8 posts tagged with recording and technology.
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Listening to the past, recorded on tin foil and glass, for the first time in over a century

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 10, 2012 - 21 comments

It's for you!

It's a ring-tone! It's place-based community art! Well, you don't have to choose any more. In Locally Toned, artist T. Foley sources sound in the wild to create hundreds of unique ringtones.
posted by Miko on Oct 6, 2011 - 12 comments

Oldest recorded voice

Last year we discussed a recently discovered 10-second audio recording from 1860 that was thought to be the oldest known recorded human voice, a girl or woman singing the 18th century French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune”. Turns out, it was being played too fast - slow it down and it's the voice of the inventor himself. As well, a number of other recordings have been found, pushing back the oldest recording to 1857. Hear it all on NPR (5-min). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 1, 2009 - 24 comments

Click click victorious, buzz buzz glorious, Long to reign over us, buzz buzz click click.

The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Illustrated Histories of Various Recording Technologies

Illustrated Histories of Various Recording Technologies
posted by carter on Apr 22, 2008 - 13 comments

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison See also Phonoautograph

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison
The Phonoautograph
The history of the Phonoautograph. A technology in which you can still buy stock.
posted by y2karl on Mar 27, 2008 - 34 comments

Tim Gracyk's amazing American Popular Music site

Buying Rare Race Records in the South. Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago. The Cheney Talking Machine. Just three among dozens of amazing articles about early recording machines and American popular music at the astonishingly detailed site of Tim Gracyk, author of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925. Scroll down for bios of forgotten stars, including Nora Bayes - who performed in the Follies of 1907, before Flo Ziegfeld's name became part of the title, George W. Johnson - "the most important African-American recording artist of the 1890s," and piano player Zez Confrey, whose sheet music for the 1921 hit "Kitten on the Keys" sold over a million copies and became "the third most-frequently recorded rag in history."
posted by mediareport on May 17, 2005 - 39 comments

ephemera: (noun) a short lived thing

Ever since I became a TiVo addict, I've found myself wanting to use its features in real life, wishing I could rewind & replay moments of random comedy & chaos, usually involving my pugs. Soon, thanks the good folks at Deja View, I will be able to, with the help of a head mounted micro video camera unit that is always on, recording a 30 second buffer of real time, and up to four hours of manually recordable space for once you activate the record button. The scourge of ephemera will be wiped out in our lifetime.
posted by jonson on Jun 19, 2003 - 13 comments

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