Sony AV 3600

IMG_4993I was told that the uptake reel was messed up on it but it is physically functioning. I learned how to put a reel on and how to thread it. The heads pass signal and it’s kinda ok, but even with tracking and skew adjustment, it is still crappy, with lines running through the picture and a weird throbbing of signal. Ken says I should get the waveform vector scope out of the vomit pile storage unit and hook it up to see what the signal is doing.

I found this handy little 100 pager over at my buddies, Internet Archive, thanks guys, you might be seeing these reels if I can’t figure this out.

Open Reel Digitization Project Proposal


Scope: digitization of all open reel-to-reel video tapes included in the “Street Scenes” Series created by Fort Wayne Public Library between 1974-1976. The entire FWPL collection consists of 169 reels with the Street Scenes series consisting of 16 tapes.

Overview: the project will begin with digitizing the 6 tapes that remain unprocessed. This will complete the collection for playback on the channel and inclusion on the Allen County Public Library’s Youtube page for use in this year’s Indiana Bi-Centennial Celebrations. Older( 2000s era) files will be reviewed to see if redigitization will create a better product in cases where there is significant drop out detected.

Process: Access Fort Wayne, a department of the Allen County Public Library will provide an open reel playback machine that will feed signal to an oscilloscope, time base corrector, DV digital tape machine and DVD recorder. The original metadata will be transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet, a screen capture will be made of each file. The original paper catalog (FWPL-TV Video Catalog) will be digitized and saved as a PDF. The original reels will be inspected and stored with copies of the digitized content and labeled with the old FWPL catalog number as well as the current AFW catalog number.

Outcome: the unique and local content will be preserved as well as access provided to history enthusiasts, specifically those interested in Fort Wayne architecture, vintage automobiles and fashions from the 1970s.

Time Commitment: Organizing existing files, tape reels and paper documentation will take 40 hours. Set up and configuration of equipment will take 40 hours. Transfer and in ingestion of signal will take 80 hours. Cataloging and upload will take 40 hours.




Using a WordPress Blog to talk about Drupal

as Bugs bunny would say “Oh the irony, the Eye Roe Knee!” But here I am, documenting what I’ve been up to. My job so far has been to download modules to extend usability and to understand how those modules stack on top of each other. Many times you will find that you download and install a module and then find that you need to have another module installed for everything to go. I needed Scheduler to run FeedsImage

My challenge is to figure out the best way to store information about a digitized video file. I’d like to attach all the fields from an extant Access database. The information is a bit hierarchical in that there are series programs that have numerous episodes as well as single programs. I need to store information about both kinds in a searchable way. Since I’m dealing with (potentially) hundreds of files with 10 fields apiece, I’d like to automate it…somehow.Image

Waiting for a home

I Had a very productive meeting with an I.T. staffer last week. We discussed the initial build of the Drupal environment I will be working with. He said that he would build it so that I could be “User 1” which means that I can build and destroy, build and destroy with impunity. This is a relief, while I don’t want to be responsible for loading Drupal on a server (not yet, at least) I do want the freedom to add modules and update versions and all the other things I don’t know that I want yet. So, I continue to add files to the server, I hope it doesn’t take too long to start identifying and organizing files because there is now almost 100 files on the server! Woof!

Drupal Drupal Drupal

If I say it enough, maybe it won’t sound so weird to my ears. In looking for a CMS for the digitized tape archive, I’ve run into some issues that make an Off-The-Shelf option not possible. I was told point blank to quit dreamin’ so I just shifted my dream elsewhere. Open Source! Who cares if I have to teach myself how. In my experience, that’s how I learn anyway and it’s not like I have zero experience with code. I was once pretty good at the HTMLs and the CSSs. I’ve got a meeting Friday to discuss the stack and the install and admin rights and whatnot, so I say, BRING IT! Either I fail and wind up penniless or I succeed and have the life I’ve always wanted.

Tools that have come in handy.

Tape case deterioration is a problem with this project. The tape itself seems fine, it is the plastic housing and mechanical, or moving parts that are starting to stop working. The tape will load into the deck, but the door won’t open. When this happens I take a sharp pencil and scrape a little graphite into the “v” where the door slides along the track on the tape housing. This seems to do the trick, not a lot, just enough to make a mark

inside of a tapecase.
the culprit: Sony DVCAM 64.

Small Video Archive in practice

Today’s post is about a small collection of videos created in 2000, 2001. It is a series about local businessmen and their entrepreneurial activities. There are 15, one hour programs that are in the interview format. Processing these shows involves

1. Encoding them from the original DV tape into Final Cut Pro using the NTSC DV compression setting.

2. Exporting the Timeline (with a minimum of editing, ie, removal of outdated PSAs that had nothing to do with the program) to Compressor to the Higher quality settings to be burned onto a DVD.

3. Further compression of the file to the Leightroinx format standard for playback on the channel.

4. Publishing of the Leghtronix formated file to the network attached storage for playback archive.

5. creation of a 2-3 minute teaser clip for use on the library’s YouTube page.

6. Publishing of the Leightronix file to PegCentral, the department’s webstreaming service

Graph showing progress
My high-tech tracking system.

Archive Policy for The Mass Storage Unit (NasAFW24)

As a storage device for playback files:

The primary function of the Network Attached Storage Device (NASAFW) is to store files for active playback on the channels. It is to serve as a place to store the thousands of files that playback regularly on the channels. Tapes are currently stored in the sub-basement, ranging from 1981 to 2009. Any tape from the sub-basement that is scheduled to play on the channel will be encoded during playback and the file sent to the NAS for longterm storage. Once the tape has played, it will return to the sub basement to be physically archived (and never played again until a long term, high quality solution is determined and enacted.) Anytime that program is scheduled to play, (barring digital playback system failures) it will be from the digital file and not the tape.

In collaboration with the current archiving program:

If a program has been archived as a part of the AFW Archive program and the program director wishes to play one of those programs, the archivist will provide a DVD for “ripping” the file into the NASAFW24 storage device and the tape will remain untouched.

Santa Claus is not coming this year

It looks like the hand crafted Content Management System we were hoping the magic coding fairies would make us is not going to materialize. 5000 bux a week to develop what we want…….now we are going to have to take responsibility for finding a solution ourselves…(le sigh) (les sighs) So, the first thing we need to do is expand our environmental scan. Seems like we are breaking some new ground here as far as Access Centers, but that doesn’t mean other format based archives haven’t figured this out. Sound Archives, Radio Stations, Small businesses. Somebody, Anybody! ANyway, part of taking ownership is identifying what we want this thing to do. Here is a list:

Database Requirements:Image

1.    Must be able to migrate existing data from Microsoft Access database

2.    Must be able to export Csv

3.    Program Playback: Searchable Fields

  1. Length
  2. Genera
  3. Producer
  4. Keywords
  5. Series Title
  6. Episode Title
  7. Unique Identifier (Tape Number)
  8. Format
  9. Location
  10. Archive
  11. Date Created
  12. Status (Played or unplayed)

4.    Program Scheduling: Reports

  1. Daily playback log by time
  2. Daily playback by unique identifier (Tape Number/Date Created)
  3. Tape labels
  4. Monthly playback statistics