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How to Preserve Audio (and video). Richard Wright BBC Information & Archives www.prestospace.eu. Overview. The audiovisual preservation problem The “digitisation factory” solution Problems with the solution Digitisation Factory approach Digital Preservation

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how to preserve audio and video

How to Preserve Audio(and video)

Richard Wright

BBC Information & Archives

www.prestospace.eu

overview
Overview
  • The audiovisual preservation problem
  • The “digitisation factory” solution
  • Problems with the solution
    • Digitisation
    • Factory approach
    • Digital Preservation
    • Funding, equipment, training …
    • Rights
the problem analogue media
The Problem: Analogue Media

Decaying

Obsolete

Fragile

Presto Survey, 2001

5 million hours of holdings

(10 European broadcasters)

decaying obsolete fragile
Decaying Obsolete Fragile
  • Obsolescence: at least 2/3 of the material
  • Deterioration: approximately 1/3 of the material
  • Fragile media: roughly 1/4 of the material

Overall: 70% of

holdings have

problems

The Solution:

digitisation

obsolescence
Obsolescence
  • Videotape
    • 2”; 1”; U-Matic: no playback equipment
  • Film
    • Disappearing in post production
  • Audio formats
    • Grams : no playback equipment
    • ¼” no longer accepted in BBC radio production and playout systems
deterioration
Deterioration
  • Videotape – decay of adhesive
    • 2”; 1”; U-Matic (30% read failures at BBC)
  • Audio – decay of adhesive
    • ¼” tape (depends upon brand)
  • Magnetic sound tracks
    • Vinegar syndrome
  • Other Acetate – other sources of acetic acid
  • Decay of film splices
  • General decay of polymer materials
fragile media
Fragile Media
  • Vinyl
    • and shellac
  • Film
    • 10 plays per print (videotape: 50)
  • Video or audiotape can easily be physically damaged or affected be magnetic fields
size of the problem in europe
Size of the Problem – in Europe
  • Presto: found 5 million hours 2001
    • Mainly broadcast archives
  • Prestospace: found 10 million hours 2004
    • Broadcast and large national collections
  • TAPE: found additional 20 million hours
    • In collections not covered previously
  • UNESCO estimate: 200 million hours worldwide (100 million in Europe)
where is the material
Where is the material?
  • Broadcast archives 30% (roughly)
  • National collections 15%
  • Other major collections 15%
  • Small and specialist collections 40%

NB: all these figures refer to archived material ONLY

the digitisation factory solution
The “digitisation factory” solution
  • Efficient workflow
  • Staff specialisation
  • Triage
problems with the solution 1 digitisation
Problems with the solution 1: Digitisation

“You’re not preserving anything; you’re only making more proxies and adding to the problem.”

  • Not accepted as a solution for film
  • Not easy to implement for video (in full quality)
  • But – very much accepted for audio
problems with the solution 2 factory approach
Problems with the solution 2: Factory approach
  • Works on homogeneous collections
  • Of good quality material – and lots of it
  • Which is well documented.
  • Also requires excellent staff and facilities
problems with the solution 3 digital preservation
Problems with the solution 3: Digital Preservation
  • Media
  • Multiple copies
  • Maintenance
  • Migration
m edia
Media
  • Datatape is cheaper that hard drives
    • But needs an expensive tape drive
    • And has reliability issues
  • Optical is cheapest of all
    • But isn’t really mass storage (DVD=4.7 GB)
      • New DVD format(s) promise 20 to 100 GB
    • And has reliability issues
  • Hard drives prices have dropped sharply
    • Easiest to automate management
    • And has reliability issues
  • More information from PrestoSpace:

prestospace.eu (“digitisation & storage”)

m ultiple copies
Multiple copies
  • Two copies
    • Two technologies
      • In two places
  • But fastest recovery is by mirroring
    • Which means identical technologies
  • Big arguments about RAID vs simpler options vs more complex options
m aintenance
Maintenance
  • Life cycle management
  • Should be every archive’s

built-in process

  • Begins with blank media
    • Then the writing
    • Then the initial checking
    • Then the periodic checking and ‘aerobics’
  • Ends with migration to the next format
m igration
Migration
  • A fact of life
  • Every five years
  • Can involve a lot of manual handling (of datatapes or optical media)
  • Or can be nearly transparant (disc upgrades) – but: every three years!
  • Needs lossless file formats
problems with the solution 4 funding equipment training
Problems with the solution 4: Funding, equipment, training
  • TAPE – Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe
  • IASA TC04: Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects
  • ARSC
  • PrestoSpace “Guide to Audiovisual Preservation”
problems with the solution 5 rights
Problems with the solution 5: Rights
  • Huge pressure for greater access
  • Access is the key to funding (for cultural / heritage collections)
  • Web technology solves the technical issues
  • Rights limitations can be overcome:
    • Disclaimers; due diligence; escrow
    • Creative Commons; Public value; Fair Use; Educational and research use
prestospace recommends
PrestoSpace Recommends
  • Set up your own factory if you can
  • OR: use somebody else’s
  • PrestoSpace working with the ‘facilities industry’ to convince them to give a high quality service at an affordable price
how to get help
How to get help:
  • PrestoSpace: technology and support for audiovisual preservation: information on the PrestoSpace websites, from TAPE training, and from the Preservation Guide wiki:
    • www.prestospace.eu
    • prestospace-sam.ssl.co.uk
    • www.knaw.nl/ecpa/tape/
    • www.bbcarchive.org.uk