Digitization of Audio Archives

by | Published on Mar 21, 2016 | Document Conversion / Scanning Services

Digitization of Audio ArchivesDigitization of audio and video files is one of the value-added services provided by a data entry company. Sound is one of the major elements of multimedia and digitizing sound or audio files enables easy and long term storage. Audio data stored on recording media such as magnetic tapes is likely to deteriorate over time and this result in loss of valuable sound data. Unlike analog recordings that suffer quality loss when copied, digital copies are always identical in quality. Digitization is therefore a better method of preserving audio recordings though this may also have to be periodically migrated into new physical media such as from one server to another, or from CDs to DVDs; and from one format to another. With reliable data entry services, digitally converted audio files can be saved on CDs, mini-discs or as computer files and can be stored for years without any damage.

Importance of Digitizing Audio Collections

Audio archives digitization is a very important project because these recordings have a historic importance. Advanced digitization allows the entire archive to be transferred to a database that offers the convenience of search as well as the ability to listen to the audio files in real time. After the initial digitization, audio files can be stored in various formats. The entire original data is retained by uncompressed formats such as WAV and AIFF. Compressed formats such as MP3, WMA and Real Audio (.ra) result in much smaller files.

When digitizing important audio archives, a good data entry company would ensure that the following standards are met.

  • The digitized media is as identical as possible to the original.
  • The digitized files are readable, can be duplicated and are easily accessible
  • They are contained and streamed on secure networks and data storage systems.

Digitization – Trained Technicians and Advanced Software Vital

Digitization is not an easy process; it requires competent technicians and advanced software. Here are the most important considerations.

  • Advanced computers and software
  • Technicians with basic knowledge in sound engineering and various file formats
  • Possibility of conversion into various digital audio file types – .wav, mp3, .aiff, .aac etc
  • Digital Mass Storage System
  • Trained and skilled employees with an ear for sound

Efficient Storage and Handling of Audio Files

Audio collections must be preserved and made accessible because they contain valuable information that may not be communicated by books and images. Libraries and other organizations embarking on digitization of their existing resources can benefit from state-of-the-art data entry services. The audio files can be converted into various file formats such as DSS, MP3, WAV, WMA and AU. Data contained on cassettes, micro cassettes and other analog format can be digitized at affordable rates. They have trained professionals who can handle delicate analog objects without causing any damages so that the original items are preserved. A good outsourcing partner can help you achieve the main objectives of your digitization process such as:

  • Ideal digitization, capturing and recording of the audio archive
  • Fast and easy digitization
  • Digitization at reasonable cost
  • Anticipate errors that may have a negative impact on the sound archive
  • Ensure safe handling and right storage for the existing files.

The longevity of the valuable original audio files depends a great deal on their handling and storage. The physical and chemical elements of the analogue object, and frequent handling of originals can cause breaks, cracks or bends on the copies. Hence these analog objects undergo various processes to repair and restore them to their original form. Cassette tapes are re-boxed and reel to reel tapes spliced; gramophone records are cleaned using advanced cleaning machines and shellac records are washed and cleaned. The originals should be handled with care as they are the only copy available in an archive or collection.

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