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[AV Media Matters] Digitizing Audio and Video-Really Big Post

We are about to embark on a sizable audio and video digitization 
project. At this time we are just trying to figure out which direction 
we need to go. Our goal is to create good quality digital archival 
masters and then web usable surrogates.  The pool we will be selecting 
from includes 550 audio tapes (cassette and micro-cassette) and 575 
video (VHS, 3/4-inch, and BetaSP).  Although we know that only a small 
portion will be selected for digitization, we are still reviewing the 
content to aid our selection for digitization.  The clips we'll be 
digitizing can vary widely, from 1 minute to maybe an hour (although 
bulk probably in the 5-20 minute range).

At this time, money isn't really an issue. We have a grant that should 
give us plenty of cash to complete the project.

We have been doing some research, but would like to hear opinions as to 
the standards we should be thinking about when creating the master file 
for both the audio and the video.

We realize that this is a lot to handle, but any feedback on any parts 
will be appreciated.  

For the audio:

What are your personal opinions on the whole 16/44.1 through 24/96 

How much audio, in minutes, do you feel is reasonable for a website?  We

are hoping that we will have quite a bit of audio unless it becomes 
difficult to serve or just unreasonable to offer, say 2 hours of audio.

For video:

In terms of formats, we have concerns about both file formats and media 

What do you think about file formats for the master (DV vs other), for 
high-quality user copies (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, etc)?

With media formats, would you feel comfortable with CD/DVD or would you 
want to have a master backup on tape.  How about hard drives?

How much video on a site do you think is reasonable to serve? One of the

content partners of the project said that they wanted to mount 10 hours 
of video! (Honestly, the rest of the team thought this was way out of 
line and was thinking more along the lines of about an hour or two tops.

We just want to know what the reaction is so that we can tell them, that

realistically, this is not the way to go.)

What are the pros/cons of streaming video vs. a downloadable file with 
regards to quality?

We want to have both the audio and the video served as nicely as 
possible. I will have to say that we are leaning toward streaming audio 
and video at this point.

Miriam Meislik
Associate Archivist
Photograph Curator
Archives of Industrial Society
7500 Thomas Blvd.
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412)244-7075 voice
(412)244-7077 fax

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
--Steven Wright

Mathew Herbison
Project Intern
Digital Research Library 
University of Pittsburgh

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