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Mediathek Austria & NOA - A Successful Partnership

This included questions such as content access, storage strategy, total overall process cost, as well as a quality approach in digitisation. In the early phase, Austrian Mediathek tried to find THE one and only solution provider, but very quickly realised that all aspects could not be covered in such a way. Too many different aspects needed to be covered, and the know how transfer for a process which takes at least two years could not come from one company only.

NOA´s experience at that time (1999) was mixed from standard audio engineering challenges as well as storage know how and known limitations from existing digitisation systems. Austrian Mediathek and NOA worked then together within a long running phase on specific concepts, dedicated workflows and infrastructural studies to realise a meaningful throughput and the quality of this process. Within this process many different companies were involved, which provided specific solutions in networking, storage, acoustic design and library management.

Mediathek's wish was simple, as Dr. Rainer Hubert explains: “The simplest requirements are the most difficult requirements: low process cost, access must be solved, the quality of digitisation needs to be ensured, no additional persons could be acquired - the simple reason behind this approach was to face the challenge of digitisation without additional employees and cost in the process. NOA´s experience with sound engineering and storage enabled us at that time to work on a dedicated solution - but we are also proud that the “NOA way” was accepted in an international context.” From that point on, beside the consultancy phase, NOA developed a significant range of specific tools, which were hold quite general to be able to be re-used in similar archive environments. Simple file based batch tools were finally connected to central database management systems, and non-media capable librarian scientific research solutions were brought to browse digital content with sample accurate positioning and database controlled segmenting even with lo-res copies. It was the strategy of NOA to develop single tools with a much more generalised approach, to be able to re-use developments in other environments. This also secured the investment of Mediathek into the NOA tools, as Mediathek benefits from updates and serialisation of standard software.

The current solution looks quite impressive:
A robotic storage system with currently 60 Terabyte with room for up to to 2 PetaByte (Grau Datastorage) handles all the digitised material in a 3 copy strategy (online-nearline – replicated offline). The first Austrian cultural heritage storage robotic system was in place at a time where long-term migration strategies were rare and not known within the archive world.
The NOA Ingest systems (CD, Tape, Samplitude Files and Wave Files) provide around 80 GB per day in rates up to 32 bit float and 96 kHz which are then fully automatically post-processed towards the final archive master in 24 bit / 48 and 96 kHz.
Metadata content of digitised and non-digitised material can be researched online and are secured by R2O audio-watermarking technology.

The recent installation of the NOA MediaLector system completes the NOA range to ingest DAT of very different formats, such as 32 kHz Longplay, as well as standard sampling frequencies 44,1 & 48 kHz over fully synced AES inputs. This installation allows Mediathek to transfer around 8.000 DAT cassettes of semi automated Radio Monitoring form the last 12 years with complete C2 and CRC Monitoring with 4x speed and total quality control.
The daily radio recordings are meanwhile performed by an automated process, where the in house recorded on air streams are automatically segmented from taken over XML lists from the Austrian broadcasters and posted in the library system – immediately searchable and hearable.

Almost six years later, ongoing projects keep this partnership vital, and the bidirectional benefit could be multiplexed within several other international customers such as YLE, HRT, RTV Slovenija, SRF Sweden, Moving Media, Numeris Belgium, Sony Preservation Factory TM, Magyar Radio and others.

NOA
Provides high quality transcription tools for analog audio archives together with full comprehensive workflow tools for efficient digitisation. Recent development included R2O Audio Watermaring technology as well as a complete Metadata Workflow system which will be released until 2Q. of 2005/MediARC.

Austrian Mediathek – former Austrian Phonothek – is the main Austrian archive for audiovisual cultural heritage and works with around 40 people in safeguarding contemporary and historic audiovisual material.

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MediaLector with 2x7040 and 2xR-500
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Grau IVD-XL, HSM Mass Storage
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