Presentations and Talks

  • T18 - Audio Metadata: Understanding AES57 and AES60
    131st Audio Engineering Society Convention
    New York, NY
    AES will publish in the next couple of days AES57 and AES60, two metadata standards pertinent to the archiving community. This tutorial will explain the proper use of these documents in the archiving of audio collections.
  • Digitizing Audio: A basic introduction
    The Lamont Forum Room
    Harvard University
    David Ackerman, Darron Burke and Bruce Gordon present on audio preservation.
  • Audio Preservation for Surround Sound Works
    IASA/AMIA 2010 Annual Conference
    Philadelphia, PA
    "New Music" by 21st-Century composers as well as surround-sound field recordings of musical performances and related events require innovations by audio archivists for digitization, storage, access, and delivery. This paper outlines the approach taken by Audio Preservation Services at Harvard University when the Loeb Music Library began to acquire rare and unique multi-channel electro-acoustic music for study and teaching by its musicology and composition faculty and students. Institutional audio preservation activities typically involve working with mono or stereo materials. When Audio Preservation Services began accepting materials in multiple surround sound formats, it was necessary to examine our workflows to determine how to preserve audio works consisting of two, four and eight channel representations. This presentation looks at some of the issues that arose in the scaling of our preservation workflows. Topics addressed will include the transfer, monitoring, and documentation for the preservation of standard and non-standard multichannel audio configurations.
  • Administrative Metadata for Audio Preservation: The AES Standard and Software Tools
    IASA/AMIA 2010 Annual Conference
    Philadelphia, PA
    Metadata is an integral component of digital preservation and an essential part of the digital audio object. Audio files without appropriate metadata are not understandable, interpretable, or manageable. Effectively, there is no preservation or meaningful access without metadata. The Sound Directions project at Harvard University and Indiana University has served as a testing ground for the forthcoming administrative (technical and digital provenance) metadata standards from the Audio Engineering Society. This presentation will provide an overview of AES 57 which is a technical metadata standard due for public release shortly. It will also introduce a digital provenance standard with the internal AES working title "X098C" which is in an advanced stage of development. In addition, this session will feature a demonstration of an open source metadata collection software tool that meets these standards. This software-named the Audio Technical Metadata Collector (ATMC)-was developed at Indiana University and is due for public release at the end of 2010. ATMC, which has a full graphical user interface, enables efficient metadata collection both manually and through automated processes as appropriate. Harvard University will also demonstrate its metadata tools which also support the AES standards.
  • New Dimensions of Audio Preservation: Archiving Surround Sound
    Lamont Library, Harvard University
    Cambridge, MA
    A talk and surround sound demonstration by David Ackerman of HCL's Audio Preservation Studio.
  • Archiving Your Audio
    The 18th Annual Parsons Audio Expo
    Dedham, Massachusetts
    Dave, who handles archiving for Harvard, will discuss what audio professionals should know about audio preservation but often don't. He'll correct some common assumptions, and offer guidance and techniques that you can use in archiving your recordings. As you'd expect, Harvard possesses extensive audio archives, including many historic recordings of artists (as far back as Enrico Caruso, and earlier) and ensembles, speeches by visiting dignitaries, lectures, etc. -- all of which require careful preservation. Come learn how it's done.
    Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Many of the machine-dependent audio visual collections held by our cultural institutions are in peril. Therefore, it is crucial to have knowledge about the life expectancy and unique needs of our legacy media in order to make good preservation decisions. From wax cylinders, 78s, motion picture film ,magnetic wire, and magnetic audio tapes, to LPs & 45s , audio cassettes, video tapes and video cassettes, each format has a critical point at which information will begin to be lost. The challenge of long-term preservation for these formats is that they often require intervention, including cleaning and reformatting. To maximize the life of these materials, one must understand the nature of the media, causes of deterioration, storage and handling practices, and the various types of playback equipment. Through lectures and discussion,p articipants in this two-day program will learn the basic principles for managing audio visual collections that contain historic formats. Selecting for reformatting, contracting with vendors, and funding strategies will also be discussed. This program is intended for curators, librarians, archivists, collection managers, and other staff who are involved in managing machine-based media collections in cultural institutions.
  • The Sound Directions Toolkit: An Overview
    ABCD Committee, Harvard University
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Sound Directions: Digital Preservation and Access for Global Audio Heritage
    Music Library Association 77th Annual Meeting
    Newport, Rhode Island
    Music Librarianship Online, Part 1: Digital Audio Projects Chair: Richard Griscom (University of Pennsylvania)
    Audio Engineering Society (AES)
    New York, NY
    This tutorial will address workflow planning for audio preservation activities, including audio transfers, quality assurance and control, metadata documentation, and repository ingest. The first presentation will address the fundamental concepts and principles of developing a preservation-oriented workflow with a focus on quality assessment and control. The second presentation will demonstrate the practical application of these concepts and principles as developed and documented over the past 15 months in the NEH-funded collaboration between Indiana University and Harvard University known as the Sound Directions project. This project studied multiple workflow options for the audio preservation community. One of the outputs from this project is a suite of open source tools for executing audio preservation work-flows. This presentation will offer a walkthrough of the Sound Directions Toolkit showing demonstrative examples of how it can be applied to automate routine, repetitive and mundane tasks, and create more consistent collection output.
  • Sound Standards for MOVING IMAGES COLLECTIONS: MIC and the Audio Engineering Society Schemas
    Association of Moving Image Archives (AMIA)
    Rochester, NY
    This session will explore emerging Audio Engineering Society standards for administrative and technical metadata and their adaptation for MIC's new Cataloging Utility. MIC is the first system working to extend the AES audio object schema to moving images. The MIC Cataloging Utility, developed by Rutgers and scheduled for launch in January, 2008, incorporates the full range of metadata needed to manage a resource through its life cycle, from production to distribution, repurposing and preservation. The session will also introduce the MIC Service Providers Directory, making its debut at this conference. This Directory complements MIC's Archive Directory, listing individuals and organizations supplying products and services for archival moving image collections. These new services exemplify MIC's unique commitment to collaborative preservation of moving images, analog or digital, physical or electronic. MIC is a partnership of AMIA and the Library of Congress.
  • Tools for Audio Preservation: The Sound Directions Project
    JTS 2007
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Sound Directions is a research and development collaboration between Harvard University and Indiana University funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in the U.S. The project is charged with developing detailed best practices and testing emerging standards for the preservation of audio in the digital domain. One output from the project has been the development of software tools to aid and automate parts of the preservation process. Harvard has developed a suite of 40+ cross-platform command line software utilities, designed to be interfaced together through batch/shell scripts. The resulting scripts form audio and metadata processing workflows that automate routine and mundane tasks in the audio preservation process. Indiana University has created FACET - the Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool - to assess the preservation condition and level of risk carried by recorded sound collections. Indiana has also developed a technical metadata collection tool to gather and store data on source audio objects, digital files created during transfer, and the preservation transfer process.
    121st Audio Engineering Society Convention
    San Francisco, CA
    We are currently in a gap between the leap away from open reel tape and the upcoming commonplace digital repository solution available to those outside of main stream commercial business and large institutions. Currently, and in anticipation of the exodus from tape, there are many audio archives that are using formats that are "questionable" in their ability to serve the role of preservation. The stand-ins have been CD-R, DAT, and digital files stored in any number of ways. In recognition that there is actually no format that can serve the role of preservation in and of itself this tutorial aims to offer guidance on strategies for preservation given the challenges of predominant formats. Conversation will include defining the main challenges for each format and an associated appropriate strategy for storage and migration with preservation as the goal. This would include a list of available and used formats, associated challenges, recommended lifecycle/refresh rates and migration strategies.
  • Technical Metadata for Audio Preservation.
    40th Annual ARSC Conference
    Seattle, Washington
    This presentation will explore the collection of technical metadata for audio preservation and feature a demonstration of software applications designed for documenting characteristics of both the source recording and the digitizing process. The session will be led by David Ackerman, chair of the Audio Engineering Society working group that has developed two emerging standards in this area. The session will also include reports on implementing and localizing these standards from both the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Public Library.
  • Update on the Sound Directions Project
    New England chapter of the Music Library Association (NEMLA)
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Since analog-based preservation methods are no longer viable for audio materials, new audio preservation strategies are needed for the digital domain. The technology that is currently being applied to audio preservation was not designed with libraries' workflow in mind. Audio preservation is therefore more difficult and more costly than necessary. True preservation is achieved only when it is possible to move files between institutions. Project goals include: creating interoperable audio files that can be read by different institutions over time; providing examples of multiple audio preservation workflows; developing specifications for the exchange of audio files; preserving endangered recordings; and creating new software tools for creating and managing metadata for audio files. The project is developing specifications and standards for such areas as master preservation files, management of digital files, down-sampling and creation of derivatives, transfer and storage of digital audio objects in digital repositories, quality control, and interchange and reading of preservation files constructed with METS.
  • T10 - Preservation, Archiving, and Restoration: A Look at Practical Application
    119th Audio Engineering Society
    New York, NY
    This tutorial session will approach the practical application of three fundamentals associated with archiving preservation and restoration. These are reproduction, digitization, and metadata. Reproduction Faithful reproduction of source content is the overarching goal of reformatting. Faithful sonic reproduction is achieved by restoring the physical medium to its original condition. Although it may be expedient, shortcutting this labor-intensive phase is ultimately detrimental to the content. Any compromises made during these steps can affect the integrity of the transferred content to the detriment of future preservation and, of course, the value of the asset. We will look at diagnosis and treatment methods associated with media that is commonly found in sound archives. Digitization As archives rapidly reformat content from physical carriers toward digital systems the bridge used to make that transition and the systems that manage the content carry a great burden. Ensuring and maintaining integrity are simplistic in concept but difficult in practice. We will explore the practical application of digitization and the digital archive from a system-wide perspective. Metadata Without metadata there is no preservation in the digital archive. There is the matter of the content, as well as the relationships of the audio to other audio files in a project, a collection, and the archive itself. There are the technical characteristics of the file that must be known to retrieve the audio properly and the documentation of the work history behind the creation of the audio file. This presentation will explore the Harvard College Library's use of the Harvard Digital Repository Service (DRS) for the preservation of unique and rare audio recordings.
  • Bearskins and Knives and Audio Preservation: An Overview of the 'Sound Directions' Project
    EVA 2005 Harvard Symposium Program
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Audio Preservation for a Digital World
    EVA Conference Hosted by HCL's Judaica Division
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • W2: Metadata
    111th Audio Engineering Society Convention
    New York, NY
    The workshop reviewed progress in audio metadata. Current work within standardization bodies, such as AES, EBU and SMPTE, and initiatives from commercial companies were discussed.
  • W-14 Metadata: What is it and how can I use it?
    110th Audio Engineering Society Convention
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Metadata is the "data about data", or the vital supporting information which is associated with any kind of audio or video program material. It can be as brief as a few scribbled notes of the title, date of recording, etc. in the box accompanying a master recording, or it can be used in IT systems to link databases with stored program for searching and retrieval of audiovisual material. The workshop will include presentations on different aspects and applications of metadata, with particular reference to broadcasting, archives and the standardization which is vital for the exchange of this type of information.
  • Digital Audio's Multiple Personalities
    6th Annual Digital Video and Multimedia Fair - Imaging and Visualization Working Group - ABCD Committee, Harvard University
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    This presentation offers a look at the role of digital technology in use at the Loeb Music Library for audio preservation and access to rare and fragile collections. Audio preservation issues that will be touched on include reformatting and restoration, sample rates and bit depth, and data storage. Plans for access to collections will look at the content design goals for research intensive digital resources that integrate audio recordings with their accompanying documentation (e.g. field notes) through a digital finding aid.