Saturday, March 29, 2014

Recommended Format Specifications

Recommended Format Specifications. Library of Congress. March 2014.
Recommended Format Specifications are hierarchies of the physical and technical characteristics of creative formats, both analog and digital, which will best meet the needs of all concerned, maximizing the chances for survival and continued accessibility of creative content well into the future.

There are two primary purposes of the specifications. One purpose of the specifications is to provide internal guidance within the Library to help inform acquisitions of collections materials (other than materials received through the Copyright Office). A second purpose is to inform the creative and library communities on best practices for ensuring the preservation of, and long-term access to, the creative output of the nation and the world.
Six broad categories of creative output, and particular format specifications in descending order of preference.
  • Textual Works and Musical Compositions
  • Still Image Works
  • Audio Works
  • Moving Image Works
  • Software and Electronic Gaming and Learning
  • Datasets/Databases
Format Specifications: PDF

Friday, March 14, 2014

Measuring signals – challenges for the digitisation of sound and video

Measuring signals – challenges for the digitisation of sound and video.  Richard Wright. DPC Tech Watch Report. March 2012.
This report from the Digital Preservation Coalition outlines the unique challenges involved in digitising audio and audiovisual material. ‘Moving image and sound content is at great risk.’ ‘Preserving the quality of the digitized signal’ is one major digital preservation challenge for audiovisual files’.
Understanding how data changes as it is played back, or moved from location to location, is important for thinking about digitisation as a long term project. When data is encoded, decoded or reformatted it alters shape, therefore potentially leading to a compromise in quality. This is a technical way of describing how elements of a data object are added to, taken away or otherwise transformed when they are played back across a range of systems and software that are different from the original data object.