Preserving Your Video Recordings


    If you are one of the lucky few that has old video film of your grandparents or family, it is time to get this digitize. The technology (projectors) are becoming more difficult to find, and the cost to transfer to a digital format will only increase. At some point, conversion will no longer be possible.

    Many families have VHS home movies of their family activities. The machines that can play these tapes are no longer being manufactured. Again, it's time to get these tapes digitized.

    Our library currently has VHS machines and the software to convert the VHS home movies to a digital format. We can help you with this, as well as help with basic video editing skills to remove parts you may not want in the film, or to create shorter video clips.

    Contact us to set up a time to help you with these.

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    Converting VHS to Digital Files

    Converting Your VHS Tapes to Digital Files

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    If you still have a working VHS player, which by the way, are no longer being manufactured, then it's time to consider getting those home VHS movies digitized before no VHS players are available. All you need is a computer, and what is called an Analog to Digital Convertor, which can be purchased online for about $50. They usually come with the video capture applications. We do have one of these convertors at our library. Bring your recorder in and we can help you with this.

    The process is quite easy to do. Simply connector the convertor between the VHS tape player and the computer, start the movie capture application, and let the computer record the movie..

    There are commercial places that will convert these tapes for you, but they can be expensive if you have a lot of VHS tapes at home. They also typically copy the VHS tape to a DVD. DVD's are NOT good storage media, as they also degrade, get scratched, and such.

    It is best to save the digital mp4 file to a cloud storage, along with backups on various hard drives to ensure that they last for decades or longer.

    Converting Your 8mm Film to Digital Files

    Movie film quality degrades over time, becoming brittle, shrinking, having color changes, and so forth. It needs to be preserved. Generally it is best to have a Media Facility convert these for you. There are a couple of places here in Idaho Falls, and others out of state, like in SLC, Utah that can do this for you. Be leery of sending off your films to places across the USA, as there is potential for these items to become lost in the mail system. (It has happened).

    Many patrons have asked if we have the abilities to convert 8mm film to a digital file. The answer to that is no, although we are experimenting with some potential options to have a projector, dark room, and a tripod to hold a smartphone. The quality can actually come out pretty good depending on smartphone camera quality.

    Edit Your Digital Movies

    Editing Your Digital Movie Files

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    If you still happen to have Windows XP or Vista, there was a free movie editing software that came with the operating system called Movie Maker.

    If you are an Apple user with a Mac, the software to edit movies is free and actually quite extensive in its abilities to edit movies.

    If you are using Windows 7 and beyond, you will have to purchase some editing software, like Adobe Premiere Elements, Sony Movie Studio 13, and others. They generally run in the $50 plus range. We are currently looking at free software possibilities to help you at least create some basic video presentations. More information is forthcoming.

    We do have one Windows PC with video editing software available to use.

    Managing Your Digital Files

    Organizing and Backing Up Your Media Files

    Do NOT minimize the importance of organizing your digital files, nor of keeping multiple safely stored backups. You would not want to instantly lose all those files after spending hundreds (or more) hours collecting these files. (Trust me on this!)

    Sharing Your Digital Files

    Sharing Your Media Files With Others

    In the "old" days, people kept their photos, documents, and stories in their 8.5"X14" fancy thick "genealogy binders". They sat on shelves, hardly ever viewed, especially by anyone outside of the family. Their PAF files stayed on their computers as they created their pedigree and family group sheets. The days of "THEIR" are over. With cloud drives, Family Tree Gallery, and other means, we now have the ability to collaborate with cousins we may have never met before. We have the ability to easily share our photos, documents, and stories with others and share our heritage with that of our cousins.

    I challenge you to begin this sharing process! There is a whole new world out there! You will find it a great blessing to share so many different things with others.