SC-03-04 Meeting Report, Berlin 2004-05-08

Report of the meeting of the SC-03-04 Working Group on Storage and Handling of Media of the SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and Restoration of Audio held in Berlin, Germany, 2004-05-08

The meeting was convened by chair T. Sheldon.

The agenda was reviewed. Sheldon indicated that he wished to add two items under the topic of new business. The first was a new project entitled Care and Handling of Optical Discs; the second a new project entitled Extended Term Storage Environments for Multiple Media Archives. The agenda was then approved.

The report of the previous meeting held in New York, NY., US. 2003-10-11 were accepted as written.

Open Projects

AES22-R: Review of AES22-1997 (r2003): AES recommended practice for audio preservation and restoration - Storage of polyester-based magnetic tape
Project scope: Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Standard; Intent: Review; Initiated: 2003; Target: 2008; Current goal: Status report: Goal date: Continuing

This standard was reaffirmed in 2003. No subsequent comments have been received concerning the content. No action is needed. Status noted as standard and it remains under review.

AES28-R: Review of AES28-1997 (r2003): AES standard for audio preservation and restoration - Method for estimating life expectancy of compact discs (CD-ROM), based on effects of temperature and relative humidity
Project scope: Open; Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Standard; Intent: Review; Initiated: 2003 Target: 2008; Current goal: Status report; Goal date: Continuing

This standard was reaffirmed in 2003. No subsequent comments have been received concerning the content. No action is needed. Status noted as standard and it remains under review.

AES35-R: Review of AES35-2000: AES standard for audio preservation and restoration - Method for estimating life expectancy of magneto-optical (M-O) discs, based on effects of temperature and relative humidity
Project scope: Open; Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Standard; Intent: Review; Initiated: 2000; Target: 2005; Current goal: Status report: Goal date: Continuing

This standard was published in 2003. No subsequent comments have been received concerning the content. No action is needed. Status noted as standard and it remains under review.

AES38-R: Review of AES38-2000: AES standard for audio preservation and restoration - Life expectancy of information stored in recordable compact disc systems - Method for estimating, based on effects of temperature and relative humidity
Project scope: Open; Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Standard; Intent: Review; Initiated: 2000; Target: 2005; Current goal: Status: report; Goal date: Continuing

This standard was reaffirmed in 2003. No subsequent comments have been received concerning the content. No action is needed. Status noted as standard and it remains under review.

Development projects

AES-X054: Magnetic Tape Care and Handling
Project scope: Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Document from JTC to be formatted by secretariat Intent: Standard; Initiated: 1997; Target: 2004 Current goal: PWD; Goal date: 2003-12

The PWD draft of the document was distributed to the working group as formatted by the AES Standards Secretariat. It was previously posted on the working group document site with a request for comments from working group members. Comments were due to the chair by April 26, 2004. Only one comment was returned indicating agreement with the content. The working group therefore approves the PWD and recommends that a Proposed Call for Comment be prepared and distributed.

AES-X055: Projection of the Life Expectancy of Magnetic Tape
Project scope: Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Intent: Standard; Initiated: 1997; Target: 2004; Current goal: Status report; Goal date: 2004-05

The problems associated with estimating the life expectancy of magnetic tape again were discussed in the light of further investigations. The International Association of Sound and Audio-Visual Archives (IASA) Technical Committee also is seeking solutions to meet this need. It was acknowledged that success may well requires a knowledge of manufacturers formulas, batches and other characteristics of each tape batch. It was noted that a sufficient amount of funding might make success possible. The Image Permanence Institute (Rochester, NY) was reported to hold a grant to investigate life expectancy of media. It was recommended that the intent of this project be changed to A technical report; also, the Goal date is changed to 2005-05.

AES-X080: Liaison with AES/ i3a-WG5 Joint Technical Committee (JTC)
Project scope: to formalize the working relationship between AESSC SC-03 and ANSI-PIMA IT-9-5 Assigned to: SC-03-04; Status: Active; Intent: Liaison; Initiated: 1998; Target: Maintenance; Current goal: Status report; Goal date: Continuing.

The liaison relationship is working well with most active members of the Joint Technical Commission also being members of this AES group.

Liaisons

Sheldon raised asked about the status of the liaison with the International Association of Sound and Audio-Visual Archives. AES completed work to approve this relationship a few years ago, but IASA has not responded with its decision. Since neither organization will publish the documents of the other, an exchange of letters to share documents is needed between the AES Standards Secretariat and the IASA Secretary General. With Gaustad (Chair, IASA Technical Commttee) facilitating, the two secretaries will seek to finalize this project before October 2004.

New Projects

Three new projects were proposed to the Working Group.

1. Care and Handling of Optical Discs. The project to develop a standard on this subject is ongoing in the Joint Technical Commission (JTC). The latest draft of the proposed standard was distributed for review by Sheldon, along with a completed Project Initiation Form. This document is the result of work undertaken with the Joint Technical Commission as a part of AES -X080. It was pointed out that the current draft is incomplete and considerable revision is anticipated. Following discussion, the Project Initiation Form was approved for submission to SC-03.

2. Extended Term Storage Environments for Multiple Media Archives. Sheldon presented the intent of the project, and a completed Project Initiation Form was reviewed. The goal of the project is a technical report providing guidance for the storage of multiple media in archives and libraries that draws together and harmonizes the recommendations of many standards for the storage of different specific media. Following supportive comments, the Project Initiation form was approved for submission to SC-03.

3. Major problems were noted by several Working Group members in the declining initial quality of optical media. In some cases research is showing that one-half or more of discs tested were failing in very short times. One suggestion stated that one or more manufacturers should be contacted, but it also was noted that manufacturers have little incentive to improve the quality of their products. It was deemed necessary to draw up a statement of concern from the AES Standards Committee describing the problems in the initial quality of optical discs and their impact on life expectancy.

Gaustad, S. Davies, K. Tanaka and F. Lechleitner will constitute a task group to draft the statement of concern. The statement of concern will cite available research and define the importance of initial high quality to future sales. the team will explore the value that would come from inclusion of specifications for initial quality of optical discs. It was noted that in the audio industry, there is no discussion of problems with the initial quality of optical discs taking place at this time. It was agreed that a task group would be formed immediately to write a report tentatively titled "AES Standards report on Preservation: Concern about the long term stability of optical media".

New Business

There was no new business.

The next meeting will be scheduled in conjunction with AES 117th Convention in San Francisco, CA., US., 2004-10.

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