Monday, April 25, 2016

Why Analog-To-Digital Video Preservation, Why Now

Why Analog-To-Digital Video Preservation, Why Now. Bay Area Video Coalition. April 4, 2016.
     The first part is from an article that revisits an earlier publication: How I Learned (Almost) Everything I Know About ½” Video from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Moriah Ulinskas, Former Director of Preservation. Originally published October 5th, 2011. It describes preserving a video recording of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the difficulties involved. Some quotes from the article and the website in general:
  • "I tell all our clients and partners that they have 5, maybe 10 years left in which they can have these works preserved and transferred and then these recordings are gone for good."
  • "These are the legacy recordings I refer to with such urgency when I talk about the immediacy and importance of video preservation. These moments of political and cultural significance that inspired someone, 40 years ago, to hook up a camera and record this tape which we’ve inherited from dusty basements and disregarded shelves."
  • "If we do not do diligence in transferring these recordings to new formats, as the originals become impossibly obsolete, these are the moments and the messages we will lose forever."

Some items from the rest of the website:
  • As audio and video technologies have changed, and as old formats age and disintegrate, we are at risk of losing significant media that documents the art, culture and history of our diverse communities. Link
  • Analog media preservation is necessary because of two central factors: technical obsolescence and deterioration. Experts say that magnetic media has an estimated lifespan for playback of 10-15 years, and companies have already ceased manufacture of analog playback decks, the devices required to digitize and preserve analog media.

Audio / Video Preservation Tools
  • QCTools (Quality Control Tools for Video Preservation) is a free, open ­source tool that helps  conservators and archivists ways to inspect, analyze and understand their digitized video files, in order to prioritize archival quality control, detect common errors in digitization, facilitate targeted response, and thus increase trust in video digitization efforts. 
  • A/V Artifact Atlas.  An open­-source guide used to define and identify common technical issues and problems with audio and video signals. The intent of the guide is to assist and promote reformatting archival media content.
  • AV Compass. A suite of free online resources to help with organizing and preserving media collections. It includes step-­by­-step educational videos, PDF guides, an overview of preservation concepts, and a simple tool for creating inventories. This guide helps users with creating a preservation plan and taking specific steps to make that plan happen.

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