OT: Archiving data/video/movies/photos/oral history

From: R. D. Davis <rdd_at_smart.net>
Date: Sat Jun 3 21:25:55 2000

On Sat, 3 Jun 2000, Clint Wolff (VAX collector) wrote:
> How many KIDS today are collecting LPs? And how many of their

Well, most kids today appaently don't really have any idea what music
is (even though they listen to what they somehow believe to be music),
so that's a good question. (<- a sign that RDD's getting old?)

> children will collect them? I believe the number of people
> interested in old stuff (78 RPMs, LPs, CDs, etc...) will
> decrease exponentially to one, and when he dies, thats IT!

In all seriousness, at least some of them will, that is, those who
appreciate a wide range of music. I tend to listen to anything from
classical to rock (up to the 1980's, that is, before most of it turned
to noise), county, celtic, etc... even some old Frank Sinatra, Herb
Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Doris Day, various artists on 78 RPM
records, etc. After all, music that some people grew up listening to
as a child, if they enjoyed it, they'll want to keep it, which
probably means keeping the media it's on, particularly if there's
enough of it to make converting it, or buying new copies if available,
a nuisance.

Besides, after listening to both the CD and LP versions of some music,
there were cases where the LP. even when not in perfect condition,
sounded much better - less harsh... of course, the opposite holds true
as well in some cases.

> CDs are already on the way out. They have been replaced by MP3
> players which store the same number of minutes of music on a
> much smaller flash memory chip. DataPlay.com has announced a
> US Quarter (.75 inch?) diameter rewritable disc player and media

This change is idiotic; like someone else (John Wilson?) said, it's
already easy enough to lose a CD compared to an LP, and a much smaller
disc would be even worse. Will they eliminate the liner notes, or
just supply a magnifying glass for them? When one purchases a record
or CD, one expects to be able to listen to it for many decades, and to
keep changing formats in a way that will make other formats obsolete
isn't good. At least, for many years, turntables could play 16,
33-1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records.

> In 100 years, CDs and players will be antiques, like Edison's
> aluminum foil recording system. They will be on display in museums,
> but probably not in working condition. CDs have a limited lifetime,

Yes, Edison's recording system was at least better designed so that it
would last longer.

> (10 years IIRC), before they degrade to the point of being unreadable.

Wow, you mean someone else besides me is saying that "CD-Rot" is a
real possibility?

> CDs that are being used degrade much faster due to scratches. The
> information stored on the discs won't be interesting enough in ten
> years to copy to alternate media except for a 'small, almost religious,
> group'. When they die off, the information is trapped in a unusable
> format until your grad students build a reader.

One would think that society, if it was sensible, would be trying to
replace them with a more durable format, but then, we live in a
wasteful throw-away society. For example, look at the morons trying
to convert books from paper to "e-books;" why the men with white coats
and nets are chasing after the proponents of e-books, I just don't

The company I used to work for, that puts many well-known scientific
and medical journals on the WWW, wasn't at all interested in ways of
preserving the data, and ignored my ideas for ways that they could
work with libraries, etc. to not only preserve, but ensure that the
data wasn't changed over time after publication... one of their
clients would request changes to the content of material already
published, and they'd comply! So short-sighted; blasted bizdroids.

R. D. Davis                  
Received on Sat Jun 03 2000 - 21:25:55 BST

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