G'day, Nigel,

Yes, of course, from the perspective you describe the viewer is
easier--hopefully there will be a loud sound near the head of the tape.
But, with the viewer, how do you determine if it's a quarter track stereo
tape or a mono tape? Do you see enough to determine the programs are
different enough? Also, how do you determine speed?

My preference for the 4-channel machine stems from a different perspective.
Tapes I touch I'm expected to play <smile> I might as well be figuring
out the minefield I have before me. Hopefully, I've crafted my agreement
with the client to the point where I'm covered for what I find.



At 04:41 PM 3/30/2004 +1200, Nigel wrote:
>G'day, Richard
>It is quite common for public archives & libraries to receive by donation or
>bequest  collections of open-reel tapes.  Without proper documentation this
>can be something of a "poisoned chalice" espially if the tapes are not in
>good condition! I suspect many such institutions no longer have easy access
>to open-reel tape-recorders but are obliged to store the recordings anyway!
>To catalogue such collections usually requires a quick guestimate of their
>content and technical details.  The magnetic viewer facilitates this without
>having to worry about sticky-shed, faulty splices, over-wide tape, damaged
>spools, etc. etc.