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ARSCLIST  June 2005

ARSCLIST June 2005

Subject:

Re: Longevity of data tape?--

From:

John Spencer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 10 Jun 2005 08:42:08 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

Claus,

A few additional thoughts on your post.

John

John Spencer
www.bridgemediasolutions.com


On Jun 9, 2005, at 9:01 PM, Claus Trelby wrote:

>
> Here is where I hit this thread...
>
> Even if we trust the data tape we use we can get in trouble....
> just to give
> and example (I could have used PCM DAT tape).... We deal with ADAT
> mulitrack
> tape all the time... from within the last 10 years... Essentially
> they took
> a VCR transport and made it run faster... still recording 8
> channels of PCM
> audio on a regular SVHS tape. That, in it self, turned out to be a
> problem,
> because any drop out will be across ALL 8 channels, due to the way
> they laid
> out the data.
DAT and ADAT tapes are wonderful examples of poorly designed
technology that met a certain price point consumers (and obviously
many professionals at the time) were willing to pay.  We are reaping
the "benefits" today.  It's not a fair comparison to make between
these formats and data storage tapes, because it reads as a broad
brushstroke against all tape-based media.
>
> These machines were the beginning of the demise of the "professional"
> studio. I would be the first to admit that the hourly prices in the
> professional studios were way too high when these machines hit the
> street,
> but AT LEAST the recording engineer and artist could be fairly
> certain that
> the machines were aligned. I have experiences where a "rich" artist
> went to
> ADAT because they could now build their own home studio for a
> reasonable
> cost. It just so happens that they never spend money on a "tech"
> for the
> studio... """ these new machines were flawless"""
>
> Well the original recording machine is now in a dump heap
> somewhere, and
> they were not aligned to ANY standard. In the archival world we now
> have to
> "take a sledgehammer" to the playback machine to make the tapes
> play back...
>
> At least we have auto aligning data machines when we deal with
> LTO's etc,
> but it is not perfect...  getting an LTO tape from one studio to
> recover it
> in another, often entails shipping the LTO drive with it.... the
> same goes
> for Exabyte and AIT etc... this reminds me of shipping 2" quad
> video tapes
> in the past, where we had to ship the head with the tape...
> remember that
> the self aligning mechanism only works across about 40% of the
> possible
> physical aligning area... centered around the physical placement of
> the
> recording.
Again, I have no relationship whatsoever with any manufacturer of LTO
drives or media, but are you seriously comparing LTO to Exabyte and
AIT (both helical-scan drives) and 2" quad video in the same
sentence?  You should give some manufacturers more credit than that
for moving the ball forward, both in drive reliability and media
quality.  In truth, the "Professional Audio" industry is miniscule
compared to the business data storage industry.  And it was
"Professional Audio Manufacturers that brought us such wonderful
technology as Pro-Digi and DASH.  Where are those machines today?  In
the same dump heap, with no support from the manufacturer.

I'm assuming that your engineer pointed out that LTO tapes are
aligned by the servo track printed on the tape during manufacturing.
I believe the servo track is sampled around 8000 times per second.
>
> It's presently about getting the best odds possible... I store the
> LTO tape
> drive with my tapes.... it's not perfect, but at least we have a
> chance, if
> the client doesn't migrate 10 years from now.

I can't bank on the ability to find parts for a drive I have stored
10 years.  The client should have migrated long ago.
>
> I am not giving anyone the solution to a problem... I'm trying to
> convey a
> mentality we all need to have... let's talk... let's learn from each
> other... and no matter how invested we are in a single technology
> in our
> practices or local studio, we have to understand that no solution
> is perfect
> yet... more importantly we have to remember that it is OUR job in the
> archival industry to make it work...
>
No one should be invested into a single technology.  Multiple copies,
geographic separation, different formats, regular migration.

> I hoping this email will give me (reveal) the perfect solution, but
> I'm not
> holding my breath...
>
> Sincerely with hope,
>
> Claus.
>
> Claus Trelby
> Managing Engineer/Partner
>

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