May 2002 meeting of SC-03-04

[page updated 2003-02-19]

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 Recording, held in conjunction with the AES 112th Convention in Munich, Germany, on 2001-11-30

The meeting was convened by T Sheldon.

The agenda were approved with the addition of a note to discuss the future of the working group under the topic of AES-X80.

The report of the previous meeting was approved with two changes. 1) D. Schueller asked that his name be spelled correctly, with the umlaut. 2) In the notes for AES35-R, the second sentence should be changed to read, "D. Schueller indicated that he would like to see included in AES38-R a plan to investigate the light sensitivity issue in the next revision.

Open projects

AES22-R Review of AES22-1997 AES recommended practice for audio preservation and restoration -- Storage of polyester-based magnetic tape
D. Schueller will lead the review of this document.

AES28-R Review of AES28-1997 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
No one at the meeting felt able to conduct the review of this document. Sheldon agreed to refer it to the Joint Technical Commission where the document was authored for consideration at the next meeting of SC-03-04.

AES35-R Review of AES35-2000, AES standard for audio preservation and restoration -- Method for estimating life expectancy of magneto-optical (M-O) disks, based on effects of temperature and relative humidity.
No action was taken.

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.
D. Schueuller said that it was of vital importance to include a section on light sensitivity of these media as soon as possible. It was noted that J M Fontaine and D Kunej were knowledgeable and could draft a new section. G. Cyrener agreed to investigate possible changes to include the issue of light sensitivity.

AES-X51 Procedures for the Storage of Optical Discs, Including Read Only, Write-once, and Re-writeable.
Sheldon noted that the draft document is a standard in the imaging area, but he has not brought it to the working group for consideration because of questions about the AES-X80 liaison relationship within the AES Standards Committee. He asked for discussion of this issue at the SC-03 meeting tomorrow.

AES-X54 Magnetic Tape Care and Handling
Sheldon explained the status of this document within the JTC where it is being authored by AES members and others as a part of AES-X80. It is being submitted by JTC to a second "draft international standard (DIS)." T. Sheldon will commence the discussion of the text of this second DIS ballot document by July 2002. Further discussion will be conducted by email.

AES-X55 Projection of the Life Expectancy of Magnetic Tape.
The investigation to determine a suite of tests to determine the life expectancy of various formulations of magnetic tape continues. It was noted that IASA, with UNESCO support, has initiated a project to encourage tape manufacturers to take an interest in preserving the 200 million hours of information stored on magnetic tape. One goal is to find ways to measure the life expectancy of magnetic tape. This project should be continued as these initiatives promise to develop new methods to determine life expectancies. However, it was noted that the tape manufacturers currently are not thriving, so actions need to happen quickly if they are to participate. Also creating a sense of urgency, the signs of tape instability in the world's archives are growing. This subject also is being discussed at the JTC; the minutes of the JTC in Montreal on the subject of magnetic tape life expectancy testing were read. The search continues for a breakthrough that will open possibilities for success.

AES-X80 Liaison with ANSI/PIMA IT9-5.
The current goal is a review of the liaison relationship. The liaison arrangement is now with I3A which was the creation of the merger of Photographic Image Manufacturers Association (PIMA) and two other imaging associations. The title of the liaison should be changed to "AES-X80 Liaison with I3A IT9-5.

T. Sheldon asked whether the AES-X80 liaison arrangement should be continued with I3A. In reality, virtually all research and preparation of standards documents published by AES comes from the JTC. The JTC has many AES members on its membership list, and many AES SC-03-04 members participate in the development of standards as a part of the JTC. AES SC-03-04 has not undertaken in recent years any work of its own apart from the work being conducted by the Joint Technical Commission. The question also should be asked, "Should the AES SC-03-04 working group disband"? This subject will be a topic for discussion at the SC-03 meeting tomorrow.

New projects
No project requests were received or introduced.

However, T. Sheldon noted that at the AES-X80 Joint Technical Commission meeting April 19-20, 2002 the topic of the care and handling of transportable magnetic discs was raised and discussed. The JTC received a report from Jim Lindner surveying the current state of these media. The JTC also is beginning consideration of the care and handling of optical discs; E. Zwanafelt agreed to prepare an outline for consideration at the next meeting

New business
There was no new business.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held in conjunction with the AES 113th Convention in Los Angeles, CA, US.

AES - Audio Engineering Society