Gramophone Archive - Any Progress On Old Scans?

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Gramophone Archive - Any Progress On Old Scans?

Gramophone Archive is an invaluable source of information on several trends of music, including British dance bands of the Swing Era. While The Melody Maker's online archive is still a dream, this is THE ONLY knowledge base available worldwide.

However, 1) many pages of early decades are skipped (on purpose?), and 2) many pages are recognized so poorly that one could hardly read them. Plus, 3) the scans themselves (pictures) should be larger - to read, proofread, to be able to distinguish titles and authors' signatures, which are often omitted in recognized text (which makes it an invalid reference, you know).

By providing normal (just

By providing normal (just readable low-res) scans (instead of thumbnails) and normal editing forms (instead of "Report Error" button) - that is by allowing users to improve text recognition themselves - Gramophone could achieve a much better result at a lower expense. When you try to do something for users, you should trust them, and this is the only way it works. I could give you a number of examples of pretty valuable Gramophone articles of the past that are left not recognized or completely non-readable or cannot be tagged properly by search engines because of your careless recognition technique. But I won't do this - 'cause you don't care.

RE: By providing normal (just

Dear Shirozaemon,

Thank you for comments regarding the Gramophone archive - we're sorry to hear that you are finding the user experience frustrating. Sadly, we were forced to removed the PDFs from the site to reduce the amount of our content being pirated elsewhere on the internet. As this pirating breached our copyright contracts with our image providers, we had no choice but to take down the PDFs. We also share your frustration regarding the quality of the OCR results and work is ongoing to improve these, but with over 100,000 pages to work through it will take some time.

Please do remember that the archive was launched as a free service 5 years ago now and in that time technology has improved dramatically. We are looking at ways of improving its functionality to address some of the problems you have raised, however.

Many thanks for your comments and your continued support of Gramophone.

Luca Da Re

Group Business Development Manager,


Who Cares For PDFs?

Thank you for your kind answer. Of course, I follow your great project and understand the difficulties that you've faced dealing with free vintage press display. Nonetheless what I suggest has nothing to do with pdf format - it could be just some simple (flash) plugin that displays low-res pages. No one would steal such images but the magazine would be at least readable - from cover to cover. My other suggestion is to employ us users - if we had readable images and forms we could selectively recognize poor text and submit it to your editors for replacement.

Thank you for sharing your materials, anyways.

RE: Gramophone Archive - Any Progress On Old Scans?

Where's August 2001?

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