doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts


If there was any doubt of the power of social and its ability to take our learning into new places, it should be laid to rest when you read this.

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of wax recording of audio. I was, as a kid, and when we went to Chicago for a professional learning event, I took a tour of a museum during my free time and saw/heard an exhibit of wax recordings. I was blown away and all of a sudden innovation in records made complete sense.

Last night, I shared this story to my Facebook account

Wax Cylinders Hold Audio From a Century Ago. The Library Is Listening.

The fact that I’m listening to streaming radio as I type this is not lost on me.

I’m always impressed when something that catches my attention gathers the attention of others and help me learn just a little bit more.

From Mary-Kay’s reply, I went here.

which led me to these fascinating reports.

and how they work and why they should be restored

Unlike current productions which tend to be overproduced, these early records often just go straight to the facts and storytelling. One thing that I have in my record collection is a collection of stories from The Shadow. It’s nice to turn all the lights off and listen to the audio with Orson Welles and Agnes Moorehead as the lead characters. There’s something extra special about the audio-only experience.

Yes, the sound is often crackling and nowhere near perfect like we enjoy with current audio and yet, it’s humbling to think that this was the best recording available at that time and that the content lives on. Of course, you can’t run into Walmart and buy a wax audio player but when we have the technology to read and record with today’s technology, it’s something extra special.

A special thanks to Mary-Kay for taking my learning moment and raising it higher and a little closer to home.


3 responses to “Waxy”

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