I just wish the Nesco Snackmaster 5000 was still in production.The newer models have the heating element on top. Heat rises..-Matt Sohn 


  On Wednesday, September 9, 2015 3:09 PM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 Dana and Scott,

Thanks for posting this article.

This is rather reminiscent of what Prestospace had Benoit Thiebaut 
working on about a decade ago. He (and others at later times) used 
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to identify tapes.

Benoit also used mass spectroscopy which, to me, was more telling as one 
could see binder, degradation products, and lubricant on a 
population/quantity vs. mass graph. In VERY rough terms, there were 
peaks at 500 g/mol (lubricant), 5000 g/mol (sticky degradation 
products), and 50,000 g/mol (good binder).

FTIR can, by comparing spectra with a known database, identify the types 
of compounds.

Unfortunately, all this gear is expensive and time consuming.

I disagree with the statement that there is not enough time to bake the 
tape. Oven/dehydrator capacity is cheap and can be run in parallel. Even 
with 2-4 day baking, you can stack up enough baking that the 
playback/digitizing passes are the limiting factors.

While it will become more difficult to digitize tapes in 20 years, I'm 
not certain I agree with George Blood (for whom I have a substantial 
amount of respect). I think that the first failure will be the failure 
to find technicians who are familiar with the genre. I'll be in my mid 
80s if I'm not pushing up daisies. Then there is the problem of machines 
and the people to repair the machines. Finally, the tape will fall 
apart, but, in general, tapes seem to be holding up well, even though 
many need baking.



On 2015-09-09 15:22, Dana Gerber-Margie wrote:
> Exciting news for people who digitize! Noninvasive infrared spectroscopy
> could help archivists prioritize tape recordings for digitization. It could
> also be very helpful for appraisal, so archivists aren't spending time
> preserving blank tape.
> ; Dana E. Gerber-Margie
> *Subscribe to my weekly audio digest at
> <>.*
Richard L. Hess                  email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                            647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.