Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Archaic Sounds Caress Modern Ears

I find this very appropriate to something we discussed on Sunday's show. It is about what can be done when a media becomes obsolete or deterioates. On a societal level, we have the historians and the librarians take care of it.

So someday your old CDs may wind up in a museum or library being preserved. That is if we can straigten out the copyright laws and allow works that are no longer actively protected by the copyright holder to be preserved and placed into some kind of commons. I presume that recordings or data that is still commercially viable will be moved to new formats by those making money from it.

Curators at the University of California at Santa Barbara's Donald C. Davidson Library have digitized 6,000 late 19th-century and early 20th-century wax and plastic cylinder recordings -- precursors to the flat record. The audio, which includes ragtime hits, vaudeville routines and presidential speeches, encapsulates history with crackles and hisses, but archivists say preserving the sounds now is vital because the cylinders are deteriorating.


  1. patterson6:46 PM

    two years old , but this made me think of it
    "Now, researchers using optical-scanning equipment have made exquisitely detailed maps of the grooves of such recordings. By simulating how a stylus moves along those contours, the team has reproduced the encoded sounds with high fidelity."

  2. Very cool patterson. Thanks.


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