SC-03-04 meeting, New York, 2005-10

Report from SC-03-04 Working Group on Storage and Handling of Media of the SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and Restoration of Audio Recording meeting, held in New York, US., 2005-10-08.

The meeting was convened by temporary chair C. Chambers.

The agenda and the report of the previous meeting were accepted as written. It was noted that T. Sheldon (the chair of this group) had previously posted his comments on items for this meeting. It was proposed to read these comments into the notes as each item arose. There was no objection to this procedure.

Open projects

AES22-R: Review of AES22-1997 (r2003): AES recommended practice for audio preservation and restoration - Storage of polyester-based magnetic tape
No action was requested or required. AES22-1997 will be subject to a mandatory review in 2008.

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
No action was requested or required. AES28-1997 will be subject to a mandatory review in 2008.

AES38 and AES39 are currently in the process of Calls for Comment for reaffirmation. They were not discussed here.

AES49-R: Review of AES49-2005 Magnetic Tape- Care and handling practices for extended usage
AES49-R has just been published as a new standard. No action was requested or required.

Development Projects

AES-X055: Projection of the Life Expectancy of Magnetic Tape
The AES/i3a Joint Technical Commission (JTC), a cooperative liaison project with I3A in which many Working Group members participate, had hoped to continue research into methods to estimate the life expectancy of new magnetic tape. The group discussed this work being carried out in this area, which seems to have stalled particularly in relationship to audio. As there seems to be a severe decline in the use of magnetic tape for archival purposes, and a lack of organisations or individuals wishing to carry out this work, this meeting proposed to retire this project until a definite proposal for the continuation of this work is received.

AES-X145: Care and Handling of Optical Discs
This proposed standard concerns the care and handling of digital optical discs during use. It addresses the issues of physical integrity of the medium necessary to preserve access to the recorded data (information). Included are recommendations for handling procedures to maximize the effective life of optical discs. This standard addresses the following subjects: a) use and handling environments, including pollutants, temperature and humidity, light exposure and magnetic fields; b) contamination concerns; c) inspection; d) cleaning and maintenance, including cleaning methods and frequency; e) transportation; f) disasters, including water, fire, construction and post-disaster procedures; and g) staff training.

This is generally felt to be an important subject.

Version 20 of this document was distributed to both the JTC as a WD ballot and AESSC-03-04 as a PWD for comments in July. The AESSC comment period has now passed and to date no comment has been received. Any last comments should be passed urgently to the Standards Secretary so these can be considered at the next JTC meeting in early December. Apart from passing on any last comments, this meeting felt that there was nothing more that could be done until the JTC completes their output document for ISO. The AES can then take this output and prepare a version highlighting audio issues as necessary for approval by this body.

AES-X146: Extended term storage environment for multiple media archives
Project Scope: This project seeks to provide suggested guidelines for extended-term storage environments for archives that contain a variety of recording media, based on the existing AES and ISO storage standards for those media. Many of these media hold audio content. Whenever possible, the storage environments in the AES and ISO storage standards should be followed. This technical report does not replace these AES and ISO storage standards. In addition to environment recommendations, those standards also include other vital information pertinent for the long-term keeping of recording materials such as inspection, housing, and handling guidelines.

It was reported that ISO has circulated "ISO/DIS 18934: Imaging materials- Multiple media archives- Storage environment" as a draft international standard. On 14th April 2005, the PTD based on this draft was approved by SC-03-04 and this now awaits a secretariat formatted PWD for the workgroup for progression to PCFC.

AES-X153: Care and handling methods and processes for high density hard disc drives
Project scope: To establish care, handling, and storage standards for high capacity magnetic hard drives. The document will include life expectancy assessment, effects of temperature cycling, and proper use of the mechanical drives holding the media.

It was reported that draft 6 of the working document was posted to this group on the 8th May 2005 and it was also discussed and substantially revised at the June meeting of the JTC. Draft 7 will be distributed prior to the JTC meeting due in 2005-12 to both JTC and AES groups for comment.


AES-X080: Liaison with AES/ I3A-WG5 Joint Technical Committee (JTC)
The liaison arrangement is working smoothly, and no changes are needed at this time. Continuing.

New Projects

No new project were proposed.

New Business

There was no new business.

The next meeting will be scheduled in conjunction with the AES 120th Convention in Paris, 2006-05.

AES - Audio Engineering Society