Unfortunately there is simply little comparison to be made between the
quality of audio reproduction from analog tape & current digital
formats.  Of course your mileage may vary.


Duane Goldman

At 02:46 PM 6/25/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi, Lance,
>Since the quality of reel-to-reel playback is very machine and technician
>dependent I have serious doubts about the playability at highest quality of
>an analog magnetic tape in 100 years time.
>By then, the technology will be stone-age. Nobody will be around to
>understand it. No one will care. It's dead technology now. It started dying
>in the 1980s with Ampex leaving the business. Studer is now essentially out
>of the tape recorder business.
>What will happen when people like Jay McKnight of Magnetic Reference Lab no
>longer make test tapes?
>Can we even buy good blank tape today? For how long? Quantegy and Emtec are
>still in business--the latter is or was in a bankruptcy-type restructuring
>as I understand it.
>Few highest-quality recorders are available new today and those that are
>are end-of-life products being kept in production for archival migration.
>The Otari MTR-15 is a special order product but the MX5050 BIII is
>apparently available from stock. Studer is currently NOT listing the A807
>on their Web sites and did a "last call" for this machine two years ago.
>I personally feel it is financially irresponsible and a waste of scarce
>capital to fund transfers to reel tape today. The money spent doing this
>could be better spent transferring to a permanent digital archive.
>The use of CDs is the best stopgap we have before permanent digital
>archives become pervasive, affordable, and robust for the average archive
>user (i.e. not requiring a dedicated IT department). CD players because of
>their huge penetration--more by far than reel tapes ever were, I
>suspect--will be around for years to come.
>These are my opinions only.
>At 04:41 PM 6/25/2003 -0400, Watsky, Lance wrote:
>>The question actually posted specifically asked about long term
>>preservation. The problem is not whether or not CD's and DVD's will last
>>for posterity, but if the players will still be around in the future.
>>Although digital and optical media is wonderful for providing access, I
>>believe that the Library of Congress still promotes utilizing
>>reel-to-reels to serve as their preservation copies. Can someone please
>>correct me, if I am wrong.

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