The Greatest Music Collection

D. Michael McIntyre michael.mcintyre at
Mon Mar 24 03:26:34 GMT 2008

On Sunday 23 March 2008, Cory K. wrote:
> My DREAM would be to buy it, sell the duplicates, digitize it ALL in a
> massive archival server (FLAC of course. :P) and put whatever has fallen
> into public domain out there for everyone.

There's an interesting question in of itself.  I guess nothing after, what, 
the '20s? the '30s? will ever be in public domain again as long as Walt 
Disney is still in business, and still buying lobbyests.

> I'm really surprised someone hasn't bought this. Even some record label.
> The historical value alone is nuts.

I guess there are no rich guys who like old records.

When you think about the logistics of it, it really would be a major 
undertaking to transport it, warehouse it, and then convert it, and store the 
results.  I don't know how many singles are in there vs. 78s vs 33s and 
whatever, but just figuring an average of 30 minutes per record and 10% 
redundancy in the collection, that's about 8.25 years of recording 24/7.

CD quality recording is 10 MB per minute uncompressed, and let's assume you 
compress on the fly and save 50%, which is really optimistic.  That means you 
still need 21,600,000 MB of space to store it all.  Is that ~21 terabytes or 
~21 petabytes?  I think it's petabytes isn't it?

Anyway, that's a lotta hard disks, and you would surely eat up more than a few 
turntables recording all this too.  I could see your project getting into 
$4,000,000 territory very easily.  Maybe $5,000,000.  Plus the costs of 
keeping all this data alive until you can eventually put it in solid state 
DNA-based holocubes or something (when you will eventually be able to carry 
this collection around hooked to a gizmo that pipes the audio directly into 
the auditory receptors in your brain, for over eight years of continuous 
tunes on the go.)

Where's Bill Gates when you need him?

No, wait, the recordings would all have DRM, and would only be playable on 

Who's filthy rich in free software?  Certainly not me.

It's huge and daunting as hell, but not implausible.  Especially not the DNA 
holocube part.  Just you wait.

D. Michael McIntyre 

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