Friday, May 04, 2012

Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio.

Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio. The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives. ed. by Kevin Bradley. Second edition 2009.
A web version of guidelines on creating and preserving digital audio objects.  Areas of interest covered include:
  • Metadata, including preservation metadata
    • Important to keep all aspects of preservation and transfer relating to audio files, including all technical parameters 
  • Persistent Identifiers
  • Naming conventions
  • Digital preservation planning
    • OAIS: the services and functions for monitoring the environment and providing recommendations to ensure that the information stored remains accessible to the Designated User Community over the long term, even if the original computing environment becomes obsolete
    • Preservation planning is the process of knowing the technical issues in the repository, identifying the future preservation direction (pathways), and determining when a preservation action, such as format migration, will need to be made.
  • Small scale digital archiving
    • Digital preservation is as much an economic issue as a technical one.
    • Any proposal to build and manage an archive of digital audio objects should have a strategy which includes plans for the funding of ongoing maintenance and replacement
  • Risks
    • The only way to know the condition of a digital collection is constant and comprehensive testing.
    • A preservation strategy requires a listing of the risks associated with the loss of technical expertise and how that will be addressed.   
    • An archive can distribute risk in a number of ways,  such as:
      • form local partnerships so that content is distributed
      • establish a relationship with a stable well funded archive; 
      • engage a commercial supplier of storage services
  • Recording formats
    • It is not recommended that audio streams be recorded for long term storage.
    • Recommend recording as a digital data file
    • Recommend recording as .wav or preferably BWF .wav files 
    • The large investment in a single format will also help support the continuance of that format for the longest period, as the industry will not change an entrenched format without significant benefits.

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