Format migrations are one of the strategies used by DRS staff to ensure that digital objects remain usable as technologies change. A project is currently underway to plan for and perform the first DRS format migrations. 

Formats that will be migrated

FormatFormat genreNotesStatus
RealAudio audio filesAudioRealAudio was the DRS format used for deliverable audio files from 2004 - 2015. Students, researchers and other users are having difficulty playing DRS files in this proprietary format. Modern technologies do not by default come with the audio players that can play the RealAudio format. In summary this format is already obsolete.Scheduled for late summer 2017
SMIL playlistsAudioSMIL playlists have been the DRS format used to present and sequence audio playlists to users from 2004 - 2015. The SMIL format is an open, non-proprietary XML-based format that was fairly well-supported but has not seen wide usage. Some major web browsers have never natively supported it and some have indicated intention to deprecate it. In summary this format is at risk of obsolescence.Scheduled for late summer 2017
Kodak PhotoCD imagesImageSome of the very early archival and production master images deposited into the DRS were in the Kodak PhotoCD format. There are now very few tools that support this format. In summary this format is already obsolete.In planning for 2018

There is a dependency between the DRS2 metadata migration project and this format migration project. The metadata migration must be performed first to create uniform audio objects and to generate required metadata for the format migration. 

Audio format migration steps & status

  1. Migrate audio metadata (Spring 2017)
    1. SMIL playlists - DONE
    2. Audio objects - IN PROCESS
  2. Prepare for format migration (Spring - Summer 2017)
    1. Format migration spec - DRAFT DONE, TO BE REFINED
    2. Format migration tools - IN PROCESS
    3. Update DRS ingest tools - NOT STARTED
    4. Test migration - NOT STARTED
  3. Run format migration (late Summer 2017)
    1. SMIL playlists - NOT STARTED
    2. RealAudio - NOT STARTED