses up 3 cds for each BWAV copy. Our librarian does not want
to store and handle the 15000 or so access cds we expect to make. So
we're developing plan to test server for digital access to collection.
We will still create CD-rs and AIT tape for preservation. There's too
much fragility to count on keeping preservation copy on hard drive, at
least for us. We're in a flood plain. Too much memory for us to afford
uncompressed hard drive copies of the entire collection. We'll rig up
output from SADiE into server to move compressed access files over.
Server will have RAID array as well as a tape back up system. We're
working on the front-end internet design now. We figure 2.5 tb to store
3000 hours of compressed audio.
The compressed MPEG files will go out to folks over the internet after
the internet user registers online and signs use agreement. We are
planning to offer streaming audio as opposed to downloadable audio, but
we'll have to see what's most useful to people. What we are worried
about is how many people might use it at once - I have no idea how to
budget for bandwidth until we're up; still looking at what to do if too
many simultaneous users attempt to listen. We should be so successful.
Hope this is helpful. If you'd like more specifics, budget info,etc,
don't hesitate to give me a call. I were you, I'd call Seubert and
Seadle to advise on the project design. They have been very helpful to
Naropa Audio Archive
Boulder, CO 80302
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