How to Digitize Analog Audio Recordings

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Some formats, such as wax cylinders, lacquer discs, and wire recordings, are too fragile to be digitized by the average linguist, and should be handled by professionals. However, many field linguists have magnetic tapes that are candidates for digitization, both to make them more accessible, and to preserve them before they deteriorate. Caution: If the tape shows signs of decay (e.g., mold, or any visible damage to the tape layers), consult an audio preservation specialist first; any attempt to play a damaged tape may ruin it. But if the tape appears to be in good shape, you should be able to convert it yourself. Here is a general outline of the digitization process.

What You Will Need

The Digitization Process

More on digitization of audio files
Equipment recommendations

The content of this page was developed following the recommendations from The Collaborative Digitization Program.

See also Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation.

User Contributed Notes
E-MELD School of Best Practice: How to Digitize Analog Audio Recordings
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