There is a thread debating about dubbing all in sight from LPs / 78s / cassettes / reel2reel tapes.

But dubbing to what?

Optical DVDs / CDs rely on the changing of the chemical properties of the substrate to retain digital recordings. DVD / CD pressing is beyond most peoples means.

Further magnetic media such as hard-drives is reliant on the integrity of a spinning mechanism and read and write head to say nothing of the magnetic particles glued to the surface.

Solid state devices seem reliable - after all if a camera lost at sea for years can eventually be returned with the images on the flash card still extant and downloadable - then something must be right with this media.

So just what are all these folk dubbing to? What end-media are they using? And what is the retention-life of that media? Is it really suitable for archival recordings? Is anything suitable for archive recordings?

As an aside I have just purchased a Panasonic EX99 combi deck to digitise and archive unique and culturally valuable recordings on gradually deteriorating VHS tapes. Reading the manual before setting it up - as you do - I was alarmed to read the statement that the 250GB hard-drive was fragile and not intended for the storing of archival recordings. Help!!!

What can I use as the end dub media?

So what about dubbing to optical disks? I can dub to RAM and then download to a computer - hard drive. But then what.

Also it appears that I cannot make back-up copies of the hard-drive which as a computer professional I find rather alarming.

Any ideas folks?

Chris B.

P.S. I am using self-bought domestic equipment for this project because funding was refused from the very Fund that should have supported it. I could have got professional dubs done. But now the urgency is to digitise the VHS tapes as best I can whilst they are still playable. The results will go to the BFI, BLSA, and other archives for visual and audio media.