Remember when you use to invite your friends over to listen to the hottest new 45-rpm record? You know, the song that you first heard Dick Clark play on “American Bandstand?”
When memories come back every now and again, you get the urge to hear those songs. Or maybe you are simply an audiophile who appreciates music of the past. But the problem is you can never find what you’re looking for because your 78 rpm, 33 1/3 rpm, and 45 rpm vinyl records aren’t organized. You may not even have a turntable to play them on, or it’s stored somewhere in the attic or garage.
The same goes for your old photos. There are boxes upon boxes of old photos, from ancient Polaroids to drugstore developed film, that are now dog-eared and faded. Your old photo albums may be disintegrating and falling apart, pictures slipping out and around, subject to be lost forever.
So what do you do with them? You don’t want to toss them out because doing that is equivalent to throwing away your childhood memories and family milestones. Yet, the photos are fading and the vinyls are at risk for becoming warped because of the hot and cold climate changes within your home and the moisture surrounding the boxes.
Fortunately, there are a few answers to your dilemma. Sorting, organizing or duplication. An online service, Dvdduplication.net says, “DVD Duplication is the process of burning or writing data or video onto a blank burnable disc.” You might ask what is the difference between a DVD and a CD? While they are both the same physical size, DVDs can hold around 6 times more data than can a CD. A dual layer DVD can hold twice the amount.
They both can record or “burn” audio and data (music, photos, movies, documents, etc.). You can choose options which allow you to record only once, or formats that are re-recordable. CD-R and DVD-R allows you to record only once, then the information becomes read only. CD-RW and DVD-RW are re-writeable which allows you to burn on it multiple times. Due to the frequency of use, the RW versions may degrade faster than the R version. Be aware that both versions do have a shelf life–check your manufacturer’s warranty for the length of time your information is guaranteed to be stable. It’s a good idea after recording your data to check the discs every few years to ensure your treasured history is still intact and safe.
Read on to learn more about this duplicating process, but first are storage ideas.
Although we love the music recorded on the vinyls, the records themselves are bulky. To preserve them, keep them in their original record cover, if at all possible, and place them in an upright position. Packing them in cardboard boxes is not recommended because the cardboard absorbs moisture, particularly if the boxes are on a concrete floor. This method of storage will damage the albums.
What’s recommended is to place them in units designed specifically for storing and displaying your LPs. The LP storage units range from basic wooden crates to record towers with multiple shelves.
An alternative to storing your album collection is to store them on CDs or DVDs. Select the format which is read only so no one can accidently delete or record over them. For this you will need to buy a LP converter. These are turntables, (yes, just like the old stereo players you once had, only smaller) equipped with digital technology to convert the LP into a CD. Some turntables require a connection to your computer in order to convert the LP. Costs for conversion turntables vary. Remember, if you purchase a high-end turntable, you’ll have better audio quality.
If you don’t have the space for new cabinets or you are not tech-savvy enough to convert your own LPs, hire someone to do it for you. Check your area for audio or record companies that convert vinyl records into CDs. These companies have professional conversion equipment and their staff has the technical skills to do the job.
Just as your LPs can become audio CDs, your photos can also be burned onto CDs or DVDs. You can purchase software for your computer and do it yourself or you can check out graphic designers, photographers or multimedia stores in your area that do this type of work. Your original photos will stay intact while they are being transferred onto a CD or a DVD.
If you’re looking to unclutter your rooms, then conversion is the best route to take. It’s fun to walk down memory lane, and after you convert your vinyl albums and photos, you’ll have enough space to take the trip.