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Starting on Thursday, December 23, 2021, MeLCat Borrowing and Lending will be suspended while the MSU Libraries undergoes a significant software transition.

MSU students, staff, and faculty can continue to utilize interlibrary loan by placing requests through the MSU Libraries Interlibrary Services department. Community patrons will not be able to use MeLCat through the MSU Libraries during this time, but they can continue to do so using their local public library.

Capture Specifications

Included below are the digital file formats and ancillary specifications for the encoding (digitization or transcoding) of audio and moving image content we typically use at the MSU Libraries. First, here are our file format profiles:

A Preservation File, in this context, is the highest quality digital file, meant to be maintained in perpetuity and for creating copies of the original (not for transcoding access files). Whether it is transferred from an analog or digital source, each one of the preservation profiles outlined below are intended to maintain the fidelity of the original while also avoiding secondary digital obsolescence.

A Mezzanine File is a mid-level surrogate for the preservation file: robust yet computationally manageable (i.e. compressed). This is the file accessed for transcoding, editing, or in cases where close review is necessary. Also referred to as a "production-quality" file.

Access Files are available to researchers on-site or for streaming/download via the local network. Levels of access will depend on the rights and permissions MSU Libraries has to distribute the content.


Audio

  Preservation File, Analog Source Preservation File, Digital Source Mezzanine File Access File
Format

Broadcast Wave Format (BWF; .wav)

Broadcast Wave Format (BWF; .wav)

Broadcast Wave Format (BWF; .wav)

MP3 (MPEG-2 Audio Layer III)

Encoding Uncompressed Linear Pulse Code Modulated Audio (LPCM)  Uncompressed Linear Pulse Code Modulated Audio (LPCM) Uncompressed Linear Pulse Code Modulated Audio (LPCM)  MP3enc, Lame
Sampling rate 96 kHz or 44.1 kHz (if spoken word) Native (e.g. 44.1 or 48 kHz) 44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz
Bit depth 24-bit or 16-bit (if spoken word) Native (e.g. 16-bit) 16-bit N/A, not LPCM. Bitrate = 160 Kbps (mono) or 320 Kbps (stereo)

Audio Sources

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Technical Committee. (2009). Guidelines on the production and preservation of digital audio objects (IASA-TC04, 2nd ed.). Retrieved May 19, 2015, from http://www.iasa-web.org/tc04/audio-preservation: Opens in a New Tab

Casey, M., & Gordon, B. (2007). Sound directions: Best practices for audio preservation. Trustees of Indiana University and President and Fellows of Harvard University. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/projects/sounddirections/papersPresent/sd_bp_07.pdf : Opens in a New Tab


Video

  Preservation File, Analog Source (NTSC) Preservation File, Digital Source Mezzanine File Access File
Container/Format

Matroska (.mkv)

Matroska (.mkv)

QuickTime (.mov)

QuickTime (.mov) or H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (.mp4)

Encoding FFV1 Native (e.g. DV; H.264; IMX)

DV50

H.264

Bit depth 10-bit Native (e.g. 8-bit) 8-bit 8-bit
Color space YUV Native, presumably YUV YUV YUV
Chroma subsampling 4:2:2 Native (e.g. 4:2:2; 4:1:1; 4:2:0) 4:2:2 4:2:0
Frame size 720x486 Native (e.g. 720x480 [SD]; 1440x1080 [HDV]) 720x480 Variable (e.g. 640x480; 1280x720)
Frame rate 29.97 fps Native (e.g. 29.97 fps) 29.97 fps Inherited from source
Video bitrate 25–27 MB/sec (200–216 Mbps) constant Native (e.g. 25 Mbps; 50 Mbps) 50 Mbps (~7 MB/sec) 0.6–1.7 Mbps (600–1800 Kbps)
Audio stream 48 kHz / 24-bit PCM Native, typically ≤ 48 kHz / ≤ 24-bit PCM 48 kHz / 16-bit PCM AAC; Stereo / 48 kHz / 192 Kbps

Preservation File from an Analog Source: Playback into encoder, wrap output data stream(s) as file.

Preservation File from a Digital Source: Transfer data stream(s) to file container without transcoding. If optical disc, extract ISO image (.img; .iso) of disc to capture all components. Typically the DVD video object (.VOB) files are also extracted and repackaged into a Matroska container (.mkv).

Video Sources

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group. (2014). Creating and archiving born digital video. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/video_bornDigital.html: Opens in a New Tab

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group. (2014). Digital file formats for videotape reformatting. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/video_reformatting_compare.html: Opens in a New Tab