1. 12:18 29th May 2014  by cantstoplovingumatic

    Notes: 1

    That’s a Wrap!

    As of this week, I’ll be concluding my term as Media Cataloger here at the Hall of Fame, so this blog will no longer be updated. This project has been an overwhelming success—we’ve cataloged all 6,002 U-matic tapes in our collection, providing intellectual access to a vital part of our moving image collection. This blog has also resulted in some great conversations with other archivists and vintage video enthusiasts, and I’d love to keep that conversation going. If you have any questions or thoughts related to the blog, moving image archives, or obsolete video formats, drop me a line at lovingumatic (at) gmail.com. 

    best,

    Neale

    image

     
  2. 15:28 24th Feb 2014  by cantstoplovingumatic

    image: Download

     
  3. 11:33 14th Feb 2014  by cantstoplovingumatic

    Notes: 1

    Reblogged from josh-at-avpreserve

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    josh-at-avpreserve:

U-matic my heart sing. Happy Valentimes!

    josh-at-avpreserve:

    U-matic my heart sing. Happy Valentimes!

     
  4. 16:15 27th Jan 2014  by cantstoplovingumatic

    "Glenn told me that he did have his vintage tapes — in storage, mostly on a now-obsolete format called U-matic."

     

     
  5. image: Download

    Spotted these U-matic decks in the 1999 teen romance Drive Me Crazy (starring Melissa Joan Hart). The shot is of the control room of a High School TV station, which reminded me a lot of my own High School TV station, where I first handled U-matic tapes and equipment around the time of this movie. The top deck looks a lot like our Sony BVU-950, and you can see an edit controller on the left. 
Please don’t ask me why I was watching this movie. 

    Spotted these U-matic decks in the 1999 teen romance Drive Me Crazy (starring Melissa Joan Hart). The shot is of the control room of a High School TV station, which reminded me a lot of my own High School TV station, where I first handled U-matic tapes and equipment around the time of this movie. The top deck looks a lot like our Sony BVU-950, and you can see an edit controller on the left. 

    Please don’t ask me why I was watching this movie. 

     
  6. 11:55 11th Oct 2013  by cantstoplovingumatic

    Notes: 5

    When we catalog our tapes, we’re sure to record the type of case they’re housed in. There are two or three common types, but the most distinct is one we’ve taken to calling the “latching clamshell” in our records. They look like this: 

    image

    image

    Recently our colleague Alan told us that he knew these cases as “mailers”, as they were used to send tapes through the mail, without additional packaging. Since many of our tapes are music videos or promotional materials, it makes sense that they’d have traveled through the mail. These cases are also remarkably solid—the latch keeps them firmly shut, and the plastic is thick and robust. They close so tightly I wonder if they’re not waterproof. 

    The other day I was cataloging the above tape and noticed the patent numbers on the case. On a whim I looked up the numbers and found the following 3M patents, all from 1978-79: 

    • 4,177,896, ”recessed hook and handle for a plastic box” 
    • 4,153,178, “Double-acting latch for hinged plastic box”
    • 4,211,337, “Multiple-point hinge for double-wall plastic box.” 

    There are diagrams, of course: 

    image

    Call me crazy, but after handling so many of these cases, it’s neat to learn about their development. Here’s part of the description from one of the patents: 

    The novel latch inherently presents a clean, uncluttered appearance and is readily engineered at low cost to have a useful life equal to that of the box. Laboratory tests of a blow-molded plastic box of double-wall construction equipped with the novel latch indicate that the latch should be able to withstand rough treatment such as that sometimes encountered in the mails while remaining virtually immune to accidental opening. 

    Immune to accidental opening! I believe it. I had no idea that the cases were double walled, either, but I can now see how this would help protect tapes being handled roughly as they go through the “mails.” 

     
  7. 13:55 25th Sep 2013  by cantstoplovingumatic

    Notes: 2

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    These U-matics were just brought over from our offsite storage facility: about 2-300 tapes, mostly music videos from the late 80s and early 90s. This is the last large group of tapes we have to catalog for the project! We hope. 

    These U-matics were just brought over from our offsite storage facility: about 2-300 tapes, mostly music videos from the late 80s and early 90s. This is the last large group of tapes we have to catalog for the project! We hope. 

     
  8. 16:49 12th Sep 2013  by kellishay

    Notes: 8

    image: Download

    Example of loss of signal while digitizing. This series of neon green video sanfu’s and audio peaks went on for about 20 seconds and knocked the audio and video out of synch.
For this project, I’m using a Sony VO9800 patched in to an AJA IO through a patch bay, connected to a Mac Pro via Firewire 800. A dedicated drive and an external TBC might help in cases like this one.
This shot is of Kenny Rogers performing “The Gambler” in 1979. Mr. Rogers will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year. 

    Example of loss of signal while digitizing. This series of neon green video sanfu’s and audio peaks went on for about 20 seconds and knocked the audio and video out of synch.

    For this project, I’m using a Sony VO9800 patched in to an AJA IO through a patch bay, connected to a Mac Pro via Firewire 800. A dedicated drive and an external TBC might help in cases like this one.

    This shot is of Kenny Rogers performing “The Gambler” in 1979. Mr. Rogers will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year. 

     
  9. 13:24 4th Sep 2013  by cantstoplovingumatic

    Notes: 2

    Tags: u-maticarchives

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    Sent to us by a friend, this is a page from the manual to our BVU-950 deck (if you have a copy, EMAIL ME). Both helpful and mystifying (check out that Error #10). 

    Sent to us by a friend, this is a page from the manual to our BVU-950 deck (if you have a copy, EMAIL ME). Both helpful and mystifying (check out that Error #10). 

     
  10. 10:01 8th Jul 2013  by cantstoplovingumatic

    Tags: archives u-matic design JVC

    image: Download