Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects (Web version)



Publication Information ; Introduction to the Second Edition ; Introduction to the First Edition ; 1. Background ; 2. Key Digital Principles ; 3. Metadata ; 4. Unique and Persistent Identifiers ; 5. Signal Extraction from Original Carriers ; 6. Preservation Target Formats and Systems ; 7. Small Scale Approaches to Digital Storage Systems ; 8. Optical Discs ; 9. Partnerships, Project Planning and Resources ; References.


These extensive guidelines, subtitled Standards, Best Practices and Strategies, 2nd edition, cover the entire spectrum of issues involved in migrating analogue audio carriers to digital files and managing those files in an OAIS compliant repository. It recommends formats, metadata standards, signal extraction techniques, and includes a chapter on how a small scale digital repository meeting the requirements of an OAIS might be established and managed. Audio carriers addressed include cylinders and coarse groove discs, steel wire and office dictation systems, vinyl LP records, analogue magnetic tape, cassette and reel, magnetic digital carriers such as DAT and its video tape based predecessors, and optical disk media such as CD and DVD. Sound for film is not specifically addressed although many of the principles apply to this material.


This work, commonly known as IASA TC-04, is considered the standard in the field. It combines an historical overview of audio carrier development with exact specifications for digitization, something archives have been requesting for a long time. The examples are particularly useful given the complexity of the subject. The layout allows the reader to find information easily. The section on how small archives can attempt such a complex project is especially welcome as is the chapter on persistent identifiers and file naming conventions. Useful for content managers, audio technicians and as a primer for beginning audio archivists (the specific carrier chapters).

Beth Delaney