The Resilience of 78s

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The Resilience of 78s

Post by Gmemg » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:29 pm

I was recently asked about he "wonders" of New Technology "saving" all the music on 78s and as i sat in the 1st Class Railway Carriage (after completing The Times Crossword)not London this morning i was considering this point and thought

Is it REALLY true that "modern" technology is the way that recorded Music on 78s will survive ?"

Well, i come to the conclusion that it isn't - after all we've all found 78s in all sorts of VERY unpleasant places,dirty dusty attics, coal sheds, filthy cellars (and from Filthy sellers) places which are damp, either occasionally very cold or very hot and yet most 78s seem to survive that treatment after many years and still be playable (on original equipment) after a good wash

BUT would a CD or some other modern medium be able to survive such treatment ? i have a few cheap Cds from the 1980s which seem to be unplayable - that may be the equipment but it's also the manufacturing process as well and let's not forget that apart form the latest hits how many CDs are pressed of the sort of music we're interested in 500 per re - issue or maybe aThousand ? a Bix CD or any sort of Jazz will sell rapidly as well as novelties such as the Alessandro Moreschi CD which i recall in the late 1990's being "limited Edition" and yet there are plenty about even after the apparent demise of the company but those will be exceptions but we all know of "rare" 78s but often they are rare due to collectors holding on to them rather than by being scarce in the first place and some early 78s seem to turn up time and again (and i don't mean just some Billy Williams Either)

But how permenant is a Digital Download ? the answer is as long as the equipment - i had well over 1000 VHS tapes and yet when i moved here 5 years ago and tried to set up the video machine it wouldn't work and could not be fixed so i dumped the lot - a lot of very rare TV from the 1980s which even now i haven't been able to find on U - Tube or if i have (Vide "BBC Visconti" Doc ) it is soon removed because of snippet of music in the soundtrack

So is the best hope for the music on 78s to survive another century actually for the music to survive in it's original form used more or less since the 1890s which oddly seems a lot more resilient that anything thought of since ?
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Re: The Resilience of 78s

Post by rgodridge » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:20 pm

With digital downloads there is kind of some hope, how cheap good hard drives are now is astonishing and I have, just as an example, the entire cylinder digitisation project, thousands and thousands of 78s from the internet archive and the entire alan barnes collection as well as my own stuff backed up in 3 places, two of which are on the internet.
Early cds are notorious for being awful especially paper label discs, of which I, like you had many few of which are playable now!
but in another 50 years people will still turn up 78s, that is for sure
the thing is, digital files and whatnot are great for collecting, archiving and preserving, as well as letting others here your own or someone else's 78s, I for one wouldn't be without youtube, your channel and others present recordings that I have never came across, that's how I look at it anyway! but 78s are definitely here to stay
Yes, they're breakable, some more than others, so I think the best way for any collector to go about saving/archiving their records is record it digitally and keep the record

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