WHYY’s Fresh Air Archives, WHYY

How we use PBCore

WHYY uses PBCore in its audio archiving solution for radio. Working with consultant David Rice and hardware vendor TelVue, WHYY was able to develop a searchable digital library for Fresh Air — an NPR program that has been produced on a daily basis since 1987.

How PBCore changed our workflow

There are over 6000 episodes of Fresh Air to date. Up to July of 2007, these programs were edited and archived on analog tape. Since then, Fresh Air has been produced using ProTools Digital Audio Workstations. Pre-July 2007 programs existed in a 2 track edited format on a combination of analog ¼” tape, and since the mid-1990’s also on DAT and more recently, CD-R media. All these were collected, restored when necessary, and digitized into a common .wav format. Since July of 2007, all original source material has also been preserved.

Using PBCore, WHYY has been able to create metadata, documenting and cross-referencing all media types. In addition, using the description fields, all show descriptions and available transcripts have been made searchable using the familiar “keyword” technique.

Why we’re using PBCore

WHYY chose PBCore for the Fresh Air archive, as well as enterprise wide audio and video archiving because of its open source origin, previous use in the Public Media environment and its flexibility. Using the Fresh Air PBCore model, we are currently expanding the WHYY digital archive, creating metadata for our other audio, and video and web assets.


Julian Herzfeld
Media Technology Manager
WHYY, Inc.

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