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Conversion of analog media to digital

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2014-01-24
Hello again:

I am looking for some expert opinions about which solutions would be best for, 1) converting my old VCR tapes to digital, (for burning to DVD and torturing house guests by insisting they watch our dingy home movies about the kids, etc, )  :-} and. 2) a solution to accurately convert our vinyl record collection to digital as well.  I've heard there are some apps that will even eliminate the "pops" and "cracks" heard on worn vinyl, and would be most interested in acquiring something like this- even at a reasonable premium.

In the past I've used an older "ConvertX" device for converting VCR tapes, that you would hook up between a VCR player and the computer.  It came with some basic movie-making software, and did a decent job for the money.  Unfortunately, it does not work on a 64 bit platform.  I have Windows 7 64 bit on my laptop, and thought that maybe just the OS was the problem.  But it still refuses to work, even using "XP Mode"- so my guess is that the problem is the 64 bit architecture.  

I'm looking for recommendations for good quality solutions, not necessarily the cheapest. For the VCR converter, it doesn't matter if it doesn't come with any movie-making or editing software.  I have other apps to do that later on, once the conversion is made.  I just need something that will do a good and reliable job running on a 64 bit installation.  Ditto for the vinyl-to-digital converter as well.  If the vinyl record converter came with a turntable, that would be OK. I have an old turntable around still, but I really don't know what shape it is in, nor how to test it.  I don't think I have any other components to go with it anyway.

Thanks in advance.


ChristopherNls
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Question by:ChristopherNls
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6 Comments
 
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 250 total points
ID: 39596304
If you have a large number of VHS tapes, it might be worth to track down something like this:
http://dvd-players.toptenreviews.com/dvd-recorder/panasonic/panasonic-dmr-ez48vk-detailss-22575.htm

They are becoming increasingly rare, but they're a very easy to use solution for transferring your VHS tapes to DVDs that will play on every player.

Plus, that particular model does a decent job of up-scaling the picture for today's big screens.

PS: for all my audio needs I use a friend who uses Sony SoundForge. He says it's very powerful.

HTH,
Dan
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Author Comment

by:ChristopherNls
ID: 39597652
DanCraciun:

Your suggestions look very helpful.  I will spend some time studying them this evening, after work.

CN
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Author Comment

by:ChristopherNls
ID: 39626379
Any suggestions on a hardware/software vinyl record conversion solution?  I was hoping for a knowledgeable recommendation for a good turntable and software combination- or something to that effect- as I don't have a turntable or any other components to do the job with.  Just something to faithfully and accurately reproduce what is on the vinyl to a format I can burn to DVD.

CN
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

by:
fredshovel earned 250 total points
ID: 39667274
I have used Kaiser Baas for many years. Very cheap and you really can't do it much better.
http://www.kaiserbaas.com/converters-category/video-to-dvd-maker#
Have a look at the video.  Although he makes it look like child's play there are a few more things to consider.  There will be a software program included in the package. You will have to choose your capture format.  Simple, choose DVD (it's MPEG-2). You can't make VHS look any better than it is so don't waste your time with HD.  
They also do an audio version but it's probably overkill.  A free way to do it, if you want to mess with an output from your audio pre-amp (you can't come directly out of a turntable  unless it's pre-amped or has USB out) then you have to set the levels etc.  A very simple and cheap way to do this is to buy a USB turntable, and I'm pretty sure they give you the software as well.  If you want to get rid of cracks and pops just get a copy of the free Audacity -- this is also an excellent recording program, which can also record your vinyl directly ( if you use the phone / pre-amp method).

Trivial notes:  A USB turntable converts the analogue audio to digital in the player, so your audio hits the PC already digitized.  Make sure you get one that makes wav files as well as mp3, as you may want to archive the better quality wav files.
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Author Comment

by:ChristopherNls
ID: 39669856
This looks good, Fred.  I will take a closer and longer look at it tonight after work.

ChristopherNls
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Author Closing Comment

by:ChristopherNls
ID: 39808139
Good and knowledgeable suggestions both.  Thanks for your help.
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