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Where has all the AV content gone? How do we preserve it for the future?. Jim Lindner Media Matters. Our Audio Visual Heritage. How we will be understood by history will in part be based on what materials they have to study.

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Our audio visual heritage l.jpg
Our Audio Visual Heritage the future?

  • How we will be understood by history will in part be based on what materials they have to study.

  • We are in the early years of a technology evolution that will certainly take hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

  • What is at risk are the documents of our time.


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What are these Documents? the future?

  • Feature, Documentary, Independent Film

  • Network, Independent, Art Television

  • Industrial / Educational Film and Video

  • Audio from Network to Soundtrack to Field Recordings and Oral Histories

  • Community Recordings

  • Home Recordings


Where has the content gone l.jpg
Where has the content gone? the future?

  • We Have Lost Much More then most people suspect

    • All but a small fraction of the films of the silent film era are lost forever

    • Essentially all of television “pre history” is lost

      • E.G. Broadcasts of J.L. Baird

      • TV Before Tape – All lost except what was a kine or news film and has survived

      • TV After Tape – A huge amount has been lost

        • 1958 – 1978 3000 news shows remain versus 11,000 Days


Where has all the content gone l.jpg
Where has all the content gone? the future?

  • Landfill – space, cost, not “needed” anymore

  • Erasure – intentionally to save money and unintentionally

  • Into brown cardboard boxes after the edit sessions, unlabeled, sitting in warehouses or worse

  • Closets, Attics, Basements


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Where has all the content gone? the future?

Some of what is left has found its way to an archive.


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How Much of it survives? the future?

  • No one really knows - but there are estimates…..

  • CBC – 300,000 tapes

  • BBC – 600,000 hours

  • MTV – 1.2 Million hours

  • UNESCO estimate –

  • 200 million hours of culturally important archives at risk


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What do the Records in Archives look like? the future?

  •  For the most part our A/V heritage is :A mixture of analog and digital formats including…


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A Vast Array of Media Types and Formats the future?

  • Film and Film Elements

    • Nitrate – Acetates – Polyester - Mixtures (Magnetic Full Coat)

  • Audio

    • Disc, Cylinder, Vinyl, Wire (steel), Polyester (PET), Acetate, CD-R

  • Video – Polyester (PET)


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Media is EXTREMELY FRAGILE the future?

  • Nitrate Highly Combustible

  • Acetates – Vinegar Syndrome

  • Binder issues – Sticky Shed

  • Laminates – Delaminate


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Media is Subject to Disasters the future?

Natural…..

  • Chemical Deterioration

  • Physical/Mechanical Damage

  • Natural Disasters


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… and Man Made the future?

  • War

  • Theft

  • Loss

  • Bad Economic Times

  • Format Obsolescence

  • Technological Evolution


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“Digital” Media is subject to many of the same perils the future?

  • Format Type may be irrelevant in some situations


Storage as a file adds many levels of complexity that did not exist with analog media l.jpg
Storage as a file adds many levels of complexity that did not exist with Analog Media

  • File Format Compatibility

  • Application Level Compatibility

  • Operating System Compatibility

  • Firmware / BIOS Level Compatibility

  • Hardware / Controller Level Compatibility


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How? not exist with Analog Media


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What about the Content in the File? not exist with Analog Media

  • Content Management

    • Few standards across collections – no union catalog

      • Let me see all the films that have Ford cars

    • Description of Sounds and Pictures with words

    • Primitive Searching tools


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No real LONG term strategy: not exist with Analog Media

  • Best Practice Environmental Control

    • Short term postponement of the inevitable

  • No single media type lasts forever

  • No single format / technology lasts forever

  • No single location lasts forever.


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How long do we store the stuff anyhow – how long is forever?

  • Manufacturers think 90 days – well OK – 10 Years

  • We have paper documents for hundreds of years

  • We have clay tablets for thousands of years

  • We have cave paintings for many thousands of years


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Can we realistically reformat forever? forever?

  • Consider the resources required to reformat every 25 years, physical space for each object, cost for media  

  • Consider the environmental cost to produce all that media

  • Is it desirable even if you did?


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What we are doing is not working very well! forever?

We need to rethink and try some new things…

Can the past help us with the future?


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The First Television was Mechanical! forever?

  • Mechanical television existed for quite some time – some systems scanning horizontally others vertically. John Logie Baird generally is given credit for the first working mechanical television system – as well as developing the first way of RECORDING his television signals.





Magnetic recording27 l.jpg
Magnetic Recording forever?

  • In The Beginning:

    • Initial market was for for TIME SHIFTING – Not for Editing or anything else

    • No thought given to other markets or applications

    • It did not take very long before other uses were found for video recording and the manufacturers responded with new product


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Magnetic Recording forever?

  • Different Markets / Different Needs

    • Broadcast – High Quality, High Cost, Low Quantity of Machines Sold, Flexibility

    • Industrial / Educational – Medium Quality, Medium Cost, Higher Volume of Machines Sold, Simplicity

  • These Markets were later segmented Further and new markets like consumers came into being


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Magnetic Recording forever?

  • Broadcast


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Magnetic Recording forever?

  • Broadcast




Videotape recording l.jpg
Videotape Recording forever?

  • Military


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Videotape Recording forever?

  • Industrial / Educational


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Maybe we can predict that… forever?

  • Change and new formats have always been a part of our AV Heritage and we need to think in those terms.

  • Innovation will continue - and perhaps the best we can do is not mess it up for the next generation of innovation

  • It will continue to get smaller, better and cheaper…. and




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Economic Viability of storage as FILES versus Videotape store it!

  • In Canberra – Today June 6

  • Using Sony Stock

  • 1 Digital Betacam Tape costs $27.08, Records 1 hour, Obsolete Format ?

  • 1 LTO3 Datatape costs $60.52


Economic viability of storage as files versus videotape48 l.jpg
Economic Viability of storage as FILES versus Videotape store it!

  • Using MPEG2 50 Mbit or MJPEG 2000

  • 1 hour of content requires 25 – 30 Gigabytes using MJPEG2000 (24 using MPEG2)

  • 1 LTO3 tape stores 400 Gigabytes

    • 400 / 25 = 16

  • 1 LTO3 tape stores 16 Hours


Cost to store 1 hour of content l.jpg
Cost to store 1 hour of content store it!

  • LTO = $60.52 / 16

    Cost = $3.78 Per Hour

  • Digital Betacam = $27.08

  • Videotape is 7.16 TIMES more expensive!!!!! – storing the exact same quality.


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How Much Will Storage Cost, What about small collections? store it!

  • 350 Hour Collection

  • 350 x 30 Gigabytes each hour =

  • 10,500 Gigabytes (10.5 Terabytes)

  • Media Cost @ $.15 per Gigabyte = $1575

  • 27 LTO Tapes (versus 700 Umatic)

  • 2333 DVD’s….


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But what about the decks!? store it!

  • LTO3 $3600 (Tandberg Internal)

  • DVW 2000 $40,500

  • UVW 1800 $9,00 (Used)


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How is the Migration Performed? store it!

Video

Videotape

Audio

Time Code

Meta Data


Manual migration l.jpg
Manual Migration store it!

Tedious and error proneRequires constant attentionDifficult to maintain quality control

SlowTeam of 6 experts (3 per shift – 2 shifts per day) can migrate 5000 hrs/yr

ExpensiveRequires highly skilled laborNo economies of scale

No Metadata No history of past actions or condition


Automated migration l.jpg
Automated Migration store it!

  • Higher QualityVerification of tape condition and processConsistent quality controlFaster Multiple streams at a time (up to 6)Runs 24/7 (up to 140 hours per day)Less Expensive10 to 40% of the cost of manual migration



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Compression is NOT ALWAYS BAD for archival applications store it!

  • Depends on the type of compression

  • Depends on the application

  • Depends on the implementation

  • Depends on the user (using things for what they were designed to do)


Compression is not always bad for archival applications57 l.jpg
Compression is NOT ALWAYS BAD for archival applications store it!

  • Must define terms

    • Preservation and/or Access?

  • Must understand underlying issues

    • Technical Considerations

    • Marketing Considerations

    • Practical Considerations

    • Political Considerations (NTSC vs. PAL)


Many different standards and it is confusing l.jpg
Many Different Standards - and it IS confusing… store it!

  • MPEG - Moving Picture Experts GroupSeveral major categories use entirely different approaches

  • MPEG 1 Samples 4:2:0 at 1.2 Mbits/sec at 352x240, 30 FIELDS / Second

  • MPEG 2 Samples 4:2:0 at 1.2 to 15 Mbits/sec at 704x496, 60 Fields / Second

  • MPEG 2 Professional Profile @ Main Level Samples 4:2:2 at about 50-60Mbits/sec (variable) at 704x496, 60 fields/sec

  • MPEG 4

  • MPEG 7 …. MetaData


Compression for a v materials l.jpg
Compression for A/V Materials store it!

  • In general terminology there are two classes of Compression – LossLESS, and Lossy

  • Most Common formats in AV are Lossy

    • MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, Windows Media

  • LossLESS formats offer Uncompressed Quality, with storage savings of about 3:1

    • MJPEG 2000


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Determination of Quality cannot be “It looks fine to me” store it!

  • Do No Harm

  • Area of Rapid Technology Development

  • Real possibility of new class of “Orphan Video” by encoding type – Videocube

  • What will Search Engines use in the future?


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We Are Now in a Transition Phase – and We Will Be for Some Time

  • • Digital asset management is very new and it will take some time for the technology and standards to mature.

  • • Migration of analog media to digital systems is still very unclear – compression/formats/bitrates

  • • Current production process still has “conventional” media used at times

  • • Storage is still too expensive, networks are still too slow and unreliable, systems are still largely incompatible.




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What will the role of the future A/V Archivist be? Time

• Archivist as Information “miner”

• Archivist as architect of information standards and systems

• Archivist as Information Manager


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