Vinyl at the Internet Archive

I’ve been listening to some of the discs at the Internet Archive. They’re amazing! Each record is played with several different styli, and each version is available either as-is, or with equalization applied. Here’s an example:

Note four different styli were used, each play is available either “flat” or equalized, and all are available as 24-bit FLAC. Accompanied by an image of the disc!


Fabulous find!

The only thing is the flacs have been ripped entire sides without a cue to split the sides into tracks. I only looked at a few and maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

Are there cue’s for the flacs? The VBR MP3’s are split into tracks with an M3U file, and to be honest with historical material that is probably going to be good enough for me anyway. It would be nice though to have the option to split the flacs with out having to manually build a cue file each time.

Explained here:

Lovely stuff.


How are you embedding a player?

The link from the IA does that. Somehow.

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Some late 60’s instrumental pop from The Exotic Guitars.

I’ve got both the VBR MP3 and FLAC versions into roon and find on my system I prefer the MP3’s. The FLAC’s a bit thin to my ears, but great stuff.


Was talking to a friend about this a few weeks ago. Would be fun if Roon integrated the catalog for playback. Besides the 78 project they have a few more music archives available as well.

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I’ve “followed” the on Mastodon, and I keep getting these great old 78 clips in my feed.

“Harry Roy’s Tiger-Ragamuffins”, indeed!

It looks like the record companies aren’t to happy with the Internet Archive. And are sueing them for digitizing and hosting 78 rpm vinyl. They claim that the Internet Archive is violating the copyright which rests on the hosted works.

The Internet Archive claims that the hosted works will otherwise be unavailable and they fear the works will get lost in time. The lawyers representing the music labels claim that the music is available by other means. Like streaming services. According to the record companies, the Internet Archive is basically stealing.

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Yeah, Harry Roy’s Tiger-Ragamuffins are all over streaming, for sure!

IANAL, as the saying goes, but here’s what I think the situation is. In the US, there were decades of discussion about whether the playing of records was a violation of copyright. Finally in 1972, the Sound Recording Act struck a bargain between record companies and radio stations, in which new recordings would get performance copyrights, but pre-1972 recordings would not, and what’s more, no royalties would have to be paid on copyrighted recordings played over the radio.

Streaming isn’t the radio, though, and the law never stands still. The Music Modernization Act of 2018 retroactively provided copyrights for pre-1972 recordings, and mandated royalties if they were streamed over the Internet, while still keeping radio play of those performances royalty-free. Anything before 1922 is still royalty-free, because the copyrights have expired.

So the record companies have a point, but I imagine some further bargain will eventually be struck.

If you’re really interested, you might want to read this 2018 analysis, which contains this nugget:

the Act continues the unfortunate practice of Congress largely blessing negotiated agreements between interest groups, leaving us with an unnecessarily complicated regulatory scheme codified into law.

Amen, brother!

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