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Applying the Concept of Operational Conservation Theory to Problems of Audio Restoration and Archiving Practice

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In the present context, Operational Conservation Theory regards a sound recording as a provider of input (information or stimulus) for present and future human use. It is proven how any restoration or archiving activity is a selection from the total amount of information or stimulus that a recording may give a present-day user. Only those features which have been consciously selected according to the purpose can consistently be made available to future users. For every proposed preservation policy the consequences may be objectively evaluated before adopting or rejecting it. By lifting the responsibility of choice, the archive actually enables a greater chance of preservation. Operational Conservation Theory merges a positivist approach with the behaviorist concept of Stimulus-Response (SR) and fundamental information science. This is a reasonable approach when we are confronted with the transfer of signals representing real or constructed events.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society