|My old VHS tapes to be transferred to a digital format - finally|
Today I finally addressed a lurking concern that I've had for many years.
As regular followers of my blog here know, I am an inveterate photo taker. I've also taken many videos. I started taking videos in the late 80's.
I had one of those huge VHS cameras. You know the type, the ones that you put on your shoulder. The ones that often intimated the subject of my videos just because of the size of my camera.
|Me in my videotaping days - location my father's roots Pigeon Roost, North Carolina - 1994|
Since the onset of the ability to take videos with smaller cameras and now an iPhone, I long abandoned taking videos with that huge video camera.
There were many drawbacks to taking videos in the old VHS format. Not only was the camera bulky and intimidating, the cost of the VHS tapes and storage was a problem. Also the length, since the tapes were two hours long. One tended to take videos that were too long and boring. Hence, I tended not to look at the videos once I took them because they were to much trouble to pull out and then look for the part of the tape that I wanted to see.
Then came the digitized videos from a much smaller camera (Cannon) and now my iPhone. I take much shorter videos, averaging 30 seconds to two minutes. A three minute video is unusual.
Thus the last several years I've been very happy accumulating many short term videos, which I store on my computer, thus eating up a lot of hard drive space, a new drawback. But one that isn't as onerous as all those old VHS tapes that are just getting old and slowly deteriorating.
A few years ago I checked into the feasibility of transferring my old VHS tapes to CD's. I purchased one of those machines that do that. Only problem there is that the procedure is complicate and very time consuming. For instance, a two hour tape takes two hours to copy to a CD. And, there is also the possibility that I can accidentally erase my original VHS tapes, which I did a few times. Thus, I've been putting off transferring my many old VHS tapes until I "had time." Like the wintertime. But wintertime comes and goes and I still haven't done it.
I checked for services to transfer my old VHS tapes. There is a facility in Rehoboth Beach that will take my old tapes and transfer them, at $25 each. That's too much money. I have at least forty-old of the old VHS tapes. Also, I don't know where they send the VHS tapes. I suspect they send them to India. That's where they send old negatives to be processed. And you don't get the negatives back. Don't believe me? Try telling the Walmart photo center you want your negatives back. They don't send them back. Those negatives go to India and God knows what they do with them. I ruled out that option. Thus my old VHS tapes sat, patiently waiting to be transferred to a digital format all the while slowly deteriorating.
Last Monday, during a slow period at work I searched the Internet again for a solution. Through Amazon.com I found a service that was receiving excellent reviews. And they were only charging $10 a tape! Even better, they will transfer my VHS tapes to my flash drive. Super!
I called "Kirk", the guy who runs that business out of his office in Washington state today. He spoke English without an accent. He was nice and very helpful, even suggesting that I send my tapes by UPS, media rate, because it would be cheaper.
So folks, that was my big project today. Sorting out my forty-one VHS tapes today. Rewinding the tapes, which seems like it takes forever. Brings back bad memories of why I don't like VHS tapes.
I have the tapes sorted out. I number them and I'll take them down to the UPS store in Rehoboth Beach tomorrow.
This is going to be great folks! Not only can I easily access all my old videos, I can upload them to my You Tube account so future generations can enjoy them long after I'm gone from this earth. Also, I can freeze frame those videos and take individual pictures and bore you, my faithful blog readers with those images during one of my "Down Memory Lane" blog posts.