Memory Digitizing Guide

August 11, 2022

Memory Digitizing Guide

How to Enjoy Your Photos and Videos, Forever

Memories tell a story. We celebrate life with words, photography, and moving pictures. Reminders of people, places, and events are powerful. They’re often joyful, sometimes dreamy, but always priceless. Photos and videos make us feel connected to the world, and each other. Digitize your old memories to enjoy them forever.

Three Ways People Lose Memories

Are my photos and videos safe?

Memories are often recorded onto physical materials like paper, film, or plastic discs. Without a backup, each of these original records are singular. Singular media items are vulnerable to total loss from breakage, neglect, and disaster. Millions of photos, videos, and other singular memories are lost each year. Losing this priceless content represents an unspeakable cost to your mental health, happiness, and relationship to loved ones.

1. Breakage

There are many ways that memories on physical media get broken. Video tapes get jammed. Dried out film crumbles beyond repair. Tiny scratches make discs unreadable. Backing up all media to an external digital device only delays the breakage. Up to 25% of hard drives will crash within a few years.

2. Neglect

Boxing up memories does not keep them safe. Containers don’t fully protect media from the effects of time, heat, and moisture changes. Misplacing memories in cluttered boxes helps no one. Each year, thousands of memory boxes are haphazardly discarded or mixed with household donations after the passing of a family member.

3. Disaster

We’ll never see the end of fires, floods, and storms that damage one in 10 residences every year. Home safety is not enough to protect your possessions from events that destroy entire towns. Insurance pays to replace your home, car, and other property, but it will never return your original photos, videos, and other media.

A Brief History of Home Media

The first home video recorder!

Since the 1930s, Kodak’s 8mm film allowed families to record their own moving pictures. After the film was developed, these video reels could be played from a projector. Delightfully displayed on a wall screen, most 8mm video is silent, by a few cameras also recorded voice onto a sound strip embedded on the film.  The tapes were wildly popular for 50 years, but they’re extremely fragile and can easily break when handled.

Next came the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR).

The first VCR played a much improved version of video tape. Now families could record and watch home video from their television sets! During a format war with Sony’s Betamax in the 1970s, JVC’s video home system (VHS) emerged as the most popular, with over one billion of these cassette tapes storing recorded video.  In an attempt to prolong the life of their memories, it was not uncommon for many families to copy their old 8mm home video reels onto VHS cassettes.

Digital Video Disc (DVD) are also singular.

Along with other video disc formats, Sony’s DVD ushered in an era of digital video stored onto billions of 4.8-inch plastic discs. No more rewinding tapes!  Now people copied their VHS cassettes onto multiple DVDs and distributed them to family and friends. These plastic discs contain digital files, but they’re encoded with a proprietary format that makes duplication quite tedious.  Worse, DVDs easily scratch, crack, and are unreadable on modern devices.

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Forever enjoy with friends and family.