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Correction: An Urgent Need for Files

Dec 04, 2009, 08:01 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Henry Newman)

"Most of the industry participants agreed that over time, digital data will inevitably experience bits that flip (0 becomes 1, or vice versa). Over time, a bit or two or even more will flip or be read incorrectly, and the file might become unreadable or corrupted to a point where it is not usable. It is one thing to lose a single bit in a file, but if you lost a bit in the wrong part of a file definition, often called an application header or file header because it is at the beginning of the file, if that was lost or unreadable, the whole file might be lost.

"A participant from the film industry mentioned that even film that is 100 years old and not perfect can usually be displayed, and most of the film is viewable and clear enough to the average person. The participant asked why digital file formats (jpg, mpeg-3, mpeg-4, jpeg2000, and so on) can't allow the same degradation and remain viewable. A great question, and one that no one had an answer for."

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