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Re: [ARSCLIST] discography's future?
> Hi folks -- I?m an audio-focused UT-Austin MSIS student writing my final
> paper for an audio preservation class. The paper's subject is something
> of a survey of discography, from the early years of Delaunay and
> Gramophone magazine listings up to, and including, the present.
> While I?ve been able to track down some history on earlier discographical
> compilation, there?s not much (that I?ve found, at least) on the current
> state of discography - especially in the age of digitization and
> I am keenly aware of the UCSB Victor project, along with dozen or so
> online databases that I?ve referred to over the years for my own research
> (Rockin? Country Style, the amazing jazzdisco.org, the specialized Red
> Saunders Research Foundation, the ASCAP/BMI databases, and even the
> much-maligned allmusic.com all spring immediately to mind).
> Two questions, then:
> 1. Are there any major database-based discographical projects afoot
> (especially institution-specific and/or in-house projects that aren?t
> available to the Internet) that I should be aware of?
> 2. Have there been any discussions or forums in the "literature"
> (ARSC-related or otherwise) about the affordances of databases and their
> possible implications for discography (audio/visual/multi-media content,
> XML and Wiki-style collaborative projects, faceted searching, etc.) ?
> (Again, I?ve looked, but haven?t found much.)
> Thanks so much in advance for any wisdom on the subject!
1) YES! There is a set of digital text-based discographic data files
which were originall created by researcher Steve Abrams as part of
the AVRL project. These exist in two sets: the "label files" and
the "matrix files." They use fixed-length (random access) data
records of 160 bytes each, and provide Artist, Title, matrix (in
many cases), date recorded (approximate if exact date is not
known), and other contemporaneous issues. These files can (or
could...?!) be downloaded via the 78Label section of the 78online.com
web site. As well, Tyrone Settelmeir is converting these files to
HTML, as well as augmenting the converted files with additions
and/or corrections where possible...and even creating new HTML
files; all of this is part of his "Online Discography Project."
2) There has been CONSIDERABLE discussion of digital discographic
data files over the past several years...both on the ARSCLIST forum
and on the 78-L e-mail list (accessible via 78online.com). So far,
little if any useful results have eventuated, though!
3) Let me introduce myself! I am Steven C. Barr--78rpm phonorecord
accumulator as well as overly optimistic digital-database-based
discographer <stevenc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> My (idle?!) dream is the
eventual creation of an ULTIMATE digital 78rpm-phonorecord database
accessible (for free!) via the Internet. I own some 50,000 78's
(leaving me about 2,950,000 to go...?!). Since I suffer from
Asperger's Syndrome, I am a relentless DATA collector as well as
a 78 collector! My dream is a database including EVERY 78rpm
phonorecord EVER issued...!
Steven C. Barr
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