Audio Encoding Project

Software Activation, DRM, and Implications for Digital Preservation

It's time again for another installment in my ongoing audio encoding project saga. For some time now I have been on the verge of the next phase of the project, which involves encoding the remaining analog sound objects in my collection, specifically cassette tapes and vinyl records. Procrastination, combined with a serious dose of being busy with other things, has delayed my progress on this phase of the project, but one technical aspect has also proved crucial.

Audio Encoding Project Milestone

This week I achieved a major milestone in my personal audio encoding project -- after a longer period of time than I planned. Other than a few stragglers, I have managed to completely encode all of my compact discs, including creating use copies and fully describing the objects using embedded metadata. These are all stored on a 0.75 TB NAS appliance configured in a RAID 5 array. Additionally, I have ingested (using the term rather loosely) the use copies into an access system, Ampache.

Metadata Quality Control

As I near the end of the first phase of my audio encoding project I feel the need to share some of the metadata quality control observations that I have collected.

Although ripping my CDs to digital media has been time consuming, it has not been near as laborious as checking and correcting the metadata that was automatically gathered during the process. FreeDB as an automatic metadata gathering service has been very helpful, but as I reviewed the corpus of encoded audio, I found many disturbing errors: misspellings, typos, missing articles, missing fields omission or misrepresentation of international characters, and, of course, the usual discrepancies in case handling, title formating, and normalized forms..

Audio Encoding Project Resumes (or, a funny thing happened on the way to 300 GB)

It's been a while (almost 8 months, to be exact) since I have updated this forum on the status of my audio encoding project. I could cite the usual life delays and an unusually busy Summer as excuses, but there is more to it.

So, a funny thing happened on my way to 300 GB...

Audio Encoding Project: On Genre Description

First, a status update on the project. At this point, I have lost track of exactly how many discs I have encoded. This is probably because the ripping environment has been working virtually flawlessly since I finished troubleshooting, but, a rough estimate puts me at around 200-250 discs encoded. Now, to move on to an issue that has been in the back of my mind for a while: genre description.

Audio Encoding Project: Software Status Update

Last we heard, I was having problems with the Winamp/FLAC combination for ripping CDs. As it turns out, I was not only unsuccessful in figuring out what the exact issues were, let alone resolving them, but it turns out that the ripping process was not being entirely transparent about non-obvious errors. I discovered upon listening to some of the encoded files that there were occasional errors in the form of digital audio glitches, and, in some cases, truncated (prematurely ending) files. The ripping process did not inform me that there were any problems outside of the major errors that I occasionally encountered (and which prompted me to investigate in the first place). Fortunately, these hidden errors were not too frequent.

Frustrated by these persistent problems with Winamp, I began to look for a better solution. Some Googling and freeware searches later, I discovered dbPowerAMP, a free ripper/converter whose makers claimed to have been frustrated about error-prone rippers in much the same way as I. dbPowerAMP meets all of the specifications that I enumerated at the outset of the project, so I decided to give it a try.

Ruminations on Generating Project Metadata

Although I am still debugging the CD ripping problems I have been having, I have enough of a music corpus to begin thinking about second stage metadata generation. Additionally, I already have a corpus of 1700+ digital photos that I can also begin thinking about describing.

Audio Encoding Project: Initial Progress Report

I made some progress this week on my audio encoding project. In a total of three sessions I have ripped the contents of about 50 CDs to a lossless digital format with basic embedded metadata. This entry recounts the requirements, procedures, and observations on the project thus far.

A Personal Audio Encoding Project

I've recently embarked on a personal digital archives project involving digital audio. I've recently embarked on a personal digital archives project involving digital audio. This is one of a couple of projects I have in mind to help me explore the intricacies of managing digital objects with an eye on experimenting and understanding the challenges the individuals and small groups face when managing digital objects.