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Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

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MajorFubar's picture
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I backed-up some 40-year-old open-reel tapes to CDs at the start of January. Verbatim CD-R Lighscribe, so not cheap unbranded trash. I even spent ages making and burning nice Lighscribe labels for them. I put them away in a CD wallet (this was to be the big mistake...), pulled them out for the first time today nearly 10 months later, and not only have the labels 'burned off' (presumably a chemical-reaction with the CD wallet, even though it's not PVC), but three of the 10 won't play now, even though they all did in January  banging head against wall

OK probably my fault for storing them in a way which the manufacturer would probably say is 'improper' (ie in a wallet), but I can't get over the irony that I backed-up my old tapes to a so-called more-secure medium for archive-purposes, and over a period of time which amounts to less than 1/40th of the age of these tapes, I've experienced a 30% failure-rate. The worst thing I had to fix on ten 40-year-old 1/4" tapes were two broken splices.

Ah well, looks like my Akai 4000DB will be getting a dusting-off this winter again. And this time I'll make two damn copies of each tape! (And I'll avoid storing them in a wallet.)

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

MajorFubar wrote:

I backed-up some 40-year-old open-reel tapes to CDs at the start of January. Verbatim CD-R Lighscribe, so not cheap unbranded trash. I even spent ages making and burning nice Lighscribe labels for them. I put them away in a CD wallet (this was to be the big mistake...), pulled them out for the first time today nearly 10 months later, and not only have the labels 'burned off' (presumably a chemical-reaction with the CD wallet, even though it's not PVC), but three of the 10 won't play now, even though they all did in January  banging head against wall

OK probably my fault for storing them in a way which the manufacturer would probably say is 'improper' (ie in a wallet), but I can't get over the irony that I backed-up my old tapes to a so-called more-secure medium for archive-purposes, and over a period of time which amounts to less than 1/40th of the age of these tapes, I've experienced a 30% failure-rate. The worst thing I had to fix on ten 40-year-old 1/4" tapes were two broken splices.

Ah well, looks like my Akai 4000DB will be getting a dusting-off this winter again. And this time I'll make two damn copies of each tape! (And I'll avoid storing them in a wallet.)

That's really rubbish, Major.  Hope the new transcriptions go well and last well beyond your experience and expectations.

I used to have an Akai 4000DS with an outboard Dolby processor[Laskys], those were the days.

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

Home burnt cds and dvds also suffer from cd/dvd rot so it's not the best medium for storing things permanently.

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

Agreed - I'd burn them to CD Image files (ISO or GI are common ones that most CD burning tools will let you create) and then store them on your computer, and / or on a couple of USB pen drives / disks for backup.

As an image file, if you then ever need them in CD format, they can easily be burnt to a blank CD from this.

 

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

I did a similar thing with loads of old VHS (audio only) recordings of radio plays from the 1990s. (VHS audio because there would be no breaks in plays that were often well over 2 hours long.)

During transition from VHS to DVD I had Panasonic VHS/DVD/Freeview recorder for a couple of years so I used it to copy the audio from the VHS to DVDs.

However, I used TDK blank DVDs and paid a bit extra for the ones that come in proper (not slimline) jewel cases.

This paid off eventually because the DVDs were in good nick when I came to de-mux the .VOB audio files to AICC format and import them to iTunes (using Mpeg Streamclip software).

They survived the conversion to DVD and the subsequent conversion/importation to iTunes very well and still sound great. (I used a good FM tuner and had a good outdoor aerial and excellent reception so the 'originals' were about as good as they could be). They were always recorded to brand new TDK VHS tapes and the NICAM process made them very clear and hiss free unlike audio cassettes.

These files are on three different computers (and three different external backup drives) and I even have the DVDs still. I don't want to spook anything but I think they are 'safer' now than when they were just on VHS (long got rid of).

I would strongly recommend you rip all the files from the CDs (or even straight from tape if you have the software) to your computer and regularly back it up.

Even if you don't want to play them as digital files, at least it gives you another level (or two levels) of backup than just having vulnerable CD copies.

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

Ha! And I thought I was the only one who used HiFi VCRs for audio. I used to use my Akai editing VCR (a VS-F1000) which had manual record level controls. Every year almost as a matter of religion I used to record the three-hour BBC R1 Christmas Top 40 presented by Mark Goodier (now working on Smooth Radio) then edit it to two C90s afterwards.

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

MajorFubar wrote:

Ha! And I thought I was the only one who used HiFi VCRs for audio. I used to use my Akai editing VCR (a VS-F1000) which had manual record level controls. Every year almost as a matter of religion I used to record the three-hour BBC R1 Christmas Top 40 presented by Mark Goodier (now working on Smooth Radio) then edit it to two C90s afterwards.

 

Ah the good old days of piracy, when sitting with your finger on the pause button of your cassette recorder was sociably acceptable.  Cool

 

 

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

rjb70stoke wrote:

Ah the good old days of piracy, when sitting with your finger on the pause button of your cassette recorder was sociably acceptable.  Cool

 

LOL Ah but I was hi-tech: no Billy-the-kid reactions with the old Pause buttons for me, I recorded the whole show: talking, jingles, coundowns and all, onto an E180, mainly just for posterity. But ask me if I've ever once listened to any of the ten years worth of Xmas Top 40s... embarassed   Yet, sad so and so that I am, I can't bring myself to nuke them.

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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

MajorFubar wrote:

LOL Ah but I was hi-tech: no Billy-the-kid reactions with the old Pause buttons for me, I recorded the whole show: talking, jingles, coundowns and all, onto an E180, mainly just for posterity. But ask me if I've ever once listened to any of the ten years worth of Xmas Top 40s... embarassed   Yet, sad so and so that I am, I can't bring myself to nuke them.

 

They're all on You Tube. Nuke 'em Smile

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MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Don't talk to me about digital 'invulnerability' GRR!

Some of the songs might be, but I wasn't just interested in the songs, I recorded the complete shows for posterity. They won't be available anywhere but the BBC archives, maybe not even there.

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