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Article

Reading Tapes Backwards: A Legitimate Approach to Saving Time and Money in Digitization Projects?

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Department of Art, Stony Brook University, New York, NY 11794, USA
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Department of Information Engineering, University of Padua, 35122 Padua, Italy
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Consultant, Audio Tape Restorer, Aurora, ON L4G 5N8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Isabel Barbancho
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 7092; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157092
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 15 June 2021 / Accepted: 22 June 2021 / Published: 31 July 2021
Audio carriers are subject to a fast and irreversible decay. In order to save valuable historical recordings, the audio signal and other relevant information can be extracted from the source audio document and stored on another medium, normally a redundant digital storage system. This procedure is called ’content transfer’. It is a costly and time-consuming procedure. There are several solutions with which the cost can be reduced. One consists of picking up all tracks from a two-sided tape in one pass. This means that some tracks will be digitized forward and some backwards, to be subsequently corrected in the digital workstation. This article is concerned with the question of whether reading tracks backwards introduces unwanted effects into the signal. In particular, it investigates whether a difference can be observed between audio signals read forward or backwards and, if so, whether the difference is measurable. The results show that a difference can be observed, yet this is not enough to conclude that this “backwards” approach should not be used. The complexity of the situation is presented in the discussion. Future work includes reproducing this experiment with different audio equipment, as well as a perception test with human subjects. View Full-Text
Keywords: audio; acoustics; transducers technology; information engineering; audio preservation; spectrum analysis; audio tapes; open-reel tapes; magnetic tapes; digitization audio; acoustics; transducers technology; information engineering; audio preservation; spectrum analysis; audio tapes; open-reel tapes; magnetic tapes; digitization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bressan, F.; Burini, V.; Micheloni, E.; Rodà, A.; Hess, R.L.; Canazza, S. Reading Tapes Backwards: A Legitimate Approach to Saving Time and Money in Digitization Projects? Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 7092. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157092

AMA Style

Bressan F, Burini V, Micheloni E, Rodà A, Hess RL, Canazza S. Reading Tapes Backwards: A Legitimate Approach to Saving Time and Money in Digitization Projects? Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(15):7092. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157092

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bressan, Federica, Valentina Burini, Edoardo Micheloni, Antonio Rodà, Richard L. Hess, and Sergio Canazza. 2021. "Reading Tapes Backwards: A Legitimate Approach to Saving Time and Money in Digitization Projects?" Applied Sciences 11, no. 15: 7092. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157092

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