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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jon Noring" <[log in to unmask]>
> I totally agree that there needs to be a single schema that melds
> discographical data with collection catalog data. There is a lot of
> overlap between the two realms, and having a common schema for both
> will benefit discographical research and aid in the cataloging of
> sound recording artifacts.
> Working with database developers is a good idea, preferably "open
> source" rather than commercial, but commercial is fine so long as
> there is a total commitment by the developer to implement the open
> standard XML discographical/cataloging schema, both for importing and
> exporting. If the commercial vendor resists full import/export support
> of the open standard XML discographical schema, then they should be
> replaced by someone who will gladly do it right (personally, whoever
> does it should open source their codebase -- I'm working with a
> commercial company in the ebook sector which is gladly *open sourcing*
> their codebase -- they have come up with a business model where open
> sourcing *their* codebase is a good thing for them.)
> We *must not* go down the totally proprietary road.
> I recommend that the open standard XML discographical schema be
> developed within OASIS, with ARSC teaming up with other entities such
> as LoC, OCLC, the Open Content Alliance (OCA, administered by Brewster
> Kahle and his Internet Archive), California Digital Library, academia,
> various discographical experts (of course), and maybe some recording
> and song composition organizations (the latter to assure linkage of
> discographical data with song/composition databases.)
> It is likely that the effort, if done in OASIS, will attract several
> sharp XML and open source database wonks to the effort who otherwise
> would not join if the effort is done in a cloistered environment. It
> is important that the schema design be cross-fertilized from other
> areas of the digital media world (text, video, etc.) to assure that
> what is developed will mesh with digital repositories of other content
> so they may be seamlessly inter-connected. We no longer live in a world
> where digital content is segregated by type -- the future is for all
> digital content (and related metadata) to be interlinked in a
> powerful, synergistic way.
First, a brief explanation of one of my comments:

I said that there was a difference between discographic and cataloguing
databases (the former would be more common for ARSC listeners). A
catalog database refers to specific individual copies of a phonorecord,
and as such must provide information concerning the copy held by the
cataloguing party (price paid, specific location and possibly internal
identification code, condition, any damage, usw.) along with such
discographic data as is desired. OTOH, a discographic database provides
data general to any and all copies of a phonorecord (catalog number,
matrix number, credits *as they appear on the label*, takes known,
actual artist data if known, usw. Note that a catalog database, if
made publicly available (via the Internet, usually) can serve as
a discographic data source to the extent that is included.

As far as Jon's further comments, I defer to him, since these get
into areas where I lack experience and knowledge. What I was thinking
of (try to figure out how to end THAT clause with other than a
preposition...?) was a cataloguing database which could be made
available, possibly through ARSC, to anyone who wanted
freeware or very inexpensively. It would also have to have a
user interface that was essentially intuitive, since the
objective (to me) would be to accumulate an archive of as
much phonorecord data as possible which could eventually
lead to an "ultimate database" of nearly all phonorecords
that still exist.

Admittedly, since these early analog recordings are almost
the opposite of computers and digitized data, there will be
collections that aren't...and probably never will be...entered
into a computer-based digital database. However, the RDI was
conceived as a sort of "ultimate database" which was based on
several large collections of phonorecords...while it encountered
difficulties due to the state of the digital art as its 
conception, I tend to think it could be accomplished in
this era of 500GB hard fact, the objective
of the (I hope temporarily) sidetracked Project Gramophone...
that being to create an archive of the contents of every
known 78rpm recording as sound becoming more
practical/possible as I type! I estimate about three
million, give or take, 78's were issued...almost all we need six million 3-minute sound
files (I'm not allowing for the fact that some recordings
showed up on as many as 20 labels!). Assume 1MB each, and
we need six terabytes of storage (or 6 500GB drives, or
about $2000 worth). Here again, I defer to the experts...
but I feel this is something worth debating/discussing
here on ARSCLIST...?!

Steven C. Barr
(who can provide data on about 40,000 of 'em...)