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   It's a Festivus miracle: Digital transfer saves oldest ever Christmas sound recordings from 1902

24 Dec 2012 04:11 AM   |   6052 clicks   |   Geek.com
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Gyrfalcon    [TotalFark]  
WOW.

24 Dec 2012 04:18 AM
JohnnyC     
For some reason I'm having a hard time finding the recordings to actually listen to them. Would be interesting... if I could find them.

24 Dec 2012 04:22 AM
Mock26     
They suck.

24 Dec 2012 04:25 AM
cmunic8r99    [TotalFark]  

JohnnyC: For some reason I'm having a hard time finding the recordings to actually listen to them. Would be interesting... if I could find them.


Link

24 Dec 2012 04:27 AM
robohobo     
The real Festivus miracle was finding naked pictures of Donna Life.

/fap achieved

24 Dec 2012 04:42 AM
JohnnyC     

cmunic8r99: JohnnyC: For some reason I'm having a hard time finding the recordings to actually listen to them. Would be interesting... if I could find them.

Link


Thanks

24 Dec 2012 04:42 AM
Korzine     
I understand wanting to keep it authentic and not wanting to remove the crackling, but you think they could at least reduce the crackling or boost the actual important sounds or something. I can barely hear anything over the incredibly loud crackling. Bells? If you say so, all I hear is krskrskrksrksrks.

24 Dec 2012 04:42 AM
robohobo     

robohobo: The real Festivus miracle was finding naked pictures of Donna Life.

/fap achieved


Donna REED. REED. I have no earthly idea why I typed Life.

24 Dec 2012 04:44 AM
the_chief     
How'd they do it? Lasers?

24 Dec 2012 04:53 AM
Adolph Oliver Bush     
Can I just say...

Whoopty f'n do.

24 Dec 2012 04:59 AM
yourmomlovestetris     
Ya gotta be careful with those wax cylinders. Especially if you're old and kind of Parkinsons-y.

24 Dec 2012 04:59 AM
Radak    [TotalFark]  

yourmomlovestetris: Ya gotta be careful with those wax cylinders. Especially if you're old and kind of Parkinsons-y.


Didn't even have to click the link to know what you were linking.

"Oh, f--- shiat."

24 Dec 2012 05:06 AM
Austinoftx     

the_chief: How'd they do it? Lasers?


They've invented a number of "wear free" methods. Lasers, an ultrasonic beam, or infra-red light. You can buy these record players today, but they're not among the highest quality.

24 Dec 2012 05:07 AM
Neondistraction     

yourmomlovestetris: Ya gotta be careful with those wax cylinders. Especially if you're old and kind of Parkinsons-y.


Somehow I knew what clip that was going to be before clicking on it. I've seen that countless times, but that old dude's reaction still cracks me up.

24 Dec 2012 05:09 AM
Radak    [TotalFark]  

Neondistraction: yourmomlovestetris: Ya gotta be careful with those wax cylinders. Especially if you're old and kind of Parkinsons-y.

Somehow I knew what clip that was going to be before clicking on it. I've seen that countless times, but that old dude's reaction still cracks me up.


It is pretty funny, although I still feel sorry for the guy.  But really, most of those Edison cylinders are actually not worth very much.  We don't know what the specific contents were of the one he broke, but it was probably nothing too special (or he wouldn't be carrying it off to TechTV).

I picked up a few of those cylinders in an antique shop a while back for someining like three bucks each.  Never did get anything to play them on, so I don't even know what they are.  Probably early Milli Vanilli.

24 Dec 2012 05:13 AM
buckler     

Austinoftx: the_chief: How'd they do it? Lasers?

They've invented a number of "wear free" methods. Lasers, an ultrasonic beam, or infra-red light. You can buy these record players today, but they're not among the highest quality.


Hm. When we experimented with some of these techniques in an exhibits lab where I worked, we found that, between things like the laser's ability to focus onto a single groove and maintain track on the (usually distorted or wobbly) cylinder was next to impossible. It'd be interesting to see what's been done since. I would guess that they bit the bullet and actually played them with a stylus, taking care to get the recording in one take.

24 Dec 2012 05:20 AM
Frederf     
Or scan the whole thing as a complex surface and sort it all out of the 3d model.

24 Dec 2012 05:45 AM
KrispyKritter     

JohnnyC: For some reason I'm having a hard time finding the recordings to actually listen to them. Would be interesting... if I could find them.


Forgive me if I've already mentioned this to you. WFMU is a listener supported commercial free volunteer driven radio station with a wide variety of shows. Their website is wonderful. One of their programs features a schtick with a straight man announcer who tries in vain to keep a grizzled old fellow in line. The old geezer character has access to a plethora of vintage recordings he shares with listeners ion between story telling tangents. Good fun is had by all. The other DJ's do much different formats/genres.  (wfmu.org)

24 Dec 2012 06:07 AM
Scrog Monster     
'ad a real East End accent 'e did. Not the way the rich folk talk these days.

24 Dec 2012 06:16 AM
Point02GPA    [TotalFark]  
KrispyKritter~

Thanks for the heads up on WFMU. Looks interesting.

24 Dec 2012 07:33 AM
0Icky0     
Those wax cylinders have a warmth and richness that you don't get with modern digital recordings.

24 Dec 2012 07:47 AM
SnarfVader     
i212.photobucket.comView Full Size


Approves.

24 Dec 2012 07:54 AM
ChubbyTiger     

0Icky0: Those wax cylinders have a warmth and richness that you don't get with modern digital recordings.


I used to think so, too, but they'll never match the honesty of a live pianoforte performance.

24 Dec 2012 08:06 AM
ko_kyi     

Radak: "Oh, f--- shiat."


Ok that...can't be good.

24 Dec 2012 08:18 AM
Devolving_Spud     
The two cylinders that were *not* recovered:

"Women of the street using saucy language for Daddy"

and

"Daddy drank too much cider and starts ranting and shouting abuse halfway through Christmas Carol with family, 1904"

24 Dec 2012 08:34 AM
p4p3rm4t3     
img191.imageshack.usView Full Size

/oblig

24 Dec 2012 08:39 AM
Ow My Balls     
The sound is thought to be the oldest Christmas recordings on record, as they date back to 1902.

This one is possibly older, 1899-1901.

/tinfoil.com FTW

24 Dec 2012 08:55 AM
Ow My Balls     

p4p3rm4t3: [img191.imageshack.us image 480x360]
/oblig


Even though I can't seem to verify this on Snopes, this is assuredly fake.

(1) It's not brown, so it's most probably not rare. Probably past 1903 or newer, since cylinders were black by then and were mass produced ("molded") from a master recording, unlike the brown 1890s cylinders that had to be individually recorded. I can't see on the video if there is a label embossed on the top of the cylinder, but that would be a dead giveaway that it's newer and not rare. Older, more valuable ones had paper labels glued on them or just came with slips of paper inside the carton.

(2) He's not handling it properly and sounds like an idiot. Certainly no authority on the matter. "You can see the tracks go this way...it records much more accurately..." Huh? It's a goddamned cylinder record. The grooves go "the same way" on all of them, and they're all acoustically recorded (meaning no electricity is used in the recording process). If anything, the ones that would be better recorded are newer and not the rare ones.

(3) No explanation is given to why it's rare, what it contains, etc. I cannot seem to find a longer clip that might yield more information. It's vague...because it's probably fake.

/record nerd

24 Dec 2012 09:43 AM
Radak    [TotalFark]  

Ow My Balls: Even though I can't seem to verify this on Snopes, this is assuredly fake.


It's not fake.  It was on Tech TV back before it became G4 (was this The Screen Savers?).  Everything you say about the cylinder, however, is correct.  It's almost certainly not one of the rare ones.  I remember seeing a comment from the guy later where he claimed that the hot studio lighting had weakened the cylinder.  Why heat would make a wax cylinder  more breakable is beyond me.

24 Dec 2012 09:53 AM
Ow My Balls     
It's not fake.

By "fake," I mean the authenticity of the cylinder being a rare, valuable one. This guy has a $2 cylinder in the clip that he's brought to break on purpose and troll the show.

24 Dec 2012 09:57 AM
Valiente     

robohobo: robohobo: The real Festivus miracle was finding naked pictures of Donna Life.

/fap achieved

Donna REED. REED. I have no earthly idea why I typed Life.


It's a wonderful Reed?

Oh crap, now I just pictured naked Reed and naked Betty White in hot 1940s Sapphic action.

www.google.caView Full Size


Rivet that, Rosie.

24 Dec 2012 10:27 AM
hodge-podge     
I refuse to listen unless it came from 180g hand-cut wax stock.

i50.tinypic.comView Full Size

24 Dec 2012 01:01 PM
CigaretteSmokingMan     

p4p3rm4t3: [img191.imageshack.us image 480x360]
/oblig


That was priceless when I watched it.

24 Dec 2012 01:56 PM
douchebag/hater     
'Festivus'?

You're than enamored with a sit-com that has been off the air for more than a decade that you need to use that in a headline?

Get a life.

24 Dec 2012 04:14 PM
Neondistraction     

douchebag/hater: 'Festivus'?

You're than enamored with a sit-com that has been off the air for more than a decade that you need to use that in a headline?

Get a life.


You should take your own advice there, Francis.

24 Dec 2012 04:52 PM
jayessell     
I'm spending some of Xmas converting VHS to DVD which I can later rip to mp4s.
I have a turntable I used years ago to convert vinyl into CDs.
My question...
I have a dozen or so 78s, but the turntable only supports 33 1/3 and 45 rpm.
The obvious solution is play at 45 and change the sample rate.
Any software that does that?
Yes... One is Christmas music.

24 Dec 2012 05:51 PM
i upped my meds-up yours     
Eeek. Get a 78 stylus, at least. That way it won't be skating around down in the bottom of the great big groove, and you'll get at least as much music as noise.

24 Dec 2012 08:12 PM
RenownedCurator     

cmunic8r99: JohnnyC: For some reason I'm having a hard time finding the recordings to actually listen to them. Would be interesting... if I could find them.

Link


Thanks, that's a great link -- I've been sitting up listening to people celebrating their Christmas 108 years ago, absolutely fascinating. I wonder what happened to that 7 year old kid who was singing "The Minstrel Boy"? He would have been prime WWI fodder ten years later; here's hoping that song wasn't too prophetic of his eventual fate.

25 Dec 2012 05:23 AM
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