Digitize your Videotape Memories

chris-lawton-172561Happy Family Day!

Do you have old family videos kicking around on VHS tape? Wouldn’t it be nice to have these forever in a format you can view without a VCR?

You can now digitize your VHS tapes at the library! We have software called Roxio that converts your old videotapes to digital files, and it’s free for you to use! We have how-to instructions available at the library, and you can also book a one-on-one appointment with library staff to walk you through the process! Here’s what you’ll do:

Come to the library with your library card, a USB stick or a blank DVD, and a treasured VHS tape that you would like to digitize. Head to the Upper Level, Local History, and find the computer with a VCR under the monitor. It’s labelled STPLSCANNER01.

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Sign into the computer with your library card number.

Turn on the VHS player and insert your videotape, then run the ‘Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3’ application from the computer’s desktop.

When the application starts, you can select ‘Record DVD’ or ‘Record, Edit, and Save’.  The first option will burn your video directly to DVD, and the second gives you more options, like saving it as a video file and transferring it to another medium later. We like the second option, although you are welcome to burn to your own blank DVD, we can’t guarantee the quality of this format. If you save it as a video file onto a USB stick, you can store it on a computer and share it via email with your family!

Now to start on your video. Press play on the VHS player, and find a section of the video with a typical sound level.  Adjust the ‘Recording Level’ so that the average sound signal peaks in the yellow range of the recording level in Roxio, but doesn’t hit the red level.

Cue your tape to about 10 seconds before your desired starting point.  Press play on the VCR. Press the red record button in the Roxio app.

Here it’s important to note the time. You will need to let your videotape play through as it records, and the computer will shut down about 15 minutes before closing, so make sure you have enough time to capture your entire video!

When the recording is finished, press the stop button in the Roxio app and stop on the VCR. You can find your video on the computer’s desktop in the ‘Captured Videos’ folder. Transfer your video file onto your USB stick. Before you leave, delete your video from the ‘Captured Videos’ folder and empty the Recycle Bin (for your privacy). You’re done!

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Now you can relive your cherished family memories anytime you want! You can share them across social media and embarrass your siblings! Keep those old videotapes alive forever by digitizing them.

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