The digital age has created a quandary for people. The technology that lets us capture and share our memories keeps changing. What was the latest, greatest storage today is gone and forgotten tomorrow. Do you remember floppy disks? DVDs may be next! This all gives us pause to think how to move our memories forward.
Printed photos are great, but people want to share them with multiple friends and family. Slides are hard to see, especially if you no longer have a projector and screen. When was the last time you watched those 8mm family movies or videos? These also deteriorate over time. Transferring old or outdated technology to current formats is why you would want to scan your slides, movies, videos, and even photos. Getting everything into the current formats and collected in one place makes it easier to backup and then share. Making digital copies for multiple family members is so much easier and faster!
But do you really want to digitize everything! Before you start off digitizing your precious photos, slides, and other memorabilia, you need to go through and sort out the bad, the duplicates, etc. so you’re not spending time or money for something that you will never use. Slides and movies can be the hardest to go through. With slides a light table is really helpful, but holding them up to the light and looking through the slides one at a time can give you a good idea of which ones you might want to digitize. Movie film and videos are where you may just have to get everything done and then sort it out. This is also where people miss the fact that getting your movies and videos transferred to a DVD is how you can view them now, but in order to edit or move them forward to the next viewing technology you need the AVI (Audio Visual Interleave) file. Most places will give you the option for both. You definitely want to have the AVI file!
As you can see, what to scan is a big question. Do you digitize everything? Do you digitize just from a certain date forward, say from children on, or from a certain date back – all your heritage photos and slides? I always go back to the ABC’s. What story do you want to tell? What photos, slides, movies, or videos will help you tell that story best? Start there and see where it takes you!