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It sounds like this will be a valuable contribution to audio archives as 
we transition toward storing digital content exclusively on servers. 
Checksums are critical to this process and how to implement them is 
something I've been fretting over for a while now.

Can anybody point me to (or know of) a UNIX shell script that can be run 
to create and validate MD5 checksums or a library of UNIX shell scripts 
where I could look for such a thing?

David Seubert
UCSB

Casey, Michael T wrote:
> We generate an MD5 hash for all files created as part of the
> preservation transfer process. We have learned to create this "checksum"
> immediately after a file is created after a colleague's experience with
> a hard drive with corrupt sections. The MD5 hash is created through our
> audio technical metadata collector (ATMC)when parsing the file to
> collect and store metadata about it. ATMC is software developed as part
> of the Sound Directions project and will eventually be released
> publicly. We also use proprietary software called FastSum to verify
> checksums for individual files and batches of files as we don't have
> this capability within ATMC yet. We also generate checksums for our
> AES31-3 ADL files which carry edit and marker metadata. We currently
> store the MD5 files in the same folder as the audio and ADL files but
> will probably not keep them when files move to preservation packages and
> to long-term storage since ATMC stores the checksum value. But, we're
> not quite there yet so we'll see.
>
> The ARSC pre-conference workshop in Seattle will explore these and many
> other issues relating to preservation in the digital domain. Further
> information at http://www.arsc-audio.org/workshop2006.html
>
> Mike   
>
> ----------
> Mike Casey
> Associate Director for Recording Services
> Archives of Traditional Music
> Indiana University
>
> (812)855-8090 
>
> Co-chair, ARSC Technical Committee
>
> www.dlib.indiana.edu/projects/sounddirections/