Why you should digitize your home movies, tapes, and photos sooner rather than later

Vintage media items such as VHS tapes, Mini tapes, audio cassettes, polaroid photos, and developed photos all have a shelf life. After a certain amount of time, these items start to degrade in quality. Eventually, many of these items will degrade completely to the point where they cannot be viewed or digitized. This happens sooner than you think, with VHS tapes and camcorder tapes starting degrade in as little in 10 years. After 20 years, many VHS tapes have some significant quality issues and some may even be unusable.

Developed photographs have a longer shelf life than tapes, but these degrade as well. Photographs kept in photo albums with a film cover survive for a long time. However, the longer they remain inside the album the harder they become to remove. The photo can "stick" to the album, making it very difficult to remove in the future for digitization.

Bottom line, all types of legacy media degrade over time, and eventually will degrade to the point where they cannot be recovered. Digitizing your media items is the solution to preserving them forever. Once a media item is digitized, its quality is preserved at the moment of digitization and it can never be destroyed or degraded. That's the beauty of it.

So do not hold off on digitizing your old media items, as it may one day become too late to do so.

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