At 10:02 AM 3/5/2003 -0700, Naropa Audio Archives wrote:
>Joel wrote:
>   <Once the music is on a server (presumably on a hard disk) why would
>it necessarily need to be migrated? SCSI drives have built in error
>correction, and the data could be mirrored on another hard disk for
>security. Isn't this the most likely long-term data storage solution,
>bar none?>
>The IT people tell us so, but they also tell us 'likely' doesn't mean
>'guaranteed.' They say we can't count on any hardware, like SCSI drives
>and the ports, or the corresponding software to see/hear the data, being
>around in the future. To me, a constantly evolving technology means the
>information has to be able to migrate forever.  (Science guy at CU tells
>me they're working on biological memory system that would allow us to
>eat the whole library and play it back by reading saliva.)

A permanent medium and a permanent archive are neither attainable nor
desirable. Mapleson's cylinders have been selectively transcribed to 78-rpm
discs, selectively and comprehensively to LP and selectively to CD - all in
commercial distribution. Of course, privately they have been recorded on
all flavors of magnetic tape, MiniDisc, DAT and CD-ROM as well as hard
drives. Quite likely, someone has a selection or two on floppy disc while
there must be MO archives as well.

My point is that digital transcription across media is quick, economical
and lossless. Therefore if hard drives become obsolete in favor of
biological, optical or pneumatic media, the information can be transferred
to the new medium before the old disappears. Of course, any clairvoyant
librarian will know which media will survive longest and therefore will
choose the best a priori. I did not study Library Science, but have found
no course in Clairvoyance 101 in the catalogues.

Logically, one would preserve an archive on multiple media of different
types which are expected to have good life and which satisfy the library's
requirements for space, cost and accessibility. For example, if the primary
archive is hard drive (servers) one can reduce the risk of fire, earthquake
and EMP by having a copy on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM stored in a distant location.
A second hard drive in remote storage would be a bit less secure - a
nationwide EMP might wipe out both.

It may be unnecessary to point out that only digital storage has made such
treatment possible. The speed, economy and above all perfection of
transcription have changed the rules. One problem with creating a fresh
archive of the Mapleson cylinders is that they have been damaged by the
previous transcriptions and by storage; in many cases, the best source is
neither the original cylinder nor the highest-technology transfer from it,
but the IRCC 78-rpm issue which antedated damage done by subsequent efforts.

[log in to unmask]