Saving the oldies

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I am of the generation that began my teen years with vinyl 33 & 45 RPM records and audio tape cassettes (dolby). Eight-track were still used in certain rental cars (in the US) and the 78 RPM could be played on my sparkling Sony record player, but mostly to learn the words (and appreciate the quality) of the golden oldies. We’ve whizzed through VHS and skipped DAT. In the early 1990s, in a fit of spring cleaning, I left my collection of 500 vinyl records in an alley outside our home in Philadelphia. Led Zeppelin Three, Hendrix Are You Experienced, Yessongs and more… They lasted approximately half a day if that in the alley. I came quickly to rue my decision.

Now, I have a collection of 1000 CDs, the vast majority of which are now in storage. All have been digitized of course and my car uses my IPOD. The question is whether or to not dispose (sell or even give away) that collection. How can I be sure, with my music on two different hard drives & one external drive (all in the same house), that I won’t lose the whole lot and have to start all over again? Going to have to face the facts and get some external digital storage. Then again, will the format mp3 or mp4 be any easier to play in twenty years than 33 RPM vinyls?

Then there is the question of all the family photos, meticulously scanned and digitized. Aside from the burning question of how to view them (they certainly do carry dust anymore in traditional albums), these too face the risk of disparition. And, will the format jpg, gif be common currency in even ten years time?

After reading about and being moved by Martin Scorsese’s launch of the World Cinema Foundation [site under construction], a venture to save the old films [go for it], I snipped out a “cute” article in the IHT about “saving the oldies but goodies” — sadly too late for me in the case of my vinyls. There are still ways to convert your film reels into DVD (, vinyls into CD (Ion iTTUSB turntable or Teac GF350), VHS into DVD (dual-deck player) and, of course, audio tapes into CDs (duh). But I am looking ahead and thinking about what to do with my DVD, CD and digital photo collections. Enough to make you stop getting the latest gadgets, perhaps.

That said, I still wires for my stereo speakers and that seems way too old fashioned.

What good solutions are out there for the wireless speakers? What to do with the 1001 CDs?

2 Comments, RSS

  1. Sarah

    What will probably happen is that with the arrival of each new technology, incorporated into it will be the means to save your existing library, so as long as you keep up, and keep saving, there should be no problem…

  2. Minter

    Had a very lively continuing discussion on the topic this weekend and it was well pointed out that IN THE BEGINNING (before the recording industry stepped in) there were just concerts… These concerts were then put onto vinyl, which made going to concerts less relevant… And then we started on the slippery path toward CD, DAT, etc.

    Of course, live gigs are generally still ‘better’ than studio stuff. At least, that’s a Deadhead’s perspective (and is true for many other great performers, fortunately).

    Anyway, it was fun to have The Conversation flowing over from the blog into reality… and now back to blog.

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