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Re: [AV Media Matters] tape baking

> Heck.  We still have no way of identifying what tape has sticky shed
> problems until it is played- or did I miss something.
> Steve Smolian

That's right.  No red flag to determine sticky shed at all.  This concerns
me a great deal as I am called into libraries and archives all the time to
do preservation condition reports on audio/visual materials.  The factors I
take into account to determine what is an "at risk" recording include dust
and dirt on the container, to the smoothness and tightness of the wind, age,
format, as well as a host of other things (I do not play a tape to see if it
has problems).  At the end of the day, however, a nice little test that
could chemically or physically determine the state of the polyurethane
binder would be fantastic.

I was shown a "forefinger" test some time ago, and I wonder if anyone else
has used it.  It seems highly subjective to me, but an interesting concept.
The first ten inches of the audio tape are held between the forefinger and
thumb and drawn through with a slight amount of pressure.  Too much pressure
always yields a squeal of course, so the right touch is necessary.  The
theory is that under the proper pressure some sort of squeal will emit if
the tape is sticky because of the friction of the finger against the tacky

What does the list think of this?  BTW, I do not rely on the results from
this test to determine high risk, I just think it's interesting.

With cassettes and cartridges this test is almost impossible and potentially

Happy holidays!
Sarah Stauderman
450 West 31st Street
New York, NY  10001

in Washington D.C.:  202-546-2453

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