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Re: [AV Media Matters] The FILE is the thing ! Was -Digitizing Audio and Vide

I agree, the FILE is the thing, and people in data management have been dealing with this for years. And lots of content does originate as digital files. But even in that case, if people are diligent about backing up their files the backup medium is usually something with a fixed storage pattern (tape, optical disc). We rarely backup from one hard drive to another, although I guess that would be fine if the backup

drive is taken off-line once the copy is made. The point is to create a

backup that is not likely to be destroyed in the same way the master might be.

I guess what concerns me in my primitive engineer's lizard-brain is that

hard discs spin and spin and spin. If nothing else, friction or some kind of mechanical catastrophe will kill some of them. I just feel more

comfortable with a medium where the data is written and put away for later. I suppose this could still be hard drives, but my sense is that building an archive on discs implies having a live server running at all

times--it's as though if the drives aren't turning then the archive does

not exist!  Maybe this is just a poor use (or overuse) of my

Certainly the long-term point, or necessity, is to migrate that data along as formats and media change. It just seems to me that keeping the

data "alive" is harder on a server-based system. Again, I'm willing to adjust this view if I can be shown alternative approaches!

-- Eric Wenocur Lab Tech Systems

James Lindner wrote:

I wanted to make a brief comment on this thread. I believe that it is
extremely important to seperate issues of physical media types and the
embodyment of the content. They can in fact be two different things.
the past in AV they have been inextricably tied - i.e. the content on
the VHS cassette. But - the world has changed and there is no longer
necessarily a direct relationship between the physical asset and what
recorded on it. This is a paradigm shift for many AV Archivists - but
the reality is that this change had started MANY years ago - in my
former career in Computer Animation we created many AV works as files
and in most cases they were finally recorded on videotape - but they
first existed as files.

So, when one discussed storing AV Content on Hard Drives - I do not
believe that anyone is suggesting storing them on one specific hard
drive through the end of time. This is exactly what one does NOT want
do. The idea here is to save the content as data - and migrate that
in a lossless fashion over time on MANY different devices. So the idea
is not to record the data on a single ATA drive and leave it there
forever with the hope of playback - rather the idea is to actively
manage the content - and this is also a very significant paradigm
of thinking. In the past we "managed" AV content by putting in on a
shelf where hopefully we could find it again. This is at best passive
management. Active management implies checking the content through a
quality control process on a frequent basis, backing up the content
only on one device or media type but on many - and having a management
process to manage the data.

While this may be new in the AV area - it is not new and has been
practices for many years in the Data Processing world. There are many
books on the subject, there is established techniques and practices,
there are degrees taught in this subject as well as professional
accreditation in place. There are many smart people who work daily in
this field.

Fight it if you will - but I frankly do not see things going in any
other direction. Every second of every day more and more AV content is
born digital and becomes a file very early in the production process.
Virtually every video production these days is edited using non-linear
editing systems - as FILES not as tapes. Video and Audio materials ARE
files now. I believe our job clearly is to preserve these materials
provide access. That implies an active management process that uses a
variety of storage devices and media types and systems, and this in my
opinion is clearly the direction that we are moving in.

So I strongly recommend not thinking about Hard Drive storage as a
concept where you are substituting a Hard Drive for a tape. That is
the concept.

Jim Lindner

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