You may have many digital audio files with music, lectures and other sound recordings. Some of these have personal, financial or other value that leads you to keep them for a long time.
You should make sure that the audio files you select for saving are in an open file format. This will ensure the greatest flexibility for future use.
- Identify your digital audio files
- Identify your audio files on computers, audio players, phones and removable media such as memory cards and DVDs.
- Include audio files that you manage through audio software.
- Decide which audio recordings have long-term value
- Pick the recordings that you feel are important.
- If there are multiple versions of an important recordings, save the one with highest quality.
- Export the selected audio recordings
- If saving a few recordings, you can use the “save as” command in your web browser or software program to export them as individual files.
- If saving many recordings, check into automatically exporting them. If possible, save recordings in an open format. Save metadata for the audio files, including the date it was exported.
- Organize the selected audio recordings
- Give individual audio files descriptive file names.
- Tag the files with information about the recording. Create a directory/folder structure on your computer to put the recordings you picked.
- Write a brief summary of the directory structure and the recordings. Make copies and manage them in different places
- Make at least two copies of your selected audio recordings—more copies are better.
- One copy can stay on your computer or laptop; put other copies on separate media such as DVDs, CDs, portable hard drives, thumb drives or Internet storage.
- Store copies in different locations that are as physically far apart as practical. If disaster strikes one location, your audio recordings in the other place should be safe.
- Put a copy of the summary description with your important papers in a secure location.
- Check your audio recordings at least once a year to make sure you can read them.
- Create new media copies every five years or when necessary to avoid data loss.
- How to preserve your own digital materials
- Two-tier digitizing and archiving evaluation
- How do I start in understanding digital preservation?
- Why digitize?