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Thanks to all who responded to my query.

I think this issue of listening copies is incredibly important given the
inherent obsolescence of digital media. Perhaps I was too quick on the draw
in mentioning iPod (see what branding does in this world...)

After all this critical and great feedback, I don't see why we shouldn't
offer researchers and patrons MP3 files for listening purposes
only.Thesefiles would be accessible via a media player available on a
computer or MP3
player in-house only, eliminating copyright infringement issues as we would
be using these for educational purposes only and not distributing in any
way.

For now, I'm still thinking of using a lossy format, since the originals are
flat unprocessed transfer WAV files. WAV files are backed up, and listening
formats can be changed easily in-house.

Thanks again.

Farris Wahbeh
Archive Manager
Creative Audio Archive
www.creativeaudioarchive.org