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Listen to Unlocking Audio 2007 conference papers

Download and listen to selected speeches and papers on audio preservation and digitisation delivered at the Unlocking Audio: Sharing Experience of Mass Digitisation conference, held at the British Library in October 2007

For speaker profiles and full abstracts of the following speeches and papers, please see the brochure:

Keynote speech

Listen: Blind Spots on the Digital Highway (MP3, 32min, 13MB)

Speaker: Kevin Bradley Curator, Oral History and Folklore Director, Sound Preservation, National Library of Australia

This paper considers the sound archiving pathway that has led to the present, the digital technologies that have been selected or cast aside, the critical decisions made and those that just seemed to make themselves, and the problems that have been solved or ignored along the way. It asks whether sound archiving has a distinct place in the complementary fields of image digitisation and digital preservation and what individual skills and qualities we need to find to manage that role. Finally, the paper looks behind, and ahead, and wonders what might be hiding in the blind spots as we pull out into the digital highway.


Listen: First Experiences in Digitising Analogue Sound Documents (MP3, 26min, 11MB)

Speaker: Michaela Brodl, Head, Archiv des √Ėsterreichischen Volksliedwerkes, Austrian National Library, Austria

Although the collection of sound documents has never been regarded as a main objective of the Austrian National Library, the repositories of recordings have meanwhile grown to a respectable size. 22,000 analogue sound documents with about 30,000 hours of recordings must be protected against deterioration. Last year saw the first steps of this digitisation project.

Listen:  Migration of 1.2 Million Hours of Audio Material (MP3, 29min, 12MB)

Speaker: Martin Jacobson, Head of Technology and Development, The Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images (SLBA)

SLBA intends to digitise nearly 1.2 million hours of audio material in approximately 3 years; production is now underway and meeting those expectations. A number of 'unconventional' methods are used such as highspeed transfer, robotic automation, and the use of a suite of custom scripts that automatically process the digitised files.

Listen: Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project: Lessons Learned (MP3, 27min, 11MB)

Speaker: David Seubert, Curator, Performing Arts Collection, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) USA

At this point in time, most of the technical aspects of digitization are fairly straightforward and it is clear that large-scale mass digitization of vast amounts of library and archival collections is all but inevitable, either by libraries or by corporations. However, as our experience with the CPDP has taught us, managing mass digitization projects is far from simple and the rapid expansion of digital initiatives raises some important questions that need to be discussed and addressed.

Listen: Is it at all Possible to Avoid Migration of Content? (MP3, 26min, 10.5MB)

Speaker: George Brock-Nannestad, Historic Audio Consultant, Patent Tactics, Denmark

The paper will discuss a possible approach to the implementation of a storage system based on a carrier with a very long lifetime. The implementation is based on the realization that the digitization step merely ensures constant quality and that all storage phenomena are analogue in nature. The process entirely avoids the step of migration.

Listen: Quality Control in Outsourced Preservation Projects (MP3, 34min, 13.6MB)

Speaker: Nadja Wallaszkovits, Chief Engineer, Audio Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Following the IASA-TC 04 Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Objects, the paper outlines the parameters typically analysed by capturing stations and focuses on the missing links between automated error monitoring and human skills. The question of reference settings and error interpretation is discussed and various associated issues and problems are exemplified.

Listen: The Sound Directions Project: Standards and Best Practices for Audio Preservation (MP3, 30min, 11.8MB)

Speaker: Mike Casey, Associate Director for Recording Services, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University USA

Sound Directions, a research and development collaboration between Indiana University and Harvard University, was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in the US to test emerging standards and develop best practices for audio preservation. This presentation will explore the products of Phase 1 of the Sound Directions project, including a set of best practices and a number of open source tools.

Listen: Sound Archiving in the Digital Age: the YLE Experience (MP3, 27min, 10.7MB)

Speaker: Pekka Gronow, Senior Advisor, YLE Radio Archives Finland

The Finnish Broadcasting Co (YLE) was an early adopter of digital mass storage technology in sound archiving. Our mass digitisation project started in 2003, and it is expected to be finished by 2015. It is now possible to draw some conclusions from work done so far.

PDF files

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