Processing

Processing is a general term for turning a raw data file into a usable media file which you can easily search for and open for viewing, copying or otherwise using from any computer system. Processing is done on computer files, so thare has to be a preceding digitizing process, where a digitized version is created of the original media. There is a partial solution which allowes viewing of the raw files as they were saved, adding only tags and file locations to the database, and skipping processing altogether. You’ll be able to see the files (not copy text from them), but you’ll be limited to keyword searches – and those keywords need to be chosen and typed manualloy as well.

There are four main types of processing that differ according to the types of raw computer files we got from the digitizing process: text for documents, image for photos, audio for music and any sound recording including spoken word, and video for any video content.

text-process Text: Needs to be converted to digital text format through the use of OCR (Optical character recognition) software. Handwritten documents may need typing with the use of Word processing software.

May need: Text OCR & proofreading, new or reconstructed layout.

Services: All the above. Text OCR if the fastest most automated choice, and proofreading may only be required for legal or otherwise important documents.

images-process Image: Raw image files, being already in digital photo format, need mainly adjustments such as photo resizing, color balance, rotating, cropping, and such, which may be actually fun to do if you got the time. Some of these tasks can be done automatically on files as bulk. Depending on the intended use or database choice, format conversion may be also needed.

May need: Scanning, image manipulation, format conversion.

Services: All the above, and all that was said about the scanning of text documents applies.

audio-process Audio: Raw audio files represent the original recording as one stream of audio information. In order to be useful, it would require some audio editing and the addition of text tagging and description in a format depending on the database of choice. Usually, there may be an additional audio format conversion to a more condenced final audio file.

May need: Equalizing and normalizing, splitting, tagging and format conversion.

Services: All the above. Copyright issues may apply when dealing with material where the owner of the music source is not the copyright holder.

video-process Video: Much the same as raw audio files, video files may require various forms of video editing and the addition of text tagging and description in a format depending on the database of choice. As in the case of audio files, there may be an additional audio format conversion to a more condenced final audio file.

May need: Equalizing and normalizing, splitting, tagging and format conversion.

Services: All the above. Copyright issues may apply when dealing with material where the owner of the video source is not the copyright holder.

Sometimes, there’s available a software solution that can perform a few steps at once, such as scanning, OCR and layout, or recording and convertion to the final format of audio or video. There are automatic solutions to resizing images, color balancing and other tasks, and you will be adviced when such a solution can simplify the job. Sometimes though, it is customary to archive the original raw files as well, should they require in the future a different type of processing due to changes in format popularity, computer system (for example, one that can handle bigger resolutions Etc.)

See also: Archiving, Digitizing, Data entry, Usage

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