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Ichiro Fujinaga

Image-to-audio conversion of phonograph records

In this research project, a novel and radical means to digitize and preserve long-playing stereo phonograph records will be attempted. Unlike the traditional way of using a stylus to capture the sound, here, a high-resolution microscope will be used to optically scan the surface of the phonograph records, with the resulting image then converted to sound.

There are considerable advantages to this approach over the traditional method, where a turntable is used to translate the movement of a stylus into an electrical signal, which is then converted into the digital domain using an analogue-to-digital converter. The new process will capture the audio information without touching the records, which, unlike a stylus, will not damage the record. New sound restoration procedures based on scanned 3D images will also be developed.

The project will aim to create a high-quality and efficient image-to-audio conversion system and develop image processing techniques to improve the quality of audio by removing debris and scratches.

Finally, this project will make an invaluable contribution to preserving cultural heritage materials by restoring otherwise inaccessible data, such as music, on severely damaged or broken records.

Jacques Perron © 2006 FDL