Friday, May 02, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - May 2, 2008

Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images of Digitisation Projects. Robèrt Gillesse, et al. National Library of the Netherlands. March 7, 2008. [PDF]

This is the result of a study of alternative formats for storing master files of digitization projects. There are so many digitization projects occurring that there needs to be a revision of the current format strategy. Currently, most institutions world wide store master image files in uncompressed TIFF file format. If there are 40 million image files in the current projects, that would mean 650 TB of storage space will be necessary to store in this format. The objective of the study was to describe alternative file formats in order to reduce the necessary storage space; these were Jpeg 2000, PNG, JFIF, and Tiff. The desired image quality, long-term sustainability and functionality had to be taken into account during the study. They looked at

  1. The required storage capacity
  2. The image quality
  3. The long-term sustainability
  4. The functionality

The main conclusion of the study is that JPEG 2000 lossless is overall the best alternative for the uncompressed TIFF file format from the perspective of long-term sustainability. In their summary table they note “JPEG 2000 comes out on top in both the lossless as well as the lossy versions”. The PNG format is also mentioned. Under alternate formats, they also list a number of institutions that are using Motion JPEG 2000 as a standard for digital cinema.

InPhase finally to phase in holographic disk. Paul Roberts. The Register. 26th April 2008.

A version of the holographic disk was demonstrated. The disks will store up to 300GB and are supposed to have a 50-year life. The Tapestry drive is priced about $18,000, and the disks will cost $180 each. There are advantages and disadvantages of the disks compared with LTO3, Blu-ray, and Plasmon, and while they hold more, they are also much more expensive. More information at InPhase.

NBA Expands Relationship With SGI on Groundbreaking Digital Media Management System. Marla Robinson. NewsBlaze. April 14, 2008.

The two organizations have created a new digital workflow and media management system, called the NBA Digital Media Management System. It allows the NBA to “simultaneously ingest and archive footage from up to 14 NBA games, edit the archival content on the fly, provide full game broadcasts, clips and other NBA content to 214 countries worldwide.” The system will add 60,000 hours of video each year, and the NBA archive, with more than 400,000 hours dating from 1946, will eventually be digitized. More frequently requested content will be stored on spinning disk arrays, while rarely needed content will be on a more economical storage method.

Time's running out to preserve our treasures. Deborah Holder. Guardian. 22 April 2008.

Putting documents, pictures and other items on a computer makes them more accessible, but one question now is can we save them? There is a lot of work to create an online archive. First, there is the question of what to archive. This is not just an online archive but an online community. There is an urgency to saving these items. "With sound recordings especially, it's imperative to digitise because old formats are disappearing and, more importantly, the players to play them back on are disappearing." But it is about access as well as preservation.

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