preserving multimedia memories

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  • The prospect of organizing and transferring old family films from 8mm to DVD, or other media, like slides to DVD, can be overwhelming, especially if youre thinking of doing it yourself.

    As your stash of personal and family histories accumulates, those films, photos, videos, and other memorabilia are aging, and probably deteriorating.

    The longer you wait to act, the more damage is done, and the more obsolete old equipment becomes. Placing media in piles of boxes is not the same as preserving them. There are years of valuable family history locked away in those boxes.

    Save them all to enjoy now and share with future generations by converting them to a convenient, safe DVD format.

  • Before sending materials off to a professional group for conversion, take some time to organize everything. This means handling sensitive old photos and film, so review these tips for safely moving and sorting them:

    Wash hands before handling photos and films, and only hold them by the edges. Wear clean, white cotton gloves found in hobby and craft stores.

    Keep materials out of exposure to sunlight, chemicals, liquids, foods, or even strong indoor lighting.

    Never use damaging glue, tape, or other adhesives unless they are specified as safe for photos.

  • Sort and separate items by type of media. Group according to approximate dates, individual person, or family. Separate those you dont care about preserving.

    Films are best stored in special vented canisters made of archive-safe material to avoid a build-up of harmful gases.

    Other formats: store photos and slides in acid- and lignin-free albums with non-PVC plastic sleeves. Videotapes last up to a max of 25-30 years, so convert special wedding and other life event videos to DVD storage for the long haul.

  • Once you have stabilized the originals and created an archive, decide on a source to transform your 8mm films to a DVD record.

    Next, decide which ones are most important or worth preserving. Talk with the professionals at 8mmtoDVD.com to help evaluate the condition of your original films and videotapes.

    Factors to consider in evaluating your materials:

    Are they too badly damaged to render a satisfying reproduction?

    DVD is the most reliable digital format available, when you choose a vendor with deep experience and technological know-how.

  • Nothing beats the immediacy of leafing through old family albums, reminiscing about great times, or wondering what an ancestor youve never met was really like.

    Be sure future generations have a chance to do the same. There are several ways to preserve photographic slides:

    DVD-video: ideal for viewing your slide show on television, using your DVD player to pause or control.

    JPEG scans: with higher resolution at 3000 dpi, they are adjusted for color and exposure, and include digital image restoration. Scans can be saved to a data DVD or CD, creating an easy format for editing, printing, or emailing.

  • Maintain multiple back-ups by downloading images to your computer hard drive every few days, and creating back-up DVDs for them.

    You can also load images directly into your free Dropbox app by syncing up with your mobile device. It will grab new photos and download them directly to your computer with no extra steps.

    You are probably gathering quite a volume of video and photo images on your smartphone or digital camera. Preserving your digital records presents a new kind of challenge that requires specific actions.

  • Make sure theres no mystery when future generations start digging for images and family records.

    Create a handy spreadsheet in the simplest format (likely to be adaptable to future technologies), listing archive elements, names, dates, anything family members can reference to know what is where.

    Whether you choose DVD, CD, or another method for preserving and sharing films and photographic records, youll be prepared in case of unforeseen emergencies.

    Best of all, you have preserved a legacy that you are now a part of, one that will be appreciated by future generations for years to come.

  • 8mmtoDVD.com is the largest 8mm film to DVD transfer company in the U.S. They preserve all formats onto DVD, with backup archiving, fast turnaround, and fair, all-inclusive pricing. They are known for high quality reproduction using the best professional imaging equipment and methods.

    Founded in 2002, they have transferred more than 40 million feet of 8mm to DVD, and received seven Gold Star Awards from the Better Business Bureau. For more information about transferring your 8mm and other old films, videotapes, and slides to DVD, call 866-331-FILM (3456) or visit 8mmtoDVD.com.

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