The world's stock of audio recordings is estimated to be more than 50 Mh (million hours) of materials. The greater part of these recordings is analog, and many are unique documents of cultural, scientific and/or artistical value. None of these recordings are on permanent carriers, therefore, sooner or later a transfer into the digital domain will be necessary. This paper describes the technical, ethical and strategic aspects of the task. Aside of its primary aim of safeguarding a considerable part of our cultural heritage, it is the job-creative aspect which makes the future of sound archives so challenging.
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