Friday, September 17, 2010

The 78 record

In 1900, 78 records arrived on the scene.  These 10 inch records were easier to store and had very large grooves (much larger than both 45s and LPs). This 10 inch record only holds about 4 minutes of music per side.
Though these records were a vast improvement to the cylinders, they were still heavy, fragile, and just couldn't hold enough material, they disappeared in 1960.  Most 78s play back at about 78.26 RPM.
Emil Berliner (inventor of the gramophone) did a thorough study of these records and determined that the most pleasing speed for playback was roughly 78 Revolutions Per Minute.   Because his British Gramophone company had established the record format, others followed suit and 78 RPM was established.
Playing 78rpm Records
Simply playing a 78rpm record is not so simple these days.  Your modern turntable likely doesn't even have a 78rpm setting on it.  You likely don't have the correct stylus for these records AND if you play them thru your modern stereo system, they will not sound right.
 this is the needle used to play the records.  Your preset cartridge and stylus is almost certainly about .7 Mills in size - which is perfect for 33 1/3 LPs.  78s were recorded with groove widths about 2.5 Mills in size - they are over 3 times wider!  You can play an occasional 78 with your regular LP stylus, but it won't sound as good.
Acetate recordings are often covered with a white coating that appears as a powdery substance on their surface.  This material (hexadecane acid) is not soluble in H2O.  It is suggested that records with this problem be cleaned using distilled H2O for the best transfer.  Do not attempt to use solvents to remove the acid.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Opening up Web 2.0 for the SABC Media Libraries

The SABC Media Libraries have started a series of workshops to open up the Web 2.0. Social media is having an impact on every aspect of life, as well as in business, and we need to be aware and start incorporating it in our daily business at the public broadcaster. Richard Waghorn (SABC Chief Technology Officer) made the following statement in a newsletter the previous week:
…the growth in social media is impacting on the way we work and what we do as broadcasters and is challenging us to remain competitive. We need to think differently about how we engage with our different audience groups given the changing ways in which they engage with all different types of media.

Social media is such a vast and very quick expanding field, but for most of us it is overwhelming and we don’t know where to start. We also worry about privacy issues. To get a buy-in from all the different stake-holders and employees we need to take it into account when starting out with such a project.

In the first workshop we try to explain the difference in some of the social media tools, such as a blog, Twitter and Facebook. At the moment we focus on Facebook as a social media tool, and ask people to start using their respective business pages as a way of engaging with our outside audience. The respective business pages are SABC Radio Archives, SABC Music Library, SABC Information Library, SABC Audio Restoration and SABC Record Library. The workshop participants learn to set up their privacy settings in order to make them feel more comfortable in taking up a social media tool.

The workshops will continue in future to ensure the SABC Media Libraries build on their online presence and engage with our audience in a new way.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The SABC Media Libraries and Web 2.1

The SABC Media Libraries and it's presence on Web 2.1:

As an information hub for broadcasting, our collections are broadcast specific. Accessibility to them is determined more by complex copyright matters coupled with the limitations of the various formats on which our audio and print material is preserved, rather than by our preference. To migrate our collections to platforms that will be accessible via the Internet will be expensive, but we hope to achieve this with at least some of our collections in due course.

In the meantime, we will continue with the information sharing platform in which you are able to participate, and so generate stimulating debate on the various issues impacting on the work we do. We encourage you to take part and enrich the work we do.

Ilse Assmann
Manager: SABC Media Libraries