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    Scott Pennington

    Scott is Head of Digitizing and African Projects at Matrix, The Center for the Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University. The Digital Lab at Matrix specializes in both the use and creation of multimedia for online learning as well as migrating and converting rare and obsolete multimedia formats into archival quality digital files. Scott often works with endangered and/or rare cultural resources for preservation and wider access through digitization.

    My Posts

    Digitizing for online use – what’s good enough?

    Saturday, April 30th, 2011 | Scott Pennington

    Digitizing media, in whatever form, nearly always involvesĀ digitizingĀ to certain specifications. 300dpi along the long dimensions for some objects, 24bit/96k .wav files for some audio, or 50 mBit sec video saved to as DV in a .mv wrapper… The numbers and formats all have meaning as we archive, compress, and distribute scanned photos, digitized audio, and streamed video; the numbers and formats can also become a confusing, swirling roadblock for humanists unaccustomed to digital media.

    “I just want to get this online so I can use it.”

    What’s good enough to put online? And when do archival specifications for digital media matter, given source, audience, and mitigating factors of budget and time? I’d like to begin a conversation about digitizing materials for online use, knowing the discussion could quickly become technical yet hoping we can avoid the specifications of digital files for a while and talk more openly about what is good enough. And, just as importantly, when do archival specifications for digitizing materials matter?