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Re: [ARSCLIST] Digital Audio Preservation Question

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad


Brandon Burke wrote:

> Tom,
> Converting an accessioned archival MP3 file to WAV doesn't, in an of
> itself,
> mean creating
> a 24/96 derivative. And it sounds to me like you're jumping to that
> conclusion.
> In this case (Martha's original point), the issue is readability in the
> future: 10, 20, 50 years down
> the road. Of course, my guess is as good as anyone else's here but, i
> think
> conversion to WAV
> (16/44.1) still sounds like a pretty good idea..
> Brandon.

----- the real rationale being that the conversion from MP3 to a linear and 
listenable file occurs NOW. We are obviously not thereby creating linear 
audio, but what would come out of the MP3 system to be listened to. We get a 
simple binary table of equidistant samples of something that will be 
perceived as sound as long as our ears function the way they do. It is 
inherently safer to convert now when MP3 is in vogue, rather than to wait to 
decode later. The decoding from wav to sound is inherently simpler and 
requires much less programming in case you have to reconstruct from basics. A 
good wav file also requires some meta-data to make it truly useful, but that 
does not interfere with the sampled content.

Best wishes,



Tom Fine wrote:
> Right, Richard, I read the original post. I was commenting about lossy
> > formats in general.
> >
> > As for the original poster's specific question, I don't see any benefit
> in
> > blowing up an already inferior file, but I'd make several extra copies
> in
> > different places on the theory that one bad sector could destroy an MP3
> file
> > whereas it might only cause a fixable glitch in a WAV file due to the
> much
> > denser info-pack of the MP3 (ie what's left after the lossy compression
> > packs more audio linear time into fewer hard drive sectors than if the
> file
> > had been left full WAV). However, there's equal probability that the
> sector
> > that will fail first will be the file table so the whole drive is
> rendered
> > damaged, perhaps fatally. So it's a gray area. It all comes down to many
> > copies in many places as far as digital storage but as far as audio
> quality,
> > I believe there is no good argument that lossy compression is ever a
> good
> > idea with archival versions of things.
> >
> > -- Tom Fine
> >

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