Fonoteca Nazionale Svizzera's VisualAudio receives James A. Lindner Prize 2011

The James A. Lindner Prize for 2011 was announced on 5th September at the General Assembly of the IASA 2011 Annual Conference held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The Prize is awarded to an individual, group of individuals or an organization for research, which by its originality, breath and scope, is having or may have a major impact on the technology of preservation of moving images and recorded sound.

The winning nomination was submitted by Stefano Cavaglieri, Ottar Johnsen, Frédéric Bapst, Thierry Fumey and Rolf Ingold for the VisualAudio system for replaying gramophone records.

The principle of VisualAudio is to take a photograph of the phonograph disc, to scan the film and to process the digitized image using various algorithms. As explained in the application, the VisualAudio solution solves several significant challenges inherent in archiving systems:

  • Contactless: the surface of the original record is not touched.
  • Speed of archiving process: the time required for photographing a record is relatively short.
  • Storage of information in an analog film: thus not dependent on a technology becoming obsolete too quickly.
  • Long life span: of several hundred years for some films. Periodic transfers to new data storage media are thus avoided.