Automated Workflows in Mass Audio Archiving

Automated Workflows in Mass Audio Archiving
Rob Poretti, Sascom, Toronto



Migrating large audio archives represents a daunting task. Once the archive is cataloged, assessed and prioritized for preservation activities, managing an efficient transition to a digital carrier poses its own sets of challenges. This paper investigates computerized solutions for the mass-migration of analog and digital archival media, to mass-storage systems.

Processes covered include:

  • Importing legacy data to generate work-flows and system jobs.
  • Digitization of analog material with quality analysis.
  • Using quality analysis meta-data to drive automatic batch processes.
  • Using batch-processing to generate multiple derivatives.
  • Reporting and Exporting meta-data to the Preservation database

Some archival media lend themselves to more efficient ingest strategies. For example, by their nature, optical media archives can be transferred at many times “real-time”. New technologies now allow for faster than real-time transfers for analog media as well. The paper will investigate the ramifications of:

  • Multiple stream digitization – up to 8 simultaneous devices
  • Ingest speeds from 1/8th to 8x real time
  • Forward/Reverse digitization for cassettes and 1/4 track reels
  • Multi-channel digitization up to 8 channels per stream

Mass digitization strategies have their own sets of challenges. Operators need specialized tools to manage multiple streams simultaneously, especially when they originate from different media types. Purpose built monitoring functions required for digitizing in reverse, or high-speed ingest, will be investigated.

When the digital master is created, browsing copies and other derivatives may be required on a timely basis or in an automated fashion. This paper examines an approach to an extensible automated batch processor for digital archives that integrates into the entire archive system

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