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Are There Criteria to Evaluate Optical Disc Quality That Are Relevant for End-Users?

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This work deals with long term preservation of Sound and Audiovisual heritage collections. Once-recordable optical discs (among other media) can fulfill such an objective, provided rigorous measures are taken, essentially through careful inspection of the discs by means of a specific equipment. We have studied disc quality criteria by considering thoroughly end-users applications, especially during data transfer processing (initial quality) and later accesses to existing collections (aging behavior). We show that error rates cannot be adopted as unique quality descriptors, and other parameters have to be defined e.g. from the data provided by our research-grade analyzer. A multidimensional statistical method such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) gives promising indications towards this goal. These studies we have been conducting for many years are now reinforced thanks to the constitution of a network (Groupe d’Int´erˆet Scientifique-GIS in France) that combines complementary abilities and research equipment.

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