How to permanently preserve audio materials is a major concern of archives around the world. Us included. After all, isn’t that why we’re here?
But ARC does not migrate, i.e; make a copy of an audio object in another medium, ideally more stable, in order to preserve it. Increasingly archives are abandoning this route, as large collections would be barely started before a new, better, improved preservation system would supplant it. The daunting problems of saving our audio heritage are the subject of an important recent report via the Library of Congress, The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age. If that’s daunting there’s a pop summary via the AP wire.
We’ve often joked that we should be taking our CDs and cutting vinyl albums in order to preserve them – a sort of audio reverse osmosis – on the order of a dub plate, that Jamaican genius system of direct cut vinyl one offs.
Lo, the sky’s have parted. The path has been shown to us. Vinylrecorder.
This platter cuisinart is available from German vinyl cutting specialists and manufacturers, Fritz & Souri Sourisseau. Their site is only somewhat illuminating, but hints at wondrous potential. I learned about it from the WOMEX folks, who will have their annual get together next month in Copenhagen. Now the home enthusiast or indie archivist can work out of the basement, cranking out the latest Lady Gaga MP3s on a disc of their own. Hey, we could even do it as a 10” 78rpm!
The only logical conclusion is that an ARCangel comes forward with the $10K to donate the machine to the library! That way when batteries for i-everythings are no longer made, and silicone chips have turned back to sand, we’ll be churning out archival copies of the latest hits in all their vinylized splendor.