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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eric Jacobs" <ericj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> On 10/27/2006 David Seubert wrote:
> > Off the top of my head I'd say these would be the basic 
> > requirements for a lossless compressed format to take off 
> > in the audio world and supplant wav as the standard format 
> > for archiving:
> > <snip>
> > 3) Files play back on/in *all* standard consumer playback 
> > hardware/software (itunes, ipods, real, winamp, etc)
> Must an *archival* (not an access) format be supported on 
> *consumer* playback hardware/software?
> Now, if only all consumer playback hardware/software would 
> support formats with higher resolution than 16/44.1.  I would
> certainly like that, especially if I could run 24/96 WAVE 
> files in iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.
> I understand how ubiquity creates defacto standards, which in
> turn provides more insurance against loss and obsolescence.
> And it certainly can reduce cost of access if you don't need
> special hardware to play back archival material.  But, in a
> cost-driven market-driven world, I'm not sure the day of 
> archival format support on *all* consumer playback devices 
> will ever come.  I'd like to see that day, but I wouldn't bet
> on it.
All that is actually necessary for an archival file (or set 
thereof) is that the archivist has available the necessary
software to access that file. However, this only applies if
there is NO intent to make the file available to the public
or any portion thereof (who, if the format is "obsolete,"
are unlikely to be able to access it).

However, keep in mind that both archivists and their computers
have finite lives...and if the next party to hold the position
knows nothing of the format (or if the machine with the necessary
software is "de-accessed") then that data is effectively lost!

Steven C. Barr

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