Ask the Expert: Magnetic Media Transfer
Got old family footage or interviews on tape? Not safe, says Matthew Stone, vice president of operations for ScanDigital. Transfer them in time for big family gatherings, and youll be sure to have happy holidays.
Q. What kinds of magnetic tapes might a genealogist have lying around? Why should we worry?
A. Audiotape cassettes, VHS tapes, floppy disks, and Super 8 film and 16mm film with magnetic stripe sound. Magnetic media is susceptible to deterioration like other types of storage. Simply put, data should be transferred to a newer storage format.
Archival Action: Digitize an Audiotape
- Its easy to convert an audiotape to digital with a tape player and your computer. Use Digitope Cassette to CD and MP3 Version 4 software (the kit for PC includes a cable), or if your computer has recording software, just use a cable to connect the tape headphone jack to the computers microphone socket.
- Insert tape in tape player and rewind or forward to the correct spot if needed.
- Use the cable to connect the tape player headphone jack to computers microphone socket.
- Open your computers recording software or run Digitope Cassette to CD and MP3 on your PC.
- Follow Digitope instructions, or press play on the tape player and click Record in recording software.
- Click Stop when the audio has stopped, if the software requires it.
- Give the file a meaningful name and save as a .WAV or .MP3 file on your computer. Remember to make a backup on a CD, hard disk or flash drive.
- Share the new file with loved ones. Save original tape and labeled backups in safe places.
- Digital Pickle photo and video preservation, starting at $5.39
- Digitope Cassette to CD and MP3 Version 4 software, $29.95
- Family Memories Video transfer, $24.95 per DVD, 15 cents per foot of film transfer
- ScanDigital video transfer, $19.95 per video
From the December 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine
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