What Does This Cost?
It's all up to you.
We believe that everyone should have access to our services. No company should hold your memories for ransom. That's why we ask you to pay what you feel is fair for the service. I'm an art student living in Chicago, and I do this service as a way to keep busy and make extra money while helping out other people. When you send a message, we will talk through what's in your budget and what the project will cost me in terms of time and materials. If you're looking for an estimate, some people have paid around $10 to $20 per tape, but each situation is unique, so don't be afraid to suggest your own price!
Some Things to Consider
Lost on pricing? Here are some things to keep in mind about the company.
Videos are converted in real time
The way that my digitization works requires VHS tapes, Video Cassettes, and Audio Cassettes to be played in real time. That means that for a 6 hour tape, my computer needs to be running for that 6 hours, recording. I can do other stuff while that's going on, though!
I parse through all of the footage for you
Each tape is typically made up of many videos. Sometimes they're back to back, sometimes there is static or a blank screen between them. I take the time to extract the video (separated by date or my approximation of similar subjects) so that you don't have to sit through any dead air.
I can (usually) save nasty audio
Older tapes especially can sometimes have problems with audio preservation. Sometimes it's way too quiet, or there's an annoying hum, or any number of things could go wrong. I listen to some of the audio and make sure I'm satisfied with its listen-ability before I send it over, and if it's in need of some TLC, I have several sound-salvaging-strategies to come at it with. I'll also let you know if something is DOA.
I'm an art student
Did you know? I go to school at Columbia College Chicago, a private art school out of state. I live in a dorm apartment right in the South Loop. Within walking distance of The Bean! I accept that I'll probably be in debt forever, but your generosity could help put a bit of a dent in that. It'll be worth it either way.
Your secrets are safe with me
I can personally promise you that I won't share your videos to any third parties, won't sell them, won't put them anywhere online that isn't password protected, won't show them to my friends, and will try not to laugh too hard at your old fashion choices. If I ever want to use your footage in a film, I promise to send you a release form beforehand. Consent is sexy!
Your tapes are my babies
I know firsthand how fragile physical media is. That's why we're doing this in the first place, isn't it? I don't ask you to ship anything, and your media goes directly from your hands, to mine, and back to yours. That's less chance of broken plastic and broken dreams! Plus, I'll give you all your tapes back.
My computer is an insomniac
Because it usually takes hours, I do most of my uploading while I sleep. That means it can get done faster! When your data is backed up to the cloud, it's really difficult to lose, so that's why I do that.
You can watch on the big screen
We all know that these older videos are pretty low resolution, meaning that some video players struggle to enlarge them. I render your stuff in 720p so that it looks as okay as it can. Google Photos also lets you use a Chromecast to watch your videos on your TV!