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Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 12, 2019 14:52

Quote
His Majesty
You can.

Did they?

Anyway nothing beats the original media. Can you imagine the curator of a museum plainly saying : "yup 1000's of ancient paintings were burnt to ashes in the fire but that's okay : we still have high-resolution digital pictures of most of them so nothing's really lost!".

The guy would become the shame of his profession...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-12 14:57 by dcba.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: June 12, 2019 16:44

Quote
dcba
Quote
His Majesty
You can.

Did they?

Anyway nothing beats the original media. Can you imagine the curator of a museum plainly saying : "yup 1000's of ancient paintings were burnt to ashes in the fire but that's okay : we still have high-resolution digital pictures of most of them so nothing's really lost!".

The guy would become the shame of his profession...


I get the idea but I don't think it's fair to compare recorded music that can be duplicated indefinitely to a unique work of art that can't be duplicated.

It would be more fair to compare it to a photograph print and an original negative. You can still make a copy from a print but the quality would be better if you can get the original negative.

That's exactly what's happening with recorded music : even if they don't have the masters anymore, record companies can still issue CD's (or digital download) from copies of copies.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: TravelinMan ()
Date: June 12, 2019 16:55

Quote
StonedRambler
Quote
GasLightStreet
Welcome to the digital nightmare. Until the 1980s, music was recorded on analog tapes that were stored in vaults and easily played back. In the digital era, that process has changed irrevocably. A new report issued by the Library of Congress calls digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation,” and raised red flags about how music collections are being stored.
That's not to blame on digital recordings, it's the labels fault. With digital files you can get an exact one-to-one copy of any digital recording. To save digital master tapes only on one hard drive and to expect this hard drive to work forever is really naive.

Reminds me of the old digital proverb... there are two types of hard drives: those that are dead, and those that are going to die.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GivenToFly15 ()
Date: June 12, 2019 17:15

Quote
kowalski
That's exactly what's happening with recorded music : even if they don't have the masters anymore, record companies can still issue CD's (or digital download) from copies of copies.

That's not the problem here: of course you can always issue digital versions... The argument is discussed in the article linked above.

Anyway it seems the story is spreading (this time):

Report: Universal Music Group covered up destruction of irreplaceable master tapes in 2008 fire

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 12, 2019 17:32

I hope the UMG stock will tank, they deserve it.
Over the years they - most probably - spend billions on dodgy movie deals or "360° deals" with music stars. Meanwhile they couldn't find a few mils to properly secure their archive treasures.
I'm really really angry.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: June 12, 2019 21:12

Quote
GivenToFly15
Quote
kowalski
That's exactly what's happening with recorded music : even if they don't have the masters anymore, record companies can still issue CD's (or digital download) from copies of copies.

That's not the problem here: of course you can always issue digital versions... The argument is discussed in the article linked above.

Anyway it seems the story is spreading (this time):

Report: Universal Music Group covered up destruction of irreplaceable master tapes in 2008 fire

That's actually the problem. If you read the NYT article until the end the journalist gets into record companies history of losing or dumping masters since at least the 70's. They don't care - at least until very recently. They can always reissue an album from a safety copy. And most people won't hear any difference anyway. That's what happened in the 80's when they started to put out CD's made from copies and not from the original masters. That's why the original masters were kept in an unsafe place.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: marianna ()
Date: June 12, 2019 21:43

Quote
kowalski
Quote
dcba
Quote
His Majesty
You can.

Did they?

Anyway nothing beats the original media. Can you imagine the curator of a museum plainly saying : "yup 1000's of ancient paintings were burnt to ashes in the fire but that's okay : we still have high-resolution digital pictures of most of them so nothing's really lost!".

The guy would become the shame of his profession...


I get the idea but I don't think it's fair to compare recorded music that can be duplicated indefinitely to a unique work of art that can't be duplicated.

It would be more fair to compare it to a photograph print and an original negative. You can still make a copy from a print but the quality would be better if you can get the original negative.

That's exactly what's happening with recorded music : even if they don't have the masters anymore, record companies can still issue CD's (or digital download) from copies of copies.

In some cases, the copies of copies are vinyl records. There have been CD releases that originated from vinyl sources because the original tapes were lost.

Also, the re-releases and boxed sets that feature remixes aren't possible unless some form of mixable multitracks are available. I'm not sure if each track is preserved when they do digital back-ups, or if they can only preserve the entire mixed product.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: tumbled ()
Date: June 12, 2019 23:07

Like the Seed Vault in Norway, there should be a concerted effort to store cultural artifacts and music in a safe location underground. Maybe the government should work on that. We need another endowment for the arts for sure. We shouldn't rely on for-profit businesses to do the right thing. Maybe the Smithsonian should step up and start receiving original pieces. The U.S. Archives already has a great digital library online that is free that has millions of old recordings that are not subject to copyright law.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-12 23:09 by tumbled.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Dan ()
Date: June 13, 2019 02:50

I could see the fire from my house! Little did I know ...

Anyway I am not backtracking to see if this was already posted but ...


Raiders of the Lost Web

If a Pulitzer-finalist 34-part series of investigative journalism can vanish from the web, anything can.

[www.theatlantic.com]

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: June 13, 2019 03:40

Quote
tumbled
Like the Seed Vault in Norway, there should be a concerted effort to store cultural artifacts and music in a safe location underground. Maybe the government should work on that. We need another endowment for the arts for sure. We shouldn't rely on for-profit businesses to do the right thing. Maybe the Smithsonian should step up and start receiving original pieces. The U.S. Archives already has a great digital library online that is free that has millions of old recordings that are not subject to copyright law.

Maybe the government should work on that.

I don't think that's a good idea...........I can make a nice plea, but most of us know what I mean...............

__________________________

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 13, 2019 10:28

Quote
kowalski
Quote
GivenToFly15
Quote
kowalski
That's exactly what's happening with recorded music : even if they don't have the masters anymore, record companies can still issue CD's (or digital download) from copies of copies.

That's not the problem here: of course you can always issue digital versions... The argument is discussed in the article linked above.

Anyway it seems the story is spreading (this time):

Report: Universal Music Group covered up destruction of irreplaceable master tapes in 2008 fire

That's actually the problem. If you read the NYT article until the end the journalist gets into record companies history of losing or dumping masters since at least the 70's. They don't care - at least until very recently. They can always reissue an album from a safety copy. And most people won't hear any difference anyway. That's what happened in the 80's when they started to put out CD's made from copies and not from the original masters. That's why the original masters were kept in an unsafe place.

The underlying issue is that the recording industry has long since stopped caring about the quality of the recordings they hold or use for anything.

So if they have a Digital transfer of the stereo master...that's all their short sighted commercial perception thinks they'll ever need.

[We could talk about the reasons for this all day, and some folks above have alluded to them....but this is maybe not the thread for a debate about formats ]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-13 10:31 by Spud.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 13, 2019 15:43

"500,000 Song Titles Destroyed in Fire Including Original Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails Masters"

[www.metalsucks.net]

"Although UMG had begun a digitization initiative back in 2004 known as the Preservation Project, which they initially cited as having saved the originals, records show that only a small amount of records had been transferred before the fire"
I have no doubt the artists will sue for compensation. Universal is toast (pardon the bad pun).

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: LieB ()
Date: June 13, 2019 16:53

I'm not an audio archivist, but in all fairness, if the digital copy of an old tape is really well done in very high resolution, it's a practical format to archive. You still have to store it somewhere (and no storage lasts infinitely) but once digital, the music can be duplicated lossless any number of times.

An old tape deteriorates with time and takes more effort to store and preserve. To use it after a few decades, it has to be "baked" in an oven and it's quite some work to read.

So to have only digital copies as archives doesn't have to be bad, as long as all multitrack channels are copied, transparency and resolution is very high and storage is done properly.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 13, 2019 17:01

Quote
LieB
I'm not an audio archivist, but in all fairness, if the digital copy of an old tape is really well done in very high resolution, it's a practical format to archive. You still have to store it somewhere (and no storage lasts infinitely) but once digital, the music can be duplicated lossless any number of times.

An old tape deteriorates with time and takes more effort to store and preserve. To use it after a few decades, it has to be "baked" in an oven and it's quite some work to read.

So to have only digital copies as archives doesn't have to be bad, as long as all multitrack channels are copied, transparency and resolution is very high and storage is done properly.

Quite so ...but is the will there to do it...and to keep doing it as the technology changes, so that music is preserved for the future generations who deserve to enjoy it .

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: LieB ()
Date: June 14, 2019 13:34

Quote
Spud
Quote
LieB
I'm not an audio archivist, but in all fairness, if the digital copy of an old tape is really well done in very high resolution, it's a practical format to archive. You still have to store it somewhere (and no storage lasts infinitely) but once digital, the music can be duplicated lossless any number of times.

An old tape deteriorates with time and takes more effort to store and preserve. To use it after a few decades, it has to be "baked" in an oven and it's quite some work to read.

So to have only digital copies as archives doesn't have to be bad, as long as all multitrack channels are copied, transparency and resolution is very high and storage is done properly.

Quite so ...but is the will there to do it...and to keep doing it as the technology changes, so that music is preserved for the future generations who deserve to enjoy it .

Yes, that's the question. This question about archiving information goes far beyond rock music, of course.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Date: June 14, 2019 13:53

I bought a 1964 Yardbirds-album recently on reel to reel that plays excellently. Same with a Beach Boys-album, btw.

I guess the storing and treatment of the tapes is the key here, not necessarily tapes being an inferior format?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 14, 2019 15:07

Yes, controlled storage conditions for old magnetic tape and film stock is critical...but differing tape formulations are also a big factor.

Oddly on the face of it, old tape stock from the '60s and even '50's has tended to survive better than later formulated stock from the late '70s and the '80s...this due the older tape formulations turning out to be more stable over time than the newer stuff.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Date: June 14, 2019 15:28

Quote
Spud
Yes, controlled storage conditions for old magnetic tape and film stock is critical...but differing tape formulations are also a big factor.

Oddly on the face of it, old tape stock from the '60s and even '50's has tended to survive better than later formulated stock from the late '70s and the '80s...this due the older tape formulations turning out to be more stable over time than the newer stuff.

It's good that I collect reel to reels from the 60s, then grinning smiley

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: June 14, 2019 23:03

Quote
StonedRambler
Quote
GasLightStreet
Welcome to the digital nightmare. Until the 1980s, music was recorded on analog tapes that were stored in vaults and easily played back. In the digital era, that process has changed irrevocably. A new report issued by the Library of Congress calls digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation,” and raised red flags about how music collections are being stored.
That's not to blame on digital recordings, it's the labels fault. With digital files you can get an exact one-to-one copy of any digital recording. To save digital master tapes only on one hard drive and to expect this hard drive to work forever is really naive.

True, and with more stable drives ie SSD and whatever else is coming down the pipeline, this shouldn't be a 'digital' issue but rather a 'digital management' issue.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: TornAndFried ()
Date: June 15, 2019 05:53

Lawsuits against Universal Music Group expected next week in response to 2008 vault fire.


[www.msn.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-15 05:54 by TornAndFried.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: timbernardis ()
Date: June 15, 2019 11:25

Quote
TravelinMan
Quote
StonedRambler
Quote
GasLightStreet
Welcome to the digital nightmare. Until the 1980s, music was recorded on analog tapes that were stored in vaults and easily played back. In the digital era, that process has changed irrevocably. A new report issued by the Library of Congress calls digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation,” and raised red flags about how music collections are being stored.
That's not to blame on digital recordings, it's the labels fault. With digital files you can get an exact one-to-one copy of any digital recording. To save digital master tapes only on one hard drive and to expect this hard drive to work forever is really naive.

Reminds me of the old digital proverb... there are two types of hard drives: those that are dead, and those that are going to die.

We just commemorated the 75th anniversary of D Day. On Omaha Beach, an officer told his men who were bogged down by German fire, "there are two kinds of men on this beach -- those who are dead and those who are about to die. Now let's get the hell off of this beach."


plexi

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