The topic was this week was the long process of digitising sound and pictures, with the actual first movie from 1826, which we got to see during the lecture. Albeit it was only two seconds long (and someone had made a funny parody of repeating parts from the incredibly short video on youtube), I can just imagine the impact it must have made on the public back then. The first photographs had started showing up around the same time, the earliest surviving picture also from 1826, depicting a scene from nature. This was the work of French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, who had produced his first photogravure etching back in 1822. Through collaboration with another Frenchman, Louis Daguerre, he improved the photographic process and created what became known as daguerreotype. This first prototype of photographs soon became very popular throughout the world and several daguerreotypes have been preserved to our time.
Nowadays, few realise how important digitisation of old film and sound material is. We were shown a process on preserving old recording, interviews e.g. As a researching, the best option is to make a perfect copy of the original recording, digitised it, and then work on how to get rid of additional, annoying sounds (such as wheezing sounds, murmuring in the background). It had never struck me as how difficult digitising sound can actually be and my respect for researchers and keepers of records multiplied severally.
But digitisation has also increased among normal citizens, who aren't inclined to the academic world in any manner. Many smaller companies offer services such as converting old vinyl records to mp3 format and old VHS video-cassettes to DVD format, in order to preserve precious memories and personal keepsakes. Sounds very practical, although I can't claim to have any personal experience about the process. Digitisation has become a part of our everyday life, whether we really acknowledge it or not.
I myself, am quite content with the existence of moving pictures and digitised sound and how widespread it is - I really can't imagine life without movies or music (mp3 format, of course). Or the wonderful combination of these two such as this following video. Enjoy!