NPR is running a story on how the Library of Congress is testing a way of playing broken, fragile and deteriorating phonograph records without spinning or even touching the record. Instead, there's a camera linked to a computer. It then snaps detailed images of the groove cut into the disc, and uses the images to reconstruct the sound.
Using this method they scan a record quickly enough to make it roughly comparable to a trained technician playing an old record in real-time. Brilliant! A great way to save and restore music and other recordings that would be otherwise lost.
Read the full article over at NPR.com