• Rebecca Fraimow, rebecca_fraimow@wgbh.org, NDSR Resident, WGBH
  • Casey Davis, casey_davis@wgbh.org, Project Manager, American Archive of Public Broadcasting, WGBH

Here’s a story to send shivers down archival spines: when transferring video files off LTO for the American Archive project, WGBH got an initial failure rate of 57%. After repeat tries, the rates improved; still, an unnervingly large percentage of files were never able to be transferred successfully. Even more unnerving, going public with our horror story got a big response from other archives using LTO – it seems like many institutions are having similarly scary results. What are the real risks with LTO tape? Are there steps that archives should be taking to better circumvent those risks? This presentation will share information about LTO storage failures across archives world and discuss the process of investigating the problem at WGBH by testing different methods of data retrieval from LTO (direct and networked downloads, individual file retrieval and bulk data dump, use of LTO 4 and LTO 6 decks) and using checksum comparisons and file analysis and characterization tools such as ffprobe, mediainfo and exiftool to analyze failed files. We’ll also present whatever results we’ve managed to turn up by the time of Code4Lib!