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Scientists Play World's Oldest Commercial Recording

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the before-cassette-tapes dept.

Music 105

sciencehabit writes "The scratchy, 12-second audio clip of a woman reciting the first verse of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star doesn't sound like much. But the faint, 123-year-old recording—etched into a warped metal cylinder and brought back to life after decades of silence by a three-dimensional (3D) optical scanning technique—appears to belong to the first record intended for sale to the public. Made for a talking doll briefly sold by phonograph inventor Thomas Edison, the early record is the oldest known American recording of a woman's voice and may be the oldest known record produced at Edison's laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey."

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105 comments

RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringement (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675048)

This unauthorized duplication and public performance of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is in clear violation of the "Copyright Lasts For Fucking Ever Act of 2009" and we insist you pay residuals to the Sony/BMG Music Group, which has acquired copyright to all songs written or recorded before 1923.

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675182)

Do you think the copyright demands royalties for using a 3D scanner on cylinder phonographs?

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (2)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675234)

Guffah! Obviously you didn't read Section 1497201-309.5 of the CLFFE Act regarding 3D optical scans of cylinder phonographs!!! Man, that thing is explicit.

Actually, RIAA would like to.. (2, Funny)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675244)

I would think RIAA would demand 3D scanner be illegal to own or operate as it is a device designed to circumvent "copy protection" known as "obsolescence."

Re:Actually, RIAA would like to.. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675346)

I would think RIAA would demand 3D scanner be illegal to own or operate as it is a device designed to circumvent "copy protection" known as "obsolescence."

Past DMCA rulemakings by the Register of Copyrights show a pattern of deeming obsolescence a valid exception to anticircumvention laws.

Re:Actually, RIAA would like to.. (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675488)

I would think RIAA would demand 3D scanner be illegal to own or operate as it is a device designed to circumvent "copy protection" known as "obsolescence."

Past DMCA rulemakings by the Register of Copyrights show a pattern of deeming obsolescence a valid exception to anticircumvention laws.

Is this the legal basis for NES/SNES emulators, for example?

Re:Actually, RIAA would like to.. (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675890)

I would think RIAA would demand 3D scanner be illegal to own or operate as it is a device designed to circumvent "copy protection" known as "obsolescence."

Past DMCA rulemakings by the Register of Copyrights show a pattern of deeming obsolescence a valid exception to anticircumvention laws.

Is this the legal basis for NES/SNES emulators, for example?

I would agree, which would also explain why the mad dash to get all old, worthwhile games, onto paid Virtual Console type offerings from the company. It's hard to argue the obsolescence is a valid excuse when it's still being sold, digitally, from an infinite supply.

Re:Actually, RIAA would like to.. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675976)

Past DMCA rulemakings by the Register of Copyrights show a pattern of deeming obsolescence a valid exception to anticircumvention laws.

That only applies to the act of circumvention; making the circumvention device is still a violation. So back to PMITA prison with them, only with one less charge.

Re:Actually, RIAA would like to.. (2)

RDW (41497) | more than 2 years ago | (#36677246)

"I would think RIAA would demand 3D scanner be illegal to own or operate as it is a device designed to circumvent "copy protection" known as "obsolescence.""

Not to mention circumventing Edison's original media lock technology:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/business/yourmoney/11edison.html?pagewanted=2 [nytimes.com]

"An adapter permitted Victor records to be played on an Edison Disc Phonograph, but Edison forbade the sale of an attachment that permitted his records to be played on competitorsâ(TM) machines."

Of course if you wanted to rip his competitor's discs, you'd probably be violating their EULA - the language doesn't seem to have changed much in a century:

http://www.natch.net/stuff/78_license/ [natch.net]

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675816)

Sony encourages its customers to only use wax phonograph cylinders employing their Extended Copy Protection System technology.

Bruce Perens commented on this development, "this is a rootkit!!, my American Graphophone(tm) was totally pw3n3d!!"

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (1)

Warshadow (132109) | more than 2 years ago | (#36676716)

Edison probably stole the recording in the first place, much like he stole many other ideas and "IP".

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36682270)

Every time someone is successful with an invention or innovation, you get a million blowhards and runners-up shooting their mouths off to their buddies "He stole that shit from *ME* man!" But it really only goes to show that an invention is only as good as the much harder work that goes into taking that invention and making it useful and practical, then effectively deploying it so that it actually gets USED.

So you get ten different people working on inventing a light bulb. That doesn't mean all ten are going to be equally skilled at making it practical, building factories to make it, getting it to market, promoting it, getting the general public to accept it, etc. So nine people may claim theft, but the fact is that the tenth just had something that they didn't: follow-through.

And John Ford didn't invent the car either. But he did put one in every driveway.

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36686032)

Evidence please...

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (0)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 2 years ago | (#36676950)

Actually, seeing how common it is these days, I'm surprised the page doesn't have a gigantic "this newly restored recording is © us, now, here, until the hell freezes over" warning... followed by a lot of pointless whining when it gets uploaded to Wikipedia under the auspices of "no, seriously, read the law books some day, there's quite a lot of stuff about 1:1 reproductions there".

So thanks to the scientists - this is a remarkable piece of digital restoration and will hopefully inspire other restoration efforts, some of which may even turn out profitable. But there just is no copyright on a 123-year-old recording itself.

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#36679758)

Why is this modded Funny? It's the goddamn Truth! Listen to Metropolitan.Orchestra-Medley.overture.(1900).-.LoC.mp3 [loc.gov] - this is a recording from October 10th, 1900 (over 110 years ago). So you'd think it would be in the public domain, right? Bzzzt.

Rights & Access

This recording is protected by state copyright laws in the United States. The Library of Congress has obtained a license from rights holders to offer it as streamed audio only. Downloading is not permitted. The authorization of rights holders of the recording is required in order to obtain a copy of the recording. Contact jukebox@loc.gov for more information.

The funny part is that you didn't own that record, according the label it was leased to you for the purpose of producing sound directly from the record [loc.gov]. And that was the state of the nation in the year 1900 A.D.

Re:RIAA to sue scientists for copyright infringeme (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36682300)

That's because with enough legal wrangling, you can actually claim copyright on the MP3 itself. The original phonograph and recording isn't copyrighted, but the *MP3 version* is. It's absolutely bizarre, but such is the state of copyright in a country where Disney gets to write our copyright law.

I wonder.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675142)

If people back in 1888 were debating if people in the 21st century would be even able to playback their records or not?

Re:I wonder.. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675512)

If people back in 1888 were debating if people in the 21st century would be even able to playback their records or not?

They weren't sure if people in the 20th century would be able to play back their recordings. No new technology is a sure thing in the marketplace, and without an accepted industry standard a "Beta Max" compatible version could have been produced but lost to the ages because it didn't win its format war.

It is an ad... (1)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675174)


It is an advertisement for a well known 1800's chiropractor named... ah ok I'm just joking about that... :P

Re:It is an ad... (1)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675710)

Did someone hear a DUCK???
I would have sworn I heard QUACKING.
Its funny how desperate you are to slide your quackery into any post you can.

Re:It is an ad... (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 2 years ago | (#36679242)

It is an advertisement

(FTW)

Dood you don't have to listen to that, theres AdBlock and NoScript you know /s

Also, regarding you constant selfpromotion and stuff, you're doing it right, I'd like to hear how good but I bet the ROI from you post is over 9000% - I may not be your target because I don't have use for Doctors in my normal life and maybe thats why I find them funny. But it's dangerous to go alone, use this [robietherobot.com].

I'm not feeding a troll, in all PHB style let me spin that as "I'm empowering the trolls"

Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover mp3s (1)

oxnyx (653869) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675180)

Wow, nothing tech to restore lost tech, tho I doubt in 123 years time the lost mp3 codex will be able to be restored by taking photographs of a few broken hdds. Very cool that it was possible to get anything back.

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (3, Insightful)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675222)

Forget MP3s, I wish it were possible to recover all the Microsoft ADPCM WAV music stuck on my inaccessible zip disks!

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675284)

No one in their right mind wants to recover anything with "microsoft" in the name.

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

jmccarty (1510147) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675306)

I have a zip drive sitting in my closet doing nothing. Two of them in fact. Want one?

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675628)

Sure. Now send me a computer with a parallel port...

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#36676904)

Try digging in the junk bins at thrift stores or recycling centers for a USB model?

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36681740)

Around here, the secondhand stores won't accept any computer-related parts, after someone complained that a donated computer had private information on it. Not just hard drives, but printers, monitors, cords, keyboards, etc., are only accepted at an annual event where everything goes straight into a recycler. I think the whole thing was cooked up by the local retailers.

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36678352)

I've got a couple of SCSI zip drives....

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36678372)

Forgot to mention that I also have a SyQuest drive with three disks. That one hasn't seen much use in quite a while. I don't know if I have any music on it though.

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675548)

Unless the disks are damaged, it is not even hard or expensive: you can still use a USB or SCSI (but not parallel) Zip drive with Windows 7, and use SC Audio Converter to convert the files into more accessible formats.

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675702)

ADPCM WAV is stupidly easy to decode. The WAV-RIFF container is well documented. ADPCM stands for adaptive differential pulse-code modulation which means it's just pulse code modulation but instead of storing the wave-form (like in raw PCM) it stores the differential. The adaptive part just means that you can scale the size of samples who's differential you are calculating. It's just basic compression techniques applied to PCM wrapped in a very straight forward header. Your only issue is going to come from the zip disks.

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675784)

trivial. Maybe if you tried you could get them? did you ever thing of that? trying?

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36676320)

Others have suggested solutions to the hardware problems. Sox [sourceforge.net] apparently supports Microsoft's ADPCM implementation in WAV format and it handles conversion of sound files to many other less archaic formats. I've used sox, but not for that particular format, so I don't know for sure if it works, but it is listed on the supported formats page [sourceforge.net].

Re:Now in a 123 yrs will they be able to recover m (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675762)

No format will ever be lost again.

WE have the internet, where migrating from one to a news one is easier, and the old won always lingers around.

in 123 years, there will be 123 year of very accurate history, with all the information we need to use old files.

The Edison Rick Roller Doll (1)

xleeko (551231) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675230)

Scientists were surprised to find that the tin cylinder containing the lyrics "Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down". Lead investigator Hubert Hvarquhar explained that "the dolls were part of a short-lived gilded-age custom where well-to-do society members would give each other gifts that spontaneously started singing and could not be shut off. Many of the dolls were smashed in rage leading to their comparative rarity today."

Re:The Edison Rick Roller Doll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675560)

I could use a TARDIS right about now...

Re:The Edison Rick Roller Doll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675678)

So, THAT'S what caused the Great Time War!

Cool (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675238)

Would have been better had they not recorded the cylinder during what sounds like a tornado, though. Also I am not sure I like her voice... seems a bit strained at points -- e.g. about half way through it sounds as though she struggles (possibly forgetting the lyrics)?

Re:Cool (2)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675728)

I'm not up on my recording history but if memory serves there was no amplification, so you had to yell into a funnel to make the cylinder etching device leave an impression in the wax master.

Re:Cool (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#36676058)

That makes sense... it does sound like she might have been shouting and that would also explain the pause (getting her breath back)

Don't let THIS guy hold it! (2)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675274)

Re:Don't let THIS guy hold it! (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675602)

I remember watching that...man, I miss TechTV. G4 blows...everything is video games and cops reruns. What a waste.

Re:Don't let THIS guy hold it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675854)

Yeah, but whatcha gonna do?

Re:Don't let THIS guy hold it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675706)

Man, what kind of sick fuck are you to enjoy watching that? It's socially awkward and empathy-less nerds like you who give all of us a bad name.

Hide the knives (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675278)

I can clearly hear the talking doll saying, "I don't like you. I'm going to kill you."

A Woman? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675496)

Frankly, I'm not convinced that is a woman's voice. Sounds like a man putting on a 'woman's voice'. They probably stopped turning the cylinder shortly before Edison's work crew started rolling around the floor laughing. They found that sort of thing funny back then. Being all manly an all of that...

Ah-HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675546)

I can see the new networks now...:

Scientists discover that in the days before gasoline became commonplace, Thomas Edison was the first to develop nightmare fuel. A recently converted 123-year-old recording demonstrates that his invention still holds enough power today to provide up to 30 trouser-soilings per minute (aka TSPM)! More details at 11....

Wrong title (0)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675618)

The title says that "Scientists Play World's Oldest Commercial Recording." But actually, that's not true. From the summary: 123-year-old recording—etched into a warped metal cylinder and brought back to life after decades of silence by a three-dimensional (3D) optical scanning technique

Playing an optical scan of the worlds oldest commercial recording is not the same as playing the recording itself, any more than viewing a scan of the Mona Lisa is the same as viewing the real Mona Lisa, no matter how faithfully reproduced.

Now, if they had resurrected a recorder/player device that actually "played" the cylinder, that would be different.

Re:Wrong title (2)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675724)

But listening to the recording by bouncing light off its surface and receiving the reflections is a lot like viewing the real Mona Lisa by bouncing ambient light off its surface and receiving the reflections in your eyeballs. It's your brain's fault that you can't see sound or smell colors or hear scents.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36676442)

It's your brain's fault that you can't see sound or smell colors or hear scents.

I hear LSD can help with that.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36677828)

But listening to the recording by bouncing light off its surface and receiving the reflections is a lot like viewing the real Mona Lisa by bouncing ambient light off its surface and receiving the reflections in your eyeballs. It's your brain's fault that you can't see sound or smell colors or hear scents.

But bouncing light off the Mona Lisa doesn't require digital signal processing it just occurs. Playing the record with the original stylus also doesn't require any DSP. Bouncing light off of it does require DSP to convert it to sound that you can hear.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#36678598)

But bouncing light off the Mona Lisa doesn't require digital signal processing it just occurs.

What do you think your brain does with data that comes in via the optic nerves? Just because it's done with synapses doesn't make it any less signal processing.

Re:Wrong title (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36675812)

It's exactly like playing the recording, don't be stupid. It's NOT playing the cylinder; which is different.

Why would anyone go through the pointless effort of rebuilding a player? It's not like it's technically new, challenging, or interesting.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36677866)

It's exactly like playing the recording, don't be stupid. It's NOT playing the cylinder; which is different.

Why would anyone go through the pointless effort of rebuilding a player? It's not like it's technically new, challenging, or interesting.

It is playing a copy of the recording, not the recording -- just like an mp3 is a copy of a recording and not the original. If it isn't the original, it isn't the oldest commercial recording, just a facsimile of it. Like I said in my original post, still interesting use of modern technology, but not quite what the title says.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36680274)

Nice try, but if you want to win this year's "Obvious Pedantic Faggot" award you're going to have to try to bring your pedantry up to the level of your cocksucking. The judges really look for the whole package.

Re:Wrong title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36681028)

From my point of view, it's exactly playing the recording. Reading it with an iron stylus or an optical one is basically the same thing.
Mp3 isn't exactly the recording because you loss things during the compression but flac on the other hand is exactly it.
I mean what define a recording is the information it contains not its physical properties. Unless of course you actually believe that you have never read a book but only facsimiles.

Re:Wrong title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36678240)

Why would anyone go through the pointless exercise of brewing their own beer, or playing a musical instrument or painting with watercolors? Some people enjoy such activities even if they have been supplanted with modern technology. I disagree that it's not challenging or interesting anyway.

Avoiding damage to historical artifacts (2)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#36676084)

Now, if they had resurrected a recorder/player device that actually "played" the cylinder, that would be different.

The articles doesn't say but they may even have an original player. It doesn't really matter:

1) The cylinder is warped so it may not be possible to play it on the original device without some dubious restoration.

2) Even if it wasn't warped, actually playing the recording with an original or reconstructed device would almost certainly cause further damage to the recording. That may not be a big deal for some old 45 where there may still be thousands of surviving copies but Edison's cylinder is a one of a kind historical artifact.

The cylinder likely sat around for many decades unplayed, not because it couldn't be done but because the artifact was too precious to subject to that kind of treatment. With the optical scan, we get the best of both world: We get to hear every note and scratch and we get to preserve the cylinder for future generations as it came to our own.

Re:Avoiding damage to historical artifacts (1, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36677904)

Now, if they had resurrected a recorder/player device that actually "played" the cylinder, that would be different.

The articles doesn't say but they may even have an original player. It doesn't really matter:

1) The cylinder is warped so it may not be possible to play it on the original device without some dubious restoration.

2) Even if it wasn't warped, actually playing the recording with an original or reconstructed device would almost certainly cause further damage to the recording. That may not be a big deal for some old 45 where there may still be thousands of surviving copies but Edison's cylinder is a one of a kind historical artifact.

The cylinder likely sat around for many decades unplayed, not because it couldn't be done but because the artifact was too precious to subject to that kind of treatment. With the optical scan, we get the best of both world: We get to hear every note and scratch and we get to preserve the cylinder for future generations as it came to our own.

The conservatory in Kansas City has numerous original wax recordings that the students can use and listen too. Not quite as old as this but only short a few years. And, yes, they "play" them on the original machines. Btw, optical scan does not let you hear every note and scratch, at least not the original notes and scratches, it is a digital representation of an analog signal, or put differently, it is a copy.

Re:Wrong title (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36676106)

Restricting the phrase "play [the] recording" to some arbitrary subset of playback devices is not very helpful, correct, or interesting. Why is this modded up?

Re:Wrong title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36676142)

I disagree. It's the recording that matters most, not the medium.
A sufficiently high-resolution photograph of the Mona Lisa carries all the artistic value the Mona Lisa has. And if someone at the time the La Gioconda was painted had smeared some random blotches of paint on a canvas, you and I probably wouldn't take a second look at it, even if it used the exact same paints as Leonardo did.
Other than being a carrier of the information, the medium is interesting for forensic purposes only.
Besides, the scientists actually did play the original medium, they had to otherwise they couldn't have handed us the mp3. They just used a needle made of photons - and be happy that they did, since it's a fragile object.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36676464)

... snip ...

Playing an optical scan of the worlds oldest commercial recording is not the same as playing the recording itself, any more than viewing a scan of the Mona Lisa is the same as viewing the real Mona Lisa, no matter how faithfully reproduced.

.. more snip ...

... methinks Dcnjoe60 has split an imaginary hair.

sc

Re:Wrong title (2)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#36676634)

The title says that "Scientists Play World's Oldest Commercial Recording." But actually, that's not true. From the summary: 123-year-old recording—etched into a warped metal cylinder and brought back to life after decades of silence by a three-dimensional (3D) optical scanning technique

Playing an optical scan of the worlds oldest commercial recording is not the same as playing the recording itself, any more than viewing a scan of the Mona Lisa is the same as viewing the real Mona Lisa, no matter how faithfully reproduced.

Now, if they had resurrected a recorder/player device that actually "played" the cylinder, that would be different.

I don't know. I think, by your logic, CD players don't actually play CD's. It might not play the cylinder the same way the original player did. But it's some kind of music player.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36677956)

The title says that "Scientists Play World's Oldest Commercial Recording." But actually, that's not true. From the summary: 123-year-old recording—etched into a warped metal cylinder and brought back to life after decades of silence by a three-dimensional (3D) optical scanning technique

Playing an optical scan of the worlds oldest commercial recording is not the same as playing the recording itself, any more than viewing a scan of the Mona Lisa is the same as viewing the real Mona Lisa, no matter how faithfully reproduced.

Now, if they had resurrected a recorder/player device that actually "played" the cylinder, that would be different.

I don't know. I think, by your logic, CD players don't actually play CD's. It might not play the cylinder the same way the original player did. But it's some kind of music player.

CD players do play CDs. However, a CD is not the original recording, at least not usually, but a copy of the multi track digital recording that has been mixed down. Even still, if I took an original CD and ripped it to mp3 files, they would be a facsimile of the the CD, but listening to them is not the same as listing to the original recording. It is similar, though. Effectively, they took a tin platter and converted it to a digital representation much like ripping a CD to mp3s.

Think of a movie restorations. If at all possible, they try to restore the original copies of films and only use copies of the originals if they must. The reason being is that the copy is not quite the same as the original. It may be good enough for the average person, but from a technical perspective it is different. Same with a digital copy of the original recording.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 2 years ago | (#36679740)

You know, I've never seen someone defend their (wrong) argument so strongly before on /.. However, this reproduction of the recording is likely MORE accurate than could be made by the original device. The needle that recorded this cylinder is quite likely different than any surviving needle that could be used to replay the cylinder. Indeed, the recording needle itself was likely different, if even just slightly when the recording ended than when it started.

An optical examination, later processed - even digitally - by a computer will have a higher resolution and more data available to it than playback ever could have by any method in the past. They have indeed played the recording. It would be as if a quadrachromat viewed the mona lisa.

Re:Wrong title (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36679548)

No, it's just a different way of playing the same info. It's still an old recording being played back. If they said it was the "oldest playback using original equipment", that would be a different thing.

Re:Wrong title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36680338)

you can't "hear the grooves". so you're saying that if they didn't cache it, it would count?

URL for MP3 recording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675700)

I just clicked and played... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36675760)

I guess I'm a scientist now :)

That doll was not cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36676744)

According to the first inflation calculator I pulled up online, $10 in 1890 is roughly $240 in 2010. That sounds about right. I bet there weren't too many of these made. They probably found their way into the homes of some rich kids. Perhaps there were also some collectors that appreciated the novelty and took good care of the lightly-used ones. I wonder how much it would go for on Antiques Roadshow (or in a real auction).

Re:That doll was not cheap (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#36677698)

According to the first inflation calculator I pulled up online, $10 in 1890 is roughly $240 in 2010. That sounds about right. I bet there weren't too many of these made. They probably found their way into the homes of some rich kids. Perhaps there were also some collectors that appreciated the novelty and took good care of the lightly-used ones. I wonder how much it would go for on Antiques Roadshow (or in a real auction).

IIRC Grandmother (born 1880) had one of these, but a friend placed it near a fireplace and ruined it. The face was wax.

Whoa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36678074)

Pure nightmare fuel

Accent (1)

Figec (20690) | more than 2 years ago | (#36681224)

I tried hard to discern her accent. I'm curious if the North Jersey or NY accent has changed in 122 years. It sounded like the "ar" in star is drawn out like a New England accent. Of course, it's all made the more difficult by her trying to make a baby voice.

subject (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36682556)

Three minutes later, the RIAA filed suit against the scientists, claiming "unauthorized public broadcast."

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