Can I Digitize my Memories Myself?

Can I Digitize my Memories Myself?

Did you know that your treasure trove of analog memories is fading right before your eyes? Those VHS tapes … are losing quality. Same goes for your film reels, cassette tapes and old photos, especially if you’ve just got them stored in a willy-nilly in cardboard box in the attic.

But, all is not lost!

You can take time into your own hands (literally) by having them digitally preserved, DIY-style. Whether you’ve got a bunch of VHS tapes, MiniDVs, Hi8s, old film reels, photos, cassettes – you name it – there is software available to digitize your memories on your own, so long as you’ve got the time and money to do so.

How much does it cost?

With so many VHS/MiniDV/Video8 (and more) to DVD converters available, price really comes down to which software you choose to purchase. Type in VHS to DVD converter on Amazon and you’ll see what we mean. Some are relatively cheap, like the Roxio VHS to DVD converter for PC or the Diamond Video Capture VC500, both of which retail around the $40 price point. Other analog tape converters can run upwards of $80, some even hundreds of dollars.

And while most conversion kits come with all the necessary equipment you’ll need, there are some that may require the purchase of additional A/V and USB cables. Or that your computer has built-in firewire or ilink inputs (for certain media) installed.

As for 16mm and 8mm film … that conversion process can be even trickier and pricier. In most cases, the only way to preserve your vintage film reels is by acquiring a film-reel projector or a film-to-video converter, both of which can be hard to pin down and expensive – up to $400. And the last thing you want to do to any of your old memories is ruin the tape, photo or film that houses it. After all, one mistake and your memory could be gone forever.

How much time does it take?

We’re probably all familiar with the saying, “time is money.” And with DIY conversion, your time is of the essence. Since video capture and playback happens in real time, it takes the full run time of your tape or film to complete the conversion process. Sure, you don’t have to just sit there and watch the whole playback as it captures the content onto a DVD/PC, but you still have to manually convert throughout the process.

The same time-consuming logic takes place with your photos, too. Photo conversion can takes hours finding your desired pictures, scanning them and then uploading the newly digitized versions. There’s no way around it …

… almost no way, at least.

Mail-in digitization services

If you’re absolutely dead set on digitizing your own memories, by all means go forth and preserve. But if you’re looking for a less personal time suck, then check out Southtree. Our team of memory-preserving professionals will safely and privately digitize your box full of tapes, film, cassettes, photos and more. All you have to do is mail in your media and let us take care of the rest. You’ll even receive frequent updates so that you know exactly what step your memories are in during the conversion process. No long hours spent personally scanning or video capturing. And for a reasonable price, you can send in as many or as few pieces you want preserved.

It’s up to you. Just know that we’re here to help!

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