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  1. AMI Labs
    1. Staff
    2. Supported Formats & Equipment
    3. Repair Technicians and Equipment Vendors
    4. Capture Specifications
    5. Software

AMI Labs

NYPL’s in-house media preservation unit digitizes thousands of audio and video recordings per year, with a primary focus on performing closely monitored transfers of the following: new Library acquisitions, cataloging priorities, labor-intensive media, and select on-demand requests (for exhibitions and programs, public orders, and special needs). Growing out of the individual preservation units of specific curatorial divisions (the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound), in 2009 NYPL consolidated these groups under the banner of Preservation of Audio and Moving Image (PAMI). Today, the AMI Labs are part of Digital Collections, within the Digital Research Division.

The following pages detail workflows, policies, and procedures for audio/video digitization, optical media migration, and born-digital processing, broken into the following categories:

  • Pre-digitization conservation treatments
  • Set-up and monitoring during transfer
  • Post-digitization editing, spot-checking, and packaging
  • Quality control
  • Safe and secure file transfer

Staff

Rhony Dostaly, Media Preservation Engineer - Moving Image

Carries out the preservation assessment, treatment, and reformatting of video recordings held in the Library’s permanent research collections.

Fran Dougherty, Media Preservation Engineer - Moving Image

Carries out the preservation assessment, treatment, and reformatting of video recordings held in the Library’s permanent research collections. Processes include: media stabilization/cleaning/repair, signal extraction, and creation of high quality digital files.

Jeff Willens, Media Preservation Engineer - Audio

Carries out the preservation assessment, treatment, and reformatting of audio recordings held in the Library’s permanent research collections.

Seth Winner, Media Preservation Engineer - Audio

Carries out the preservation assessment, treatment, and reformatting of audio recordings held in the Library’s permanent research collections.

Benjamin Turkus, Assistant Manager of Audio and Moving Image Preservation

Provides oversight for all in-house media preservation lab operations, and manages Media Preservation Engineers. Develops workflows, documents processes, and pursues open source solutions.

Supported Formats & Equipment

The AMI Labs maintain a variety of playback devices, cleaning machines, and peripheral equipment, allowing for the high-quality digitization of a range of obsolete media formats.

Audio

Format/Equipment Manufacturer/Model
Cylinder, Dictabelt Archeophone
Grooved Disc (transcription discs, aka “lacquer” or “acetate,” and other instantaneous formats; 78 rpm discs, aka “shellac”, long-play (LP) vinyl discs) Technics SP-15 and SME 3012-R Tonearm
Phono Stage Timestep T-01EQ, KAB Souvenir EQS MK12
Wire Webster-Chicago 80-1
Audiocassette (compact cassette) Tascam 122MKII, Tascam 122MKIII
Microcassette JBR Forensic Microcassette Playback Unit, Sony M-2008
Quarter-inch open-reel (various speeds and configurations) Studer A810; Otari MTR-10, Otari MX-5050 (B, BQ, BIII, BIII-2), Revox B77 MKII
Digital Audio Tape (DAT) Sony PCM-R500, Sony PCM-R700, Panasonic SV-3700, Panasonic SV-3800
Compact Disc (CD) Plextor PX-880U, Tascam CD-305, Tascam CD-401 MKII
MiniDisc Sony MDS-E12
Alesis Digital Audio Tape (ADAT) tbd
Digital Audio Processor (F1) Sony PCM-501ES
Noise Reduction Dolby A Type Model 361, Dolby B Type Module AN180; DBX Type 2 Model 224
Digital Patch Bay Z Systems z-8.8
A-D Converter Mytek 8x192, Prism ADA-8XR
Digital Interface Roland Quadcapture
Computer Apple iMac Mid-2017 3.8 GHz Intel Core i5 Quad-Core, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD
HD Digital Microscope Leica DMS 1000
Disc Cleaner Keith Monks
Voltage Regulator/Power Conditioner Furman P-1800 AR, Furman PL-PLUSII
Battery Back-up APC BR1000G
Test Tone Generator Gold Line TS1RMX
Studio Monitor Genelec 8050A
Oscilloscope Leader LBO-508A, Leader LBO-511
Spectrum Analyzer Klark Teknik DN60
Air Compressor Rolair JC10A, DeVilbliss F412-2
Fume Extractor Air Impurities Removal Systems Extract-All
Lab Oven Thermo Scientific 6550

Video

Format/Equipment Manufacturer/Model
Half-inch open-reel (CV) GE CV-2000
Half-inch open-reel (EIAJ-1/2) Sony AV-3650, Sony AV-8650
One-inch Type C Sony BVH-3100
U-matic (NTSC/PAL: LB, HB, SP) Sony BVU-950, Sony VO-9850, Sony VP-7040, Sony VO-9600P
Betamax Sony SL-HF450, Sony SLO-420, Sony GCS-50
VHS (NTSC/PAL/SECAM, S-VHS, VHS-C Sony SVO-5800, Sony SVO-1630, Sony SVO-1500, Panasonic AG-W3P, Panasonic AG-DS550, Samsung SV-7000W
Betacam (Oxide, SP, SX, Digital Betacam, IMX) Sony UVW-1800, Sony PVW-2800, Sony PVW-2800P, Sony DVW-M2000, Sony J-30SDI
MII Panasonic AU-63
Video8 and Hi8 Sony EVO-9850
DV (MiniDV, DVCAM, HDV, DVCPRO) Sony DSR-11, , Sony DSR-1800A, Sony DSR-2000A, Sony HVR-M25U, Sony HVR-M35U
LaserDisc Pioneer CLD-2080
Digital Video Disc (DVD) Plextor PX-880U, Pioneer PRV-LX1
Audio Level Interface Aphex 124A
Distribution Amplifier Aphex 120A
A-D Converter Blackmagic Ultrastudio Mini HD, Blackmagic Teranex 2D, Blackmagic Decklink Duo 2, AJA HD10AVA
Video Monitor Sony LMD-2450W, Sony PVM-20M2U, Sony PVM-1954Q, Blackmagic Smartscope Duo
Time Base Corrector (TBC) / Frame Synchronizer Fortel CCD HP, FOR.A FA-360, FOR.A FA-310T, Snell & Wilcox TBS185AV, Snell & Wilcox TBS190AV, Snell & Wilcox CVR-600AD, DPS-575
Remote Control Unit Sony BVR-55
Sync Generator Sigma Electronics BSG-26, Grass Valley SCB-200N
Waveform Monitor/Vectorscope Leader 5872A, Tektronix WVR-500
Video Patch Bay Canare 24DV-2U
Audio Patch Bay Neutrik NPP-TB
Audio Splitter/Mixer Rane SM26S
Voltage Regulator/Power Conditioner Furman PL8
Cleaner: Half-inch open-reel Bow Industries Bow 432
Cleaner: U-matic RTI VT-3100 RM
Cleaner: VHS RTI 4905
Cleaner: Betacam RTI 4100ME
Lab Oven Thermo Scientific PR205045M

Repair Technicians and Equipment Vendors

Capture Specifications

The default position of the AMI Labs is to favor lossless encodings and open formats/standards for all media files. For audio, this means FLAC; for video, FFV1/MKV. Detailed specifications can be found in the Digital Asset Specifications portion of this repository.

Software

Whenever possible, workflows have been designed around the use of free/open source software. From capture to quality control, free and open source tools are frequently the best tools for the job, meeting the specific needs of media digitization while offering a high degree of customizability. One sticking point impeding a full embrace of FOSS is the lack of non-linear editing systems capable of accommodating the lossless encodings (FLAC, FFV1) adopted by the AMI Labs.

Purpose Software Free/Open Source
Audio Digitization Wavelab
Video Digitization vrecord
Transcoding FFmpeg, FLAC Utility
Metadata Conformance MediaConch
Metadata Extraction MediaInfo, pymediainfo
Quality Control QCTools

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