What to do when you inherit the family library of photos, videos, and documents? (Part 7)

Last week’s blog talked about scanning your documents and pictures.  This week we switch senses from visual to auditory.  Audio technology has drastically changed since Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1887. 

The cassette tape was probably the most used format of recording family member’s stories and oral history.  The hardware (devices) and connections (wires) of transferring or “ripping” an old recording into a digital file aren’t complicated.  However, finding the original equipment can.  How many people do you know that still have a properly working cassette deck?

When transferring your audio the most difficult thing to get right is the recording levels.  At a minimum use an audio app (software) that allows you to control or even enhance the quality of the recordings or digital files with aspects such as volume, gain, amplitude, etc…  Some of these apps are free or can be purchased for as little as $30.  Getting these audio levels correct can be tricky, but most people can learn how to do it with some practicing.  Consider practicing on transferring an old recording that’s in good condition before moving on to the ones that are fragile or in poor condition.

If you don’t feel comfortable trying to transfer your old audio into a digital format consider hiring a reputable professional.

Check out GenealogyChris’s blog next week for tips on digitalizing video.