Today we’ll look at the segment of LifeHacker’s “Step-by-Step Guide to Digitizing Your Life” to see how to preserve audio and video tape.
Converting a cassette to a digital recording is easy. Cassette recorders players stereo output ports and computers have stereo input ports which you can connect with an inexpensive 1/8” stereo cable. Any software capable of recording audio on your computer will work with the cassette player. LifeHacker recommends Audacity which is available for free download if you need recording software BIAS SoundSoap that can help remove imperfections in the recordings, such as crackle and hum. Roxio Spin Doctor is software designed to help make the entire process easier.
For more detailed information LifeHacker offers an article titled Alpha Geek: How to Digitize Cassette Tapes. There’s a link below.
When converting analog-to-digital video your DV camera may have conversion capabilities you can can use it to digitize just about any analog source. All you'll need to get it onto your computer is software that can handle a DV stream such as Apple's iMovie and Final Cut Express/Pro (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker. If you don't have a digital video camera, you can also use TV Tuner cards with composite input or digital video bridges made specifically for the purpose of converting analog video. For more information, Videohelp.org covers the analog-to-digital conversion process in greater detail.
Unfortunately on worn out VHS tapes the signal may jiggle and cut out. Recording it may require a professional VHS recording deck with a time corrector. If this is the case, it may be able to seek out a service which has the equipment to make the conversion for you.
If you have Hi8 tapes you have another option. Sony created Digital8 camcorders that have the ability to digitize Hi8 tapes in-camera and output a DV signal.
Click here to read the complete LifeHacker Step-by-Step Guide to Digitizing Your Life
Click here for Alpha Geek: How to Digitize Cassette Tapes
Click here for Videohelp.org.