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Come to Green Library's Media & Microtext Center for your winter break entertainment needs. Any DVD or video game you borrow now is not due until Monday, January 6, 2014!

SMPL's open door

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) has completed installation of audio and video digitization equipment in its new facilities at 425 Broadway in Redwood City, and has resumed all services. We're 100% back to work, supporting researcher access to SUL's world-class collections of sound recordings and moving images. 

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) is making good progress in setting up shop at our new location in Redwood City. 

SMPL moved from Page Mill Road in Palo Alto -- along with HighWire Press, Stanford University Press, LOCKSS, and parts of both Preservation and Special Collections -- to 425 Broadway over Labor Day weekend. (Shortly thereafter Stanford announced plans to redevelop the Redwood City site and create a major auxiliary campus.)  We're very excited about the new space!  It provides us with several opportunities to streamline and improve our facilities, workflows and services. More about that in a future post. For now, here are some photos illustrating our progress. 

Wiki home page

Did you know the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) has helped create an online wiki collecting and describing audio and video artifacts one might encounter in the course of reformatting legacy media? Check out our two year update on the Atlas on Indiana University's media preservation blog

An image of a problematic cassette in original housing.

Compact cassettes, despite their simplicity, often present problems during digitization. This entry will highlight an approach to digitizing compact cassettes that exhibit squealing and speed instability after being rehoused using new hubs, slip sheets and associated components.  Since I have started here the only cassettes, to present this problem are labeled “Stanford Bookstore”, so the actual manufacturer of the cassettes is unknown. Currently there are two common treatments for addressing squealing cassettes: playback in a cold environment or lubrication of the tape during playback. This entry describes tape lubrication and is informed by the work of Richard Hess and Marie O’Connell. I will first introduce the collection currently being digitized then briefly highlight an approach to applying D5 (Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) lubricant to rehoused cassettes. For more information on D5 and soft binder syndrome, visit Richard Hess’s webpage here: http://bit.ly/11SBTVP.

 

Arpa players

Have you ever wanted to explore new music but perhaps needed some inspiration? Some site that wasn’t Top 40 radio?  Let me recommend Smithsonian Global Sound (access for Stanford students, faculty and staff). I recently looked for some traditional mariachi music--perfect for those warm summer days. A search for “mariachi” led me to over 20 albums of mariachi music and related genres.  I chose to play music of the conjunto de arpa grande (big harp ensemble), a “country cousin” of the mariachi ensemble.  These big harp ensembles consist of violins, guitars, and harp, without the trumpets so common to mariachi groups. The sones (sentimental songs) and valonas (poetic narratives) were sung with a wonderful directness and vocal flair.  The playing was rhythmic, tuneful, and celebratory.  Perfect!

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) – the unit responsible for digitization and preservation of Stanford University Libraries' (SUL) extensive holdings of sound recordings and moving images -- is busy this summer preparing for our new home at 425 Broadway in Redwood City. SMPL is one of several SUL divisions relocating from our current occupancies at 1450-1454 Page Mill Road at the behest of the University.

Over 50 pieces of film, audio, video playback and treatment equipment -- nearly 1 ton of gear -- plus the desks of SMPL's four staff will be moved over Labor Day weekend (August 31 – September 2, 2013). In preparation for the move, normal lab operations will begin to wind down in early August. The work to reconfigure, cable and re-install the equipment will take 2-4 weeks. We expect to resume regular levels of services and productivity by October 1.

Piano performances are in abundance on Medici.tv.

Medici.tv. provides high-definition webcasts of live classical music performances and an extensive video-on-demand catalog. Access is available to all current Stanford students, faculty, and staff.

Watch live-streamed concerts in real time or on delayed streaming. Concerts remain accessible generally for several weeks.

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