Why won't this file play on my computer?

Consumers have frustratingly asked the same question since the beginnings of the personal computer (PC).  Starting in the 1980s, users wanted to know why some important files would not open or play correctly on their devices.  The files in question are typically transferred from one PC user to another user on a different PC.  Sometimes the important file contains business data, sometimes it's a compelling image, but due to the complexity of the file type, most often the file is some kind of video file.  

"It depends" is actually an excellent answer to why a file won't play on your PC.  Seriously, any data file depends on the PC to be running the software that corresponds to the file type.  Further, the software depends on the appropriate operating system, like Windows, MacOS, or Linux.  Lastly, the operating system depends on the hardware device, like a Dell laptop, a MacBook Pro, a Samsung smartphone, or an iPad.

The interoperability between data files, software, operating systems, and hardware has improved for decades.  The wide acceptance and use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) by Adobe Systems® is a fine example of that.  So too are the use of common data types known by the file extensions JPG, PNG, TIFF, MP3, FLAC, and MP4.  Nearly all of these files can be successfully used by the software common to any device.

However, we consumers tend to make a number of assumptions about our PCs and digital devices.  We seldom stop to consider if our devices are running the latest version of the appropriate software.  Further, has that software been configured to play our files in a manner we expect?  Lastly, does our PC have the available memory and computing power?  The inherent requirements and number of variables is overwhelming.  It's often a source of great frustration for many consumers.

Good news... the cloud has all the resources required for consumers to enjoy any digital file!  With Software as a Service (SaaS), the required software is running on the cloud server rather than the client device.  This means no more searching for the appropriate software, paying for these programs, routinely making  updates, and making the configurations to each of your devices.  Instead, SaaS provides everything needed from a managed cloud.  Netflix® is one example of a successful SaaS.

Heirloom does more than simply digitize your old media.  Sure, we can scan your photos, convert your video, and return these digital files on a physical USB drive.  However, our cloud engineers are building out an architecture so you can open any digital file from any device, not just the digital files we create from your old media.  We're further designing cloud capabilities that will make it a joy to digitally curate your photos, videos, and other cherished memories.  (Oh, we're hiring too.)

Be careful of others who promise to digitize your media and exclusively return the digital files on a DVD, thumb drive, or some other type of physical media.  Will it be formatted appropriately for your DVD player?  Will your iPad even access the physical media?  Will configurations on your PC allow you to open these files?  Will you be prepared for these headaches?

At Heirloom, we recognize that not every digital file we create will play directly from every client device.  There are just too many device variables that are beyond our control.  We convert media to the most popular digital formats, resolutions, bitrates, and codecs so your files will play on the most common hardware, operating systems, software, and standard configurations.  Heirloom ensures that the digital files we return on a physical USB device will play directly on the vast majority of PCs, and we work with our customers so they can fully access these files from any device.  However, accessing your files directly from a properly built cloud solves all these problems.

Heirloom's cloud ensures you and your family can always play anything we've digitized on your behalf.  Because it's an environment managed by our engineers, our cloud allows you to open any PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, MP3, FLAC, or MP4 file we've created.  No need to buy new hardware, download software, or make configuration changes to your operating system.  Like Netflix®, might Heirloom become the next SaaS to delight it's customers?

Playing a VHS Cassette on a PC

Want to get started preserving your priceless memories to the cloud?  Indeed, there's no place on your PC to play that old VHS cassette, but we can help.  Simply send a small shipment to the Heirloom digitization facility and see for yourself.  Within days, you'll resurrect an old medium that hasn't been accessed in years, to a digital file that you can click and enjoy immediately.  

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