If you count yourself among the many individuals whose cabinets are full of recorded home movies from decades past, listen up. Your beloved VHS tapes—which have captured everything from your blissful wedding day to your grandchild's first steps—could soon be deemed unwatchable.
According to a recent report by NPR, analog videos (or VHS) are rapidly deteriorating in a problem known as Magnetic Media Crisis. In essence, the magnetic layer that stores and records sounds and images is losing its magnetic properties—ruining any chance of replaying those treasured memories.
VHS tapes only have a life expectancy of 20-30 years, depending on how you store them. Time may be running out--after all, video cameras became popular back in the '80s and '90s. But fortunately, there's still a way to save your VHS tapes. The solution? Transfer them into a digital format.
The process is really quite simple. You can buy a VHS-DVD combo player or an analog-to-digital video adapter and download software to your computer. For those slightly less ambitious, you can also take your tapes into a local CVS, Walmart, or Walgreens to take advantage of their film- and VHS-to-DVD, Blu-ray, and digital transfer services. And yet another resource, Legacy Republic, will turn your old film or tapes into DVDs, secure online sharing, and even prints and wall decor through their "Memory Makeover Kit" package.
Efforts to protect old memories extend even beyond our own homes. More important still are the VHS tapes that have captured significant moments in history, which is why non-profit organization XFR Collective has dedicated their work to preserving them. Plus, everyone can easily access the videos: the group's archivists have preserved outmoded tapes in a digital format on their Internet archive.
The moral of the story: Stop procrastinating and make a move to save your old home memories. If you don't digitize the tapes now, they may be gone forever—and you'll be left heartbroken.
h/t Country Living