With a little fear and sadness, the last post was a reminder that we all have valuable old movies growing obsolete and inaccessible in our memory archives. Here’s how to have them transferred and, more importantly, what to do then.
This is often the most daunting part because it raises a lot of questions. Where do I take it? Is it safe? What do I get back? How do I play it? Answers: Stay local and start with a small batch of one or two tapes or reels. If we don’t do it, we have a partner who does and we won’t risk (and don’t recommend) possible damage or loss in shipping.
Have it transferred to MP4. It’s a high quality, universal format of digital video. DVD or Bluray might sound simpler, but those formats are nearing obsolescence too so you’ll have to ‘rip’ them to digital video later for further editing and sharing. Having your movies transferred directly to MP4 leapfrogs that step.
A good transfer service like ours will remove dead space and divide long tapes into shorter clips for you. But since there’s a good chance you won’t have been able to preview the footage first, you may still want to edit the video you get back.
First, copy the full versions to the same hard drive and cloud storage you trust for your photo backups. We’ll use Youtube because it’s great for editing and sharing. That shouldn’t be your only copy though.
If you have a Gmail account, use it to log into Youtube and click upload. Your first channel, like an album, is created by default. Drag your .mp4 into the window and while it uploads and processes, add your title, description, and tags (names, places, events). I begin my titles with the year the movies were filmed, so they’re listed in order later.
Once published, click the edit button to access all sorts of tools. To trim and clip out unwanted pieces, look for the “Enhancements” tab and then the “Trim” button. A timeline appears at the bottom where you subtract the beginning, end or pieces in the middle. When you’re done, save it as the original or as a new version. Done!
Your Youtube channel is public by default so that anyone you share a link with can view it, and it’s searchable on google. You can set your channel or individual videos to private, or even unlisted so that they can only be seen by you and those you allow. This is great for family because, if you give them permission, family members can help edit, title, tag and comment. One person can transfer and upload and you or someone far away can return later to refine them incrementally.
This is just the basics but if you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to tackle your first transfer. Call our experts today to get started!
Where exactly is this cloud?
Sharing photos has never been easier. Finding them? That’s a whole other thing. If you feel a little lost in the cloud, you’re not alone. Ask anyone where their photos are and most will answer with some variation of, “Right here, on my phone.” Now ask where, actually, physically do they reside? Blank stare. Even the techiest of us have to pause to remember exactly which platform we captured or shared this particular photo on. Or we’ll just go with the standard answer we give our wives when they ask… weekly. “Honey, we use iCloud.” or “…Google Photos.” or …”Facebook saves them forever.” Eye roll.
So where, really, do all these pixels exist? The truth is it doesn’t matter where they’re stored. We can fetch them from any device, any platform, any time. Maybe they’re on instagram, or in your Google Drive, or in link to a Dropbox folder. No problem. We are the locksmiths of photo vaults. (Don’t worry, we aren’t breaking in!)
There are three ways to order just about everything we make. That includes prints, posters, wall art, books, cards, the works.
1. Online from a computer.
It’s old school but that’s where most of us store the good stuff; high resolution photos from dSLRs and family portrait sessions. If they’re on a hard drive or cloud drive connected to your computer, this applies. Start at our website and choose the type of product you’d like to order. You’ll be prompted to “Add Image(s)” in a window that looks something like this.
Choose your source and the rest is easy! We’ll even verify image quality once uploaded.
2. Online from any phone or tablet.
If our app is compatible with your device, give it a try! Otherwise continue in your device’s browser and you’ll see a box similar to the one above. Once uploaded, you can crop and edit during the order process.
3. In-store from any device.
This is your best option because our experts can help every step of the way. Getting pictures from your phone into one of our kiosks is as easy as plugging it in. Just like your camera card or USB drive, the kiosk will find all the pictures on your device and then you can choose the ones you want.
If you need only a few images, you can choose them first on your phone and send them wirelessly to the kiosk, like AirDrop®!
What if they’re not on your phone at all? No problem. Our kiosks connect to every web service above. Once your order is complete, the secure connection is closed.
Your photos will probably never all be in one place. Don’t let that stop you. Here’s an example. I wanted to make a photo book for my wife’s birthday. I had some family portraits that the photographer shared with us in Dropbox. I knew that about 20 of her favorite memories from the year are posted on her Facebook page, and the rest were on my phone.
I walked up to the kiosk with only my phone in my pocket, selected the book design I wanted and clicked “Add Photos.” A list of local and online sources appeared. I clicked the Dropbox icon, entered my username and password, found the folder from my Photographer and chose her favorites. Once they were uploaded, I clicked “Add Images” again. This time I chose the Facebook icon and entered my username and password. But wait, the photos were posted in my wife’s account, not mine. No problem! Facebook shows you images posted by you and your friends, organized by person. I navigated to my wife’s shared photos and selected about 25 of them. The kiosk put them in the same bucket as our family portraits and I went back to “Add Photos” one more time. This time, I selected wireless device as my source. The kiosk directed me to a webpage on my phone where I selected the images I wanted transferred. This can also be done with an app.
Once uploaded, I had images from all three sources in one bucket. The whole upload process took about ten minutes. I spent a bit longer customizing my book before placing the order.
When it comes to organizing and preserving your family’s photography history, many of us struggle to get this accomplished. Whether it’s photos stuck in drawers, VHS tapes in boxes, old slide carousels or piles of home movie reels – most of us don’t even know where to begin. Time out! You do know how important preserving these memories is – don’t you? Over time, these precious mementos from our past, our parents’ past and our grandparents’ past are at risk for damage, deterioration and they are mostly likely forgotten and neglected.
What is Archiving? It’s the process of storing data and information of historical importance – and what’s more important that your own family history!?
Here’s why archiving is important:
• Protection – Getting those photos and movies out of damp basements and grungy garages ensures longevity. It also protects them from catastrophic weather or environmental damage.
• Preservation – The best way to preserve these moments and memories is through a process called digitization. The prints, slides and home movies are scanned and turned into digital files – making them accessible by today’s technology.
• Storage – Once your memorabilia is digitized, it becomes far easier to store because it takes up far less physical space. Thousands of digital files can fit on DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, USB drives and hard drives – meaning those 4 large boxes full of photographs are now on a device that can fit in the palm of your hand. Taking it a step further, you can also store those digital files in the cloud for even deeper storage and back up protection.
• Duplication/Sharing – A common problem for families is deciding who gets to keep all of that rich history, often resulting in frustration over who gets what photographs. The beauty of digitizing those files means no more arguing on the subject. Every single family can have their very own copy of the family’s memorabilia – and we think that’s pretty awesome.
• Accessibility – Once these items are safely stored on digital media, it becomes much easier to locate specific images or movies quickly. Much faster than digging through boxes in search of mom and dad’s wedding photo.
We love helping our customers get started archiving, but so many don’t even know where to begin. Fear not! We have the perfect solution to let you test the waters with archiving. We’ve developed a step by step kit that simplifies the process – it’s called The Gather Box. This take-home, DIY archiving kit simplifies the sometimes-daunting task of organizing personal effects and helps get your photo closets, drawers, garages, basements and attics in order!
You won’t believe what this box can do! Here’s how it works:
STEP 1: GATHER Purchase the box for yourself or a loved one. Inside, find instructions and tips to guide you through the sorting and gathering process.
STEP 2: FILL THE BOX Fill it with memorabilia, photos, slides and home movies, then drop it off at our store. If you have things that won’t fit in the box, bring them along so we can address those items separately.
STEP 3: MAGIC! Return to find that everything in your box has been magically transformed into digital format. Now you can relax in confidence knowing those precious relics from the past are now protected and easily accessible.
If The Gather Box sounds like the solution for you, stop by and pick one up today! www.theprintrefinery.com
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