I just listened to this broadcast via the web. The host made reference to "Sam's pencil is squirming on
his paper". Were I Sam, I'd be squirming myself - from the standpoint of providing information to the public
it was a wholly chaotic affair. And as for collecting feedback from the public - well, a couple of useful
suggestions were put forward. But the broadcast also made clear that the public doesn't really understand
the purpose of the registry - nor really did the host of the program, who was far too invasive I felt. 
As per some of Steve's comments about playing back cassettes on the "original" machines on which they
were recorded, I have some comments. Cassettes were truly a consumer medium if there ever was one.
Most folks would get rid of their cassette machines if they died and simply bought new. But they didn't get
rid of the tapes. I don't have any of the machines I owned before 1993 when I got the one I use now. I tried
to hang onto the older machines for some years, but then as I kept moving from place to place Mrs. Lewis
would insist I shake this or that machine loose if it didn't work.
I regretted the swift death of DCC, as I really wanted one. Not to play and record the digital cassette tapes,
which I knew were doomed, but as a very high-end player of normal audio cassettes. With mono cassettes
I made before I started using a stereo cassette deck (prior to 1981) I prefer to play them back on a stereo
machine, as it gives me two signals to work with. If the main, louder channel is too overmodulated to provide
a clear signal, then I will recombine it at a low volume with something of the quieter, but noisier secondary 
mono channel to get a result that is listenable. I suspect this is audio-restoration heresy, but I noted that 
Seth Winner and Dennis Rooney have a similar strategy when dealing with damaged half-track open reel
tapes (as per their joint talk at last year's ARSC.)
Tape truly is "the Devil".

David N. Lewis
Assistant Classical Editor
All Media Guide
301 E. Liberty Suite 400
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
[log in to unmask]

PS: When is the deadline to submit an ARSC talk this year? I've forgotten the dealine, but I do have something.
-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 1:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] National Recording Registry

In a message dated 1/29/2003 10:07:58 AM Pacific Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
The host said "with great difficulty".
Here's how you do it fellas. You take a cassete recorder and hook it up to a
phillips (or any other brand) cd recorder and you transfer it following the
simple instructions in the manual. Converting sound recordings to digital
recordings takes no expertise at all.

Boy is this true.  What I find in all of the work that I have done is that, at the end of the day, with voice recordings especially, the quality matters less than the content.  Spending too much time on quality rather than on the value and the meaning of the content to contemporary generations--  is a waste of time.  The host was completely uninformed and probably turned off some young people who would like to do this sort of thing.  Too bad.

David Hoffman
independent documentary filmmaker
varied directions