BAVC Media announces release of QCTools: an open source software for video archivists

Published On: October 28, 2015 |

San Francisco, CA — Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC Media) is excited to announce a prototype for analog video digitization in QCTools, a free and open source software that allows archivists and media makers to analyze and better understand their digital video materials.

Supported by the Knight Foundation’s summer 2014 Prototype Fund, with initial concept support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, QCTools can now be further explored as a video digitization tool, offering analysis features never before seen in proprietary capture software.

“We’re very excited for this opportunity to make a vital contribution to the preservation field. Thanks to the generosity of both the Knight Prototype Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities, BAVC Media is able to provide a community-driven resource that we hope will become a leading tool for ensuring media longevity” said Sam Long, BAVC Media’s Director of Technology.

The application is the newest component of QCTools, and BAVC Media believes that the project will sharply reduce the cost and skills barriers to preservation often faced by those with moving image archives. This tool will enable more organizations to preserve their video collections, and will increase the capacity of community archivists and librarians – many of whom are responsible for valuable and growing collections of analog video tapes.

Other BAVC Media preservation initiatives include: the AV Artifact Atlas, an online resource that supports the identification and definition of the technical issues and anomalies that can afflict audio and video signals, and the National Endowment for the Arts-funded Preservation Access Program, which provides subsidized audio and video preservation services to artists and cultural institutions nationwide. “Based on feedback from the field BAVC Media believe that preservationists and others will make great use of this new resource. The QCTools project is a great addition to the suite of tools BAVC Media is creating for the media preservation field, and we’re looking forward to seeing how people use it, and how they add to or fork the code.” BAVC Media’s Executive Director, Carol Varney, said.

Since 1994, BAVC Media has served as a national hub for the preservation of magnetic tape media, ensuring the survival of and continued access to video art, independently-produced media, and video documentation of cultural and political events since the late 1960s. Previous preservation clients have included MoMA, National Museum of History at Smithsonian, San Francisco Public Library, SFMOMA, The Kitchen, Walker Art Center, the Center for Asian American Media, the Long Beach Museum of Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. BAVC Media has preserved works by Ant Farm, the Videofreex, Paper Tiger TV, Media Burn, Nam Jun Paik, Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas, Paul McCarthy, Doug Hall, Terry Fox, William Wegman, John Baldessari, Richard Serra, and many more.