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We are currently creating parallel preservation copies, both online and
on optical media, but eventually I see us phasing out the physical
media. Before we do that, one thing I feel is necessary and that we have
been discussing is the integrity of the data stored online. Once the
data goes onto disk, there is no practical way to manually make sure
that files haven't become corrupted over time, during a backup and
restore process, or during a migration from one system to another. We've
discussed using checksum files created upon ingest that would be
periodically and automatically compared against the files to ensure that
nothing has become corrupted. In case of corruption, the original file
could be restored from tape. I've noticed that the audio files in the
Internet Archive have associated checksum files so you can make sure
that the file you have downloaded is identical to the original. I don't
know if they also use these to ensure data integrity over the long term.

Has anybody looked into this further or implemented this for archiving
audio files?

David Seubert
UCSB