Post by Charles Norton on Mar 6, 2011 20:57:37 GMT
I've recently been told that the unofficial archivist of the 'The News Huddlines' is apparently Chris Emmett. So it might be wise to get in touch with him. Steve Arnold might be worth contacting as well. However, I don't think that there are any online guides.
For those who don't know, Steve has been sourcing and returning material to the BBC for the last 15 years, pretty much as long as his website has been online. Steve is an ideal person to contact if you have any recordings full stop, though I am aware that he has some notes on the Huddlines which might well end up as some sort of programme log in the near future.
I stumbled across this website a couple of days ago when browsing "The News Huddlines".
I have recordings of (I believe) every edition of the programme from 1986 through to the end of the series in 2001, plus a few from 1984/5 that I didn't date at the time.
They are currently stored on audio cassette and the quality of the recordings varies in terms of volume and "radio noise", but they are a joy to listen to. I hope to start digitalising the collection soon, in order to preserve the recordings.
I post this as information for anyone that is interested.
Post by Charles Norton on Apr 26, 2011 17:31:45 GMT
Delighted to hear about your tapes.
However, just a word of friendly advice. When you do digitise your tapes, copy to wav files and not Mp3. Mp3 is not a good way to archive material and results in a lot of the original 'information' in a recording being lost.
In recent years a lot of people have started digitising their archives and a lot of stuff is being lost in the conversion to Mp3. When a programme comes up for CD release or something, we sometimes find that people have thrown out their original off-airs and replaced them with these horribly compressed Mp3s, which are often unusable.
I'd like to make a sincere appeal on behalf of the Internet Archive at Archive.org
Quite often, in my experience, the BBC Sound Archive will decline to accept old radio shows, even if offered on the original broadcast medium and thus requiring minimal restoration.
BBC archives has a limited budget, and limited storage space. They also have limited staff, and a limited amount of time in a month for restoring old material, leading them to prioritise items needed for broadcasting, e.g. on 4 Extra. Unless a recording is one which is self-financing (i.e. unless they can sell it commercially, to cover the costs of restoration and storage) they will usually refuse to accept it.
One alternative which has proved useful is the Internet Archive. With most archives, including the BBC, any donated material tends to vanish down a black hole, and never sees the light of day again. With the Internet Archive, however, material donated actually remains accessible to the general public, making it unique as a radio archive.
They accept wav files for upload, and it is by far better to give them the original lossless wav file, rather than a low bitrate mp3. Once converted to mp3, the recording is essentially useless for most purposes, as too much of the data has been thrown away. One common trick with old radio material (originally broadcast in mono) is to encode your tape as a wav recording, then throw away one channel, thus reducing the file size by half, then encode the single remaining channel as a FLAC file, thereby reducing the file size by half again. What you then have is an 80MB file per half hour of audio, instead of a 350 MB file.
You then upload the mono FLAC file, which is much more easily treated: easier to upload, easier to store, easier to download, because it is only a quarter the size of the original stereo wav file. But don't do this with a stereo radio show. All BBC radio was in mono prior to 1973, except some highbrow music on Radio 3. Most drama and scripted comedy was broadcast in mono throughout the 1970s, right up to 1978. It was basically the music stations that went into stereo early on, not the Light Ent shows.
Upload your lost 'News Huddlines' recordings to Archive.org, and thereby share them with the world.
Items which the BBC deems to have no commercial value are items they don't want taking up space in the Sound Archive, but are also items they don't bother about if posted online. Rarely if ever do they object to a show being posted if it's not one of the handful of things like 'The Goon Show', or 'Hancocks Half Hour', etc, for which they still have a market on CD.