hurricanes. Flooding. Fires. Disaster can strike at any time, and our most precious memories are often the most vulnerable. Recently, I started going through my old photo albums to scan and upload my photos and negatives to a hard drive for storage. Of course, it's not just photographs we want to preserve. Vinyl albums, cassette and VHS tapes, analog photography and even old diary pages are subject to the ravages of nature, storage and time. Fortunately, new technologies enable us to preserve and protect our memories in the digital realm. From USB-equipped turntables to flatbed scanners large enough to copy a whole picture, the limitation of imagination is just to archive the most precious memories. But don't worry, we imagined you and have a list of devices and apps we think you'll love.
Related: How to Transfer Images from iPhone to Computer (Mac, PC, iCloud & AirDrop)
If you are interested in copying and preserving old photos as I am, you will consider a large flatbed- scanner. Your printer may have its own scanner, and it may be useful for small archive projects. But for larger projects you will need a larger scanner. My Epson DS-50000 Large Format Document Scanner ($ 1,389) has an 11.7 x 17-inch bed and can handle a whole sleeve of photos from a large photo album. To keep the images in order, I stick numbered post-it notes on the back of images as well as to the sleeves where the images will be returned to after scanning. After copying the images to the computer, I use the VueScan ($ 39.95) app for Macs to separate the images into individual files. If you have a one-time project, you may want to take advantage of VueScan's free version or 30-day return policy. Just make sure you cancel your subscription on time to get a refund! 19659017] Audio
Whether you are converting cassette tapes or vinyl, you have some great Mac compatible equipment to choose from. A combination of Apple's GarageBand (free) and the devices listed below allow you to record analog audio from a cassette or turntable and convert these recordings to MP3s. Because newer Macs don't have the old audio input, the devices below require only USB ports to work. If you are looking for a cheap conversion unit for any purpose, I recommend investing in an audio adapter. There are some good (cheap!) Audio adapters available, such as Digitnow's USB Audio Capture Converter ($ 13.99). An audio adapter lets you use GarageBand to capture audio from any analog output device. There is loss of sound quality with an analog adapter, but owning one opens up many options if you do not want to invest hundreds of dollars in new equipment.
As a kid in the 80's has a ton of Boyz 2 Men, New Kids on the Block and AC / DC cassette tapes that I haven't been able to bring myself to throw, but that I can't hear on without doing any damage to the tapes. Fortunately, there is equipment for that too! USB audio cassette tape converters make it easy to convert audio when you combine it with GarageBand. Simply plug the USB into your Mac, rewind the cassette tape, and press play! You will then be able to convert the audio file to an MP3 to keep forever. To get started, check the OfficeLead Cassette Player Tape to MP3 Converter ($ 26.99). In addition to converting audio cassettes, this inverter works just like a regular Walkman, so we can all relive our heyday.
If you are interested in going completely retro, you will be looking at a USB-enabled turntable to capture vinyl records like MP3. Take, for example, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC USB Turntable ($ 399). While you can get a cheaper USB turntable, Pro-Ject has a magnetic cassette that, as any true audio file knows, is an absolute necessity for the life of your discs and sound quality. You can also attach a record plate you already own with Digitnow USB AudioCapture Converter, but as with cassette tapes, this approach will result in loss of sound quality. A USB magnetic tape recorder will give you the best bang for your audio books. When it comes to the software you need, I keep coming back to GarageBand, as it is also perfect for this process. Just record the sound on GarageBand, save as an MP3, and presto! You create audio magic.
I've saved the best lately; convert your old camcorder recordings and VHS tapes to either DVDs or other digital formats. Converting video can be my favorite archive process because, unlike audio, it is a one-stop-shop for converting analog video to a digital format, and it is quite cheap!
TheVidbox Video Converter ($ 79.99) is both a video converter and an adapter; This means you can connect your old camcorder to VID-BOX to convert your video tapes. You can also convert your VHS tapes and you don't need any extra equipment because everything comes with Vidbox. The converter can handle VHS, 8mm, camcorder and even Betamax! Do you remember Betamax? Far out, dude! The inverter is already integrated with iMovie on Mac, so transferring, editing and saving your video files is easy. If you hung up on all the old media, you can now convert the content and see your old favorites again with the family.
Once you've copied, sorted, and stored all your analog media, of course, you're going to want to show it off! You can set up iCloud Photo Sharing to share with friends and family. You can also print old photos you have scanned either at home or at your local print shop. You can even upload short family videos on Facebook and Instagram to show your grandchildren or relive good memories with distant relatives. When we archive our home media library, we not only save memories of the ravages of time; we make it easier to share them with the people we love.