The most noticeable effect of the changes brought about by digital has been the methods of programme item storage, often called Asset Management. Previously HUGE libraries of recorded material has now been reduced so much, that what once took up several huge rooms of mechanical racking can now be easilly accommodated on a couple of magnetic hard drives.
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Totally solid state storage (often called 'flash drives') is the method where the data is burned onto a network of circuits contained within silicon microchips. Using of these Solid-State Storage Drives removes the risk of mechanical breakdown, which is currently the biggest cause of failure in data storage.
The amount of storage space required is set to plummet still further as new methods come on stream. The huge increases in size and reliability in hard drives mean that complete music collections can easily be stored on a single unit, and at far better quality than MP3, the usual standard that's tolerated by consumers.
Many radio stations keep all audio as uncompressed audio; usually in the .AIFF or .WAV formats. It's 'best practice', especially in the audio storage and editing stages, as serial stages of compression can result in some uncomfortable sounding artefacts. Multiple compressions result in poor fidelity (audio quality) by the time it reaches the listeners ear.
By using Network Attached Storage documents, reports, music and videos can be shared with anyone who has access to the network making NAS an ideal audio library and business storage solution.
Each folder of material can be given its own access codes shutting out any user on the network sho should not have access to items, and, probably more importantly for PDs, preventing anyone uploading material for broadcast not properly authorised.
How much storage?
The cost of storage falls every week - you can now get a 250 GB SSD for less than £50 which will hold 20 days of uncompressed audio (WAV files) or a couple of months non stop playing of MP3 recordings at 320 kbps.
To calculate how long any sized drive will last for any standard of compression, have a look at this page.
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Network Attached Storage (NAS) allows multiple users to store and share files, including music and other audio tracks, in a centralised location rather than individuals storing files on their own computers. An NAS connected into a local network will give big savings in time and storage , enabling multiple operators to access programme material more readilly.
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