Format shifting is the conversion of media files into different formats. This may be required to play the media on different devices, for example when converting or ripping audio files on CDs into digital formats such as MP3. Other media shifting processes include time shifting, a process whereby a radio or television broadcast is recorded and played back at a different time, and space shifting where media is stored on one device and can be accessed from another place through another device.
Archiving and preservation
Format shifting is central to preservation and archiving, particularly for sound recordings and films. In addition to efforts to preserve works created in deteriorating formats format shifting is also necessary to keep works accessible. As technology develops the technical formats get outdated and the technology necessary for accessing original formats is no longer available. Copyright law of the United Kingdom may not allow libraries and archives to format shift for preservation and archiving purposes. By the time copyright term in a work ends the original work may have disintegrated or deteriorated to such an extent that the cost of preservation increases.
- Jamerich Parsons, June; Oja, Dan (2009). New perspectives on Computer Concepts 2010: Introductory. Computers. Dengang Learning. p. 465. ISBN 978-0-324-78076-5.
- Derclaye, Estelle (2010). Copyright and cultural heritage: preservation and access to work in a digital world. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-1-84980-004-4.