Digitizing Fieldwork Recordings

by Kenjiro Matsuda


With digital recording devices becoming more and more popular, sociolinguists are now able to digitize the analog interview recordings they have collected over the years. Drawing on my experience, this lab note explains the digitization process step-by-step: Why digitization is needed, what the guiding principles should be, what the differences among various digital formats/media (DAT, CD-R and MiniDisk) are and what the pitfalls are (e.g. SCMS). In particular, I suggest that (1) future field recordings should be made with DAT recorders, and that existing analog tapes should first be transferred to DAT tapes so that start IDs can be entered; (2) long-term preservation should be done on CD-R; (3) the versatility of MiniDisk makes it the best choice for coding and transcription.

 
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