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Re: [ARSCLIST] Taiyo-Yuden out of business??
When planning a digital archive, it's absolutely essential to think
about the bits separately from the media that carries them. Bob is
quite correct that media types will appear and disappear over time,
but as long as the file formats are well-defined and not tied to a
single type of media, it ought to be possible to transfer the files
to new media without any loss in quality.
Of course, this assumes that an archive has the foresight and
resources to perform those transfers before the previous media type
becomes unplayable. Not always a safe assumption, but it's probably
the best we can do.
>Parts can be easily constructed one-off at reasonable prices for devices
> playing cylinders and 78s.
Indeed. But it will be a great deal more difficult for tape, let
alone wire and other more obscure formats. How many high-quality
working 1/4-inch tape playback machines will still be in working
condition fifty years from now? How many cassette machines? At some
point, the only source for critical parts will be other machines --
and the law of diminishing returns rapidly kicks in. That's not
related to whether the original recording equipment was analog or
digital; it's true for both.
At 9/3/2007 10:36 AM, Bob Olhsson wrote:
From Don Cox: "...They will certainly be obsolete for _new_ storage by then,
but it would be
surprising if there were no machines available to play them. Equipment
is available for playing cylinders and 78s..."
Parts can be easily constructed one-off at reasonable prices for devices
playing cylinders and 78s. Digital gear is made up of parts that are only
affordable when produced in immense quantities. Most of them are also only
constructed to a disposable standard of quality.
The good news is that you can clone digital audio. The bad news is that you
need to do so frequently in order to stay ahead of hardware that will
probably never be available again after only a few years. Those of us who
have been working on standards have watched formats disappear faster than
any standards could be defined. As solid state memory and broadband delivery
take over, I expect to see all digital storage involving moving parts go
away rapidly. Working DAT machines are becoming very rare because there are
no more parts.
This parts manufacturing scale issue makes digital media EXTREMELY
unreliable and expensive in the long run as an archival medium.