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Why Steve Albini Still Prefers Analog Tape 440

CNET's Steve Guttenberg ("The Audiophiliac") profiles prolific audio engineer and general music industry do-it-all Steve Albini; Albini (who's worked on literally thousands of albums with musicians across a wide range of genres) has interesting things to say about compression, the rise of home-recording ("The majority of recordings will be crappy, low-quality recordings, but there will always be work for engineers who can do a good job, because there will always be people who appreciate good sound."), and why he still prefers to record to analog tape. (Note: Albini is justly famous not just for his production work, but in particular for his essay "The Problem with Music.")

Making Old Sound Recordings Audible Again 172

orgelspieler writes "NPR is running a story on a safe way to reproduce sound from ancient phonographs that would otherwise be unplayable. The system, called IRENE, was installed in the Library of Congress last year. It can be used to replay records that are scratched, worn, broken, or just too fragile to play with a needle. It scans the groves optically and processes them into a sound file at speeds approaching real time. IRENE is great at removing pops and skips, but can add some hiss. Researchers are also working on a 3D model that is better at removing hiss."

ODF Alliance, Who, What, Where (and Why?) 92

Andy Updegrove writes "On Friday, the new ODF Alliance was launched with much fanfare to 'educate government' about the OpenDocument Format. A flurry of brief news articles appeared the same day, based on pre-launch interviews (as well as an Op/Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by Sun's Scott McNealy), but they didn't include much information. So what's it all about, why was it formed, and will it be likely to succeed? Given that the 36 members include only one government unit (the ICT department for Vienna), the answer is clearly to establish a beachhead in the government market as a target of opportunity, and then to expand from there to meet the real goals of the members."

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