The invention of the computer has changed our lives forever. This includes the way we take photos, record information, watch movies, and so on. As time went by, we have gradually shifted from photos that used film to digital photos, from VHS tapes to DVDs and streaming videos, from vinyl to CDs and music files such as mp3s, and so on.
However, before we had small gadgets capable of storing large amounts of information in music, video, or image formats and even stream them, most of our content was stored in an analog format (normally in tape form) that break down as time went by. In order to be able to enjoy this media again without using outdated players, while also preserving it for many years to come, it needs to be digitized. This guide will show you the process involved in digitizing your old media that rely on old media players.
VHS tapes were a familiar source of video format in most homes back when CDs and DVDs had not yet been invented. To be able to digitize this type of form, you need a device capable of playing VHS tapes, an adapter to convert them to a digital format together with a PC to capture the converted content. If a working VHS player is not available at home, you can purchase one from online sites such as eBay or borrow one from your friends. The back of most VHS players has typically a composite video or S-Video output that will be helpful for this process.
There are various types of affordable adapters that can be found online or in a local electronic shop which can easily plug into the outlets and connect to your PC via a USB port. Adapters such as the V.TOP Video Capture Card and Elegato Vidoe Capture are capable of getting the job done right and can be found on Amazon. Most of these adapters include their own capturing software which can record the USB input of your PC’s drive. However, if you happen to purchase one that lacks these tools, you can use free tools such as Quicktime for Mac Os or Avidemux for windows.
Converting cassette tapes is almost similar to the process of converting VHS tapes. First, get out your old cassette player or borrow. Make sure that the player has a port labeled line-out or RCA connectors that have a red and white color. If you have a computer that has a 3.5mm input port, you will only require a cable. This may be used with a stereo audio patch cable or an RCA to stereo cable.
Depending on the output of the cassette player. If you prefer to use the USB option, you’ll need to get a device that can convert the output of your cassette player to your PC’s USB input. The V.TOP Audio Capture Card will work well, or you can also make use of an all in one converter. However, it is important to note that dedicated cables and a classic cassette player will most likely provide better quality digital files.
The process for converting Vinyl records into digital files is similar to that of the cassette player process. All you will require doing is get the corresponding cables that can turn the output of your record player to a PC’s 3.5mm line-in or USB port. Due to the current rise in the demand for vinyl records, most record players available today now come with inbuilt digital conversion tools.
Devices such as the Sony PSLX300 or the Audio Technica AT-LP60 will only require you to have a USB cable for the conversion process. The converting device you use can also include a tool that will help you to transform your records into mp3 files. If it does not come with the necessary tools, there are a lot of great free tools available online such as Audacity.
Compared to the others, converting photos into a digital format is probably the simplest process because you don’t require any specific skills or equipment for the job. Your smartphone camera is capable of easily digitizing any printed image captured by it. You only have to make sure that you shoot the image in a location that is well lit and carefully line-up the physical image with the camera.
Also, make use of a program called Photo Scan which has been specifically designed for digitizing old images. The program is capable of cropping, straightening, and rotating images as well as take out any imperfections or glare and correcting color and brightness.