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On 2/22/2013 3:44 PM, Gordon, Bruce wrote:
> The difference between 10,000 hour-long cassettes (for example) captured in 48 kHz / 16-bit files and the same cassettes captured in 48 kHz / 24-bit files is 3,218.75 GB.
> The difference in data between 10,000 hour-long cassettes captured in 44.1 kHz / 24-bit files and the same cassettes captured in 48 kHz / 24-bit files is 785.15625 GB. That's one hard drive's worth of difference in the amount of data.
> So do we throw away 785 GB of potentially valuable data forever (because it is apparently only marginally valuable) or do we save the price of storage costs that continue to drop?

I'll go out on a limb and say that the audible difference between 
44.1kHz sampling and 48kHz sampling is very close to zero, particularly 
with cassettes as the source. The only advantage to 48kHz is that it is 
the standard, and thus would fit into other archives digitized at that 
sampling rate.

There is a downside to 48kHz (discounting the increased cost of storage, 
which is well on the way to becoming negligible): If there is any plan 
to put the material on CDs for accessibility, 48kHz files must be 
sample-rate-converted first. Sample-rate conversion is still an 
impwedwxr science; there is a collection of tests on the web:

The results suggest that some software and hardware do the job with a 
lot fewer artifacts than others. Some that do well include Audition (w. 
pre- and post-filtering, Samplitude and various Izotope products. The 
venerable Sadie does remarkably badly.

Equally important: sample rate conversion (for burning CDs) takes 
*time*. When the job is 10,000 cassettes that's worth considering.