Magical Memories, Messy Media

I do enjoy going though boxes of old photos, and it's not just because I am middle-aged and getting all nostalgic; I have always enjoyed it. Home movies, too - even when it's just people standing around, waving. There is something about the "time capsule" effect that endears me. One of the best examples was a VHS tape my Aunt and Uncle had sent us from Tasmania - the island State off the South East corner of Australia. We had to get it converted to be able to watch it on our US TV set, and it was just them being them for an hour or so, but it was awesome!

The thing that separates memories from the 50's 60's and 70's from last year's Christmas party is the former are mostly preserved on physical media, such as photographs and VHS tapes. Last year's Christmas party is almost certainly "digital" - preserved electronically.

Now, while digital formats change - just like we suffered through VHS, VHS-C, BetaMax and so on - it's usually much easier to transfer data (photos and videos) from one digital medium to another. The data also does not tend to degrade in the process, unlike the result of copying a VHS tape, if you are old enough to recall that experience.

So, to be able to continue to enjoy and pass on your favorite memories, it makes sense to convert them into a digital format. They are then easier to save, and can be enjoyed in creative ways, posted to YouTube and so on. You can still keep the originals, of course (we do - there are still plenty of Tupperware boxes of photos laying around!).

You can definitely do this yourself - I have - but it is a time consuming labor of love, and there will be some cash outlay to invest in conversion equipment. That usually consists of some kind of a converter you connect between your VHS player and your computer. Assuming you still have a working VHS player.

For photos, a scanner is pretty much required, and last time I looked, scanners had become pretty expensive. So, the alternative may be to let someone else do the conversions for you. That way, you can pick a few tapes or a few dozen photos at a time and get them converted - you don't have to convert everything, and certainly not all at once. The best way to start is just to start - just do it.

For video tapes you can use a service such as iMemories (a sponsor of this site, see link below) and for photos, many drug stores also now offer the service to scan and copy your photos to a CD of DVD. So, it's certainly do-able, desirable, and can be pretty painless.

From messy media to magical memories.

 Your Memories on DVD Transfer VHS, SVHS, 8mm and Betamax The first one's on us

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