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Hi Randy:

I'm not sure what you mean by this:

> Certainly the Mercury/Everest experience with 35mm audio should be evidence
> enough to support my criticism that the comparison is severely flawed. What
> do the rest of you think?

In the case of Mercury's 35mm magnetic film masters, whatever wasn't digitized in the 1990s (when 
all of the existing films were playable, as demonstrated by the sound quality of the 1990s CD 
remasters) didn't EXIST anymore. It's not a matter of "things not being transferred." Inept 
management at Polygram/Philips in the 1970s and perhaps the 1980s ordered some 35mm destroyed, and 
other appear to have been forever lost (assumed destroyed) by the contracted warehouse-storage 
companies. During the CD remastering project's 10-year span, exhaustive and never-ending efforts 
were made by Polygram vault/library personnel all over the world to find any and all Mercury Living 
Presence tapes. Under early Universal-era management, all of those tapes were assembled at the vault 
operations of Berliner Studios in Hanover Germany. That vault has since been outsourced to a unit of 
BMG, and I think it is at a different physical location in Germany now. I do not know if every 
single cache to former Polygram tapes in the world is now assembled in Germany, but I do think that 
every Mercury tape or film that existed in the 1990s did end up in one place.

The ineptitude of former Polygram management to order the destruction of films and tapes (presumably 
to save on storage costs, likely on stern orders from the bean-counters in Holland), is worth a 
whole other discussion. But, it occured before the possibility of digital backup, so it is 
irrelevant to the topics of the NYT article.

As for Everest, Mark Jenkins may choose to comment on that. As I understand it, the Everest films 
were damaged from poor warehouse storage conditions, long before the era of digital audio. 
Furthermore, despite the damage, many or all of the films survived to be successfully transferred to 
high-rez digital in recent years.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randy Lane" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:35 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] NYT film archiving article


> This NYT article pointing out a very high cost of digital storage vs.
> traditional/legacy/non-digital storage has become the subject of discussion
> on another forum:
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/business/media/23steal.html?_r=1&
>
> From reading the article though, I don't see any evidence that the "cost"
> of traditional/legacy/non-digital storage includes the cost of maintaining
> the proper playback equipment. As we well know studios don't typically make
> that attempt. But given that the cost of digital storage as profile in the
> article includes migration to replacement storage media when existing
> media/drives/systems/etc.. reach their end-of-life and the potential access
> problems as digital formats evolve, including the cost of maintaining
> equipment to support full retrieval of traditional/legacy/non-digital
> archives seems like a no-brainer.
>
> Certainly the Mercury/Everest experience with 35mm audio should be evidence
> enough to support my criticism that the comparison is severely flawed. What
> do the rest of you think?
>
>