We use the FULLTEXT search of MySQL in BOOLEAN Mode.
Searches for multiple words result in lists of entries containing at least one of them.
Searches for multiple word in double quotes result in lists of entries containing the words in the given order.
Search words suffixed with * result in lists of entries containing words starting with the given word.
Search words prefixed with + result in lists of entries guaranteed to contain the given word.
Search words prefixed with - result in lists of entries guaranteed not to contain the given word.
Why are there two download buttons for albums?
On the one hand the small playlist can be downloaded as an XSPF file (using the thin download button). It references the MP3 files on the Web.
It can be opened with a player supporting the XSPF (XML Shareable Playlist Format) format - e.g. the VLC Player. Thus they can be played, if a connection to the Internet is available for streaming the MP3 files.
On the other hand a large ZIP file can be downloaded (using the thick download button). It contains all data of the album in high quality: high-resolution FLAC files, all available images as well as an XSPF playlist which references the local FLAC files.
This playlist can be played using a player even without an open Internet connection.
Why does the selected entry of a playlist not change at the end of a track?
Playlists contain either track or album entries. At the end of a track of an album the next track of that album is played.
In the list of entries of the playlist the same album stays selected until all of its tracks have been played.
How many records are in the inventory or the repository?
Who searches for nothing will find everything.
If no search term is entered and (Search) is pressed, all entries in the inventory are found.
If, in addition, the check box "limit search to entries with digitized sound tracks" is checked, all entries in the repository are found.
New entries are added to the inventory and the repository all the time.
How can I contribute to make the archive accessible to the public?
Currently an donation of money is most useful for the project. Who owns a professional sound studio for digitization, can also contribute by doing some of the digitization work.
What can I do, if I want to hear a record which is not yet digitized?
Tell us in an e-mail which recording you would like us to digitize mentioning its SFPD ID or emphasize you wish by making a donation for our project.
Why are there far fewer sound tracks in the repository than record label photos in the inventory?
Digitizing a sound track for the repository is more time-consuming than making a photograph of the record labels for the inventory.
The work on the inventory and taking photos of the record labels is far from finished. Only a few records are digitized
during inventorization. Only when the inventory is complete, will it be possible to decide , which sound tracks to digitize first.
Why do I find many duplicate entries for some records?
The archive of the Swiss Foundation Public Domain does indeed contain quite a few multiple copies of the same record (same recording, same matrix number, ...).
Only when the inventory is complete, we shall know, how many double entries there are.
Digitizing more than one duplicate record from the same matrix permits computing higher quality sound files. ()The clicks and scratches are in different places on each copy.
We shall keep the qualitatively best and sell the others.
Before the inventory is complete, it is possible to acquire a record, that is more than once in the inventory, and become a sponsor of the project for the price of 250 CHF(record).
Why are there so many fragments of albums?
A shellac record at 78 rotations per minute contains about 2 to 5 minutes of sound.
Many concerts, symphonies, operas are much longer and were therefore recorded on many records belonging to one album.
Whenever we find a complete album in the archive, it is published as a whole. However, many fragments of albums
are to be found. Those are included in our inventory. Only when the inventory is complete, will it be possible
to determine, whether some of these fragments can be combined into complete albums.
Why is the description of the records (meta data) so rudimentary?
There are two kinds of meta data: the meta data associated with a photo in the inventory and the meta data of a digitized audio track in the repository.
The meta data of a photo just contain a transcription of the record label and enable searching of the archive.
The meta data of a digitized track or album initially contain only a copy of the content of the record label.
They are to be completed with more precise information about publication date and authors.
Some entries are accompanied by a link to a page on a Wikimedia-Server with more information.
How can I correct errors in the description of the records (meta data)?
There are two kinds of meta data: the meta data associated with a photo in the inventory and the meta data of a digitized sound track in the repository.
If record label, order number, matrix number or the transcription of the text on the record label contain an error, please send us an e-mail.
If the record label is written in a script, which cannot be typed on a Swiss keyboard (hebrew, arabic, cyrillic, ...) wir are grateful for transcriptions and translations to German or English.
Recording and improving the meta data of a digitized sound track is a very time-consuming, never-ending task for archivists and historians.
Therefore meta data of tracks and albums can be enhanced by all users ("crowd sourcing" )!
However, these changes by users will be reviewed and possibly corrected or rejected before they are integrated in the archive.
Why are clicks and scratches not removed from the sound files?
There are two types of sound files served by this site: high-resolution FLAC files (24 bits per sample, 192 kHz sampling rate), which can be downloaded,
and derived lower-resolution MP3 files for online streaming. Modern software (e.g. Audacity) makes it possible to remove all clicks and scratches from the recordings.
The role of this archive is to present the most faithfully digitized version of its records, not the most pleasing, cleaned-up one, where a considerable amount of information in the original data has been removed.
Users of the archive should feel free, to remove clicks and scratches and produce their own versions.
Why are some recordings so quiet that one can hardly hear them?
Today CDs and vinyl records have trained our ears, to only hear "normalized" tracks within a very limited range of loudness.
The technology of shellac records, however, enabled recording with a much larger dynamic range. (In exchange, they could only contain 2-5 minutes of sound per side.)
In order to preserve this dynamic range the "normal" loudness needed to be recorded more quietly, in order to be able to faithfully reproduce the really loud parts.
Enjoy this larger dynamic range by just playing the sound louder!
However, the volume of the streaming MP3 files destined for direct online consumption has been normalized.
Can the quality of digitization of a track be improved?
Currently most of the effort of the contributors to the archive is spent on the inventory. Only a small percentage of the records is roughly digitized on a high quality pick-up with special needles for shellac records.
These "raw" digital versions can be complemented and replaced later by higher quality digitization which is preceded by a step of careful washing and using a laser record player, where this is possible.