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From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad


Hello,

in a way I am sick and tired of seeing CompactCassettes being slammed all the 
time. I will accept the slamming in case you have a choice between (European) 
vinyl pressings, CCs and CD's, but if you do not have a choice they were 
sufficiently good that they sold well. I still remember my copy of Pictures 
from an Exhibition on CC bought in Washington, D.C. in 1983 and which 5 years 
later had developed sticky something so that it would no longer play. That is 
the only one that has ever given me trouble. 

The CC was the most democratic and practical medium of all times: it was 
recordable and playable from its inception in 1962-63. It was only when they 
came up with Chromium Tape or Metal Tape or double speed in your mastering 
kit that troubles began. Fe (Type 1) never gave trouble; they were/are 
dependable, and the C90 was and still is a fine format for innumerable 
purposes. A lot of minor label (well, you might not even call them labels) 
distribution was exclusively on CC; certain types were only sold in gas 
stations, and for instance a lot of contemporary Italian folk music 
(something I used to know a bit about) was only available that way. I believe 
that it is the same in many small musical genres. And the format is still 
used; dusty tropical environments somehow are not as hard on the fairly 
coarse mechanics of CC players as on CD players. The machines are stand-
alone; you do not need fancy computer programmes, USB ports, etc. to operate 
them.

I know that this excellent medium is giving archives and transfer 
organisations a hard time; it is fiddly to repair leader break at the hub or 
at the splice to the magnetic tape. But the sheer breadth of material, wow. I 
have lots of conference tapes, some I have made myself, others I have bought 
off the conference tape duplicator. I have lots of broadcasts. I have Tom 
Lehrer from his Copenhagen visit when he played the "Copenhagen version" of 
"the Elements". All of this will eventually be digitized to facilitate my 
personal access. But I could have lived well with just analogue CC equipment 
for 95% of my personal entertainment needs. For professional requirements and 
5% of entertainment I obviously need state of the art equipment.

The shellac record had a similar simple appeal, but for distribution only. 
For a long period, 1925-50 (and in the UK and Dominions) it was optimised for 
reproduction on a portable gramophone: acoustic and wind-up: not even a need 
for electricity. You would get 50-100 plays out of it and could still enjoy 
it towards the end of its useful service life. 

No, I truly get tired of the ideal being the enemy of the sufficient.

Kind regards,


George

--------------------------------------


> And, not only backing up Steve's point but adding to it ...
> 
> When CD's came along the industry DID SUPPORT TWO FORMATS, for YEARS.
> Mass-duped cassettes outsold 
> CD's until into the 1990's, ten years of side-by-side sales until CD's
> finally won out. Anyone who 
> ever deal with those awful-sounding cassettes probably rejoiced with me when
> cheap portable and car 
> CD players came along, and soon after that cassettes faded into the
> sunset.
> 
> I like LPs as much as the next collector of them, but the quality control on
> CDs was so much better, 
> from Day 1. You bought the things, and they reliably worked in all your
> players. They weren't 
> hopelessly warped, pressed off-center, made of crackly garbage vinyl, etc.
> And of course they beat 
> the mass-duped cassettes hands-down, as did all but the worst LPs.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 1:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DATs DELETED but not LPs (was: 15/16 Recording
> Speed)
> 
> 
> > >From the days of the Muntz 4track, later 8 track until the CD, the
> record
> > business was running at least two and, often, three "successful" formats
> and inventories 
> > simultaneously, an extra expense to all..
> >
> > One point, often overlooked, is that the CD offered high quality and
> portablilty. The financially 
> > beneficial advantage of the CD was that it streamlined the entire
> distribution chain, cutting 
> > costs significantly.
> >
> > Now 4G allows higher quality downoads much more quickly than 3G.
> >
> > Downloading, to the rights owner, means the need to manufacture a phyiscal
> object is remeved, 
> > hence the closing of the Sony facility.
> >
> > These business folks are in it to make money.  We depend on them for our
> recorded music.  We'd all 
> > be a lot poorer (and this list would be much less active) without them.
> >
> > Steve Smolian
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:59 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DATs DELETED but not LPs (was: 15/16 Recording
> Speed)
> >
> >
> >>I don't see any great "conspiracy" in the practices described by Schwann
> regarding LPs. The record 
> >>companies had invested a great deal of money in CD production and
> manufacturing, and the simple 
> >>fact was the CDs could be replicated in a manner where very few were
> returned for quality defects 
> >>(unlike late-era LPs, especially when sold to picky buyers in the
> remaining small stores), and 
> >>also everyone saw the advantage to getting the consumers to buy CD players
> and CDs so they would 
> >>move away from cassettes as soon as cheap/plentiful car and portable CD
> players hit the market. 
> >>Again, tape duplication was not a great business. The CD plants could,
> with some good training and 
> >>QC procedures, turn out reliably uniform copies millions of times if
> needed. No more fussy ancient 
> >>stamping equipment, messy vinyl compounds and, even worse than that, tape
> duplicating nightmares. 
> >>The win-win that made all of this inevitable was that consumers could be
> re-sold their entire 
> >>music collection in this fab new format. If the industry had been this
> business-minded earlier 
> >>this century, they might have gotten yet another bite at the consumers
> when the masses started 
> >>moving to downloads. Instead, they stupidly left a void where Napster
> filled in and it's been 
> >>downhill ever since. The worst is, it was clear where all of this was
> going as soon as the first 
> >>"ripping" software appear in the 90's, and definitely as soon as CD copier
> burners because 
> >>ubiquitous.
> >>
> >> Anyway, the initial CD rollout was a time of phat and happy profits for
> the record biz.
> >>
> >> -- Tom Fine
> >>
> >> ----- Original Message ----- 
> >> From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
> >> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> >> Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 7:14 PM
> >> Subject: [ARSCLIST] DATs DELETED but not LPs (was: 15/16 Recording
> Speed)
> >>
> >>
> >>> John -- apology accepted, especially since I am a fan of Chance!
> >>>
> >>> On 1/12/2011 6:17 PM, Scott wrote:
> >>>> I have often wondered if modern technology might recover some of the
> lost
> >>>> audio....    Scott
> >>>
> >>> You're not the only one, and I think they had another look at the tapes
> a couple of years ago, 
> >>> but the "Rose Mary Woods Stretch" was a bit too efficient.  By the way,
> that famous photo had an 
> >>> amusing use on the cover of the August 1989 Schwann CD catalog under the
> headline "EXTRA! DATs 
> >>> DELETED!!!"  They had decided to give up on the viability of the
> pre-recorded DAT and CD-3 
> >>> formats, and the editor said in removing the listings this position was
> no less awkward than was 
> >>> Ms. Woods'.  The also printed a 1971 letter she had written them on
> White House stationery 
> >>> giving Nixon's thanks for a copy of the catalog.
> >>>
> >>> Of added interest they next included a commentary "Vanishing Vinyl (...
> or the short run 
> >>> prospects of the long-playing record)".  With insider evidence, they
> accuse the industry of 
> >>> market manipulation by deleting popular LP series that were selling well
> and instituting 
> >>> disadvantageous non-return policies for retailers.  "Although the CD
> revolution has been -- to 
> >>> some extent --  consumer-driven, the LP decline has been, to a degree,
> industry manipulated." 
> >>> They pledged to continue listing LPs and cassettes in their quarterly
> Schwann guide.
> >>>
> >>> Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
> >>>
> >>>> -----Original Message-----
> >>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> >>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Spencer
> >>>> Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 5:12 PM
> >>>> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 15/16 Recording Speed
> >>>>
> >>>> Mike,
> >>>>
> >>>> I truly value your contribution to this list and your long-standing
> >>>> knowledge of recorded history, and I have enjoyed reading your posts
> for
> >>>> years. I felt as the last paragraph in your post was somewhat off topic
> and
> >>>> that prompted my post.
> >>>>
> >>>> In retrospect it was most likely a knee-jerk response, because to this
> day I
> >>>> still can't understand all of the reasoning/ logic (or lack of therein)
> and
> >>>> other motives that created these recordings - it simply baffles my mind
> (and
> >>>> even though I'm old, I wasn't old enough to vote for Nixon, so there is
> no
> >>>> love lost...).
> >>>>
> >>>> I too know several individuals involved with the playback/ recovery of
> the
> >>>> Nixon tapes and find the work (and their work environment) a case study
> in
> >>>> archival education.
> >>>>
> >>>> My sincere apologies to you, I had no idea that you also played a hand
> in
> >>>> the recording/ playback/ restoration of these tapes. As they begin to
> come
> >>>> to light in the Nixon Library, I'm hugely interested in what is
> presented to
> >>>> the public.
> >>>>
> >>>> Best regards,
> >>>> John
> >>>>
> >>>> John Spencer
> >>>> www.bmschace.com
> >>>>
> >>>> On Jan 12, 2011, at 3:10 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> On 1/12/2011 2:23 PM, George Brock-Nannestad wrote:
> >>>>>> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Hello,
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> beauty is in the eye of the beholder as is the experience of
> >>>>>> politically loaded information.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Mike mentioned these tapes, because they are some of the
> technically
> >>>>>> best documented in modern history. This is pure documentation, and
> no
> >>>>>> mention of the need to obtain it.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Kind regards,
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> George
> >>>>> Thank you, George.  John, I RESENT your implication that there was
> >>>> ANYTHING political in my mentioning the Nixon tapes because a close
> friend
> >>>> designed and installed the replay equipment used on these tapes, I have
> seen
> >>>> that set-up (George might have been there too), a number of other
> friends of
> >>>> mine have been involved over the  years in the technical analysis of
> the
> >>>> tapes AND SOME OF THEM ARE ON THIS LIST.
> >>>>> Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
> >>>>>> John Spencer wrote (why?):
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Perhaps you could google for an answer to your question below
> >>>>>>> without inserting a political slant to the list-serve that has
> >>>>>>> nothing to do with what the original question was posed about?
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> John Spencer
> >>>>>>> www.bmschace.com
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> On Jan 12, 2011, at 12:31 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Did the Nixon White House tapes use it?
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>
> >