If you are like many other people, you might have a collection of old tapes that are just sitting somewhere in your home or a relative's home that are collecting dust. These tapes probably contain hours of footage of important moments in your life. From your first baby steps to your first birthday, and maybe even school plays or graduations. These tapes contain memories you want to keep forever.


The unfortunate part about analog is that it has been nearly completely fazed out by much better digital technology. This can throw a little bit of a wrench in the plans to preserve these precious moments of you or your family’s life, but digital conversion is here to save the day. 


Here are some quick ways to convert those old tapes into digital.

Retail Conversion Services

This one is not as common anymore because analog, as mentioned, is effectively dead, but many retail stores like big-box chains offer conversion services. This option is not always the most desirable because it involves lugging around those VHS or compact cassette tapes to a store to have them transferred into files to a USB or CD/Blu-Ray Disc but it is still an option. You will have to pay for this as well at the store, but that does not seem to stop many people from using this option. As of right now, the biggest problem does remain that a lot of these stores do not offer this service because of the lack of popularity that tapes have seen decline so rapidly. However, if you can find a store that does this then you can definitely consider it.

Tape-to-Digital Specialists

As mentioned previously, many retail stores do not offer this option but there is a silver lining. With this lack of in-person services available at big-name stores, many smaller companies have sprung up to help out families preserve their memories by offering conversion services. In most cases, these companies have in-store locations to fill the gap left by the big box or chain stores for converting your analog media to digital needs and the specialization of it can be much more attractive. Online services or chain stores might focus on common mediums like VHS or cassette formats, but these companies can offer conversion for 8mm film, mini DV, and even Betamax. This is certainly an upgrade from generic services.

Home Conversion Methods

Home conversion is another option you can look into but you do need to consider what equipment you need. For most conversion methods you are going to need some pretty specific hardware which is only useful if you are planning on converting a significant amount of tapes. Even so, it is something you can consider. Tape decks or double tape decks that house VHS and CD format are your best bet as they can help you convert through the system to a CD, with the proper HDMI input for your TV as well. The problem is finding usable VHS machines that warrant spending the money or even being able to find the proper equipment at all, but the option is still on the table if you are dedicated.

Digital Burning Tools

Lastly, digitally burning data onto a disc is nowhere near a new practice. People have been doing it for years and have also been using it to get their old memories from analog tapes to digital format as well. This is similar to the home conversion methods of VHS players and CD writing, but through digital you can burn Blu-ray discs as well. You still need the specific equipment to playback the tapes and have the right connections so this requires some sleuthing and expenses on your behalf, but if you feel really committed to doing it then maybe you already know this. The analog-to-digital converter is the one thing you will need most but again if you do not have a truly sizable collection of tapes, then this option might not be a sound investment of time or money for a few tapes.


Converting old analog tapes into more contemporary and reliable digital formats is a big deal as people can preserve their memories for a much longer time. You will no longer have to worry about those tapes collecting dust, losing playability or function over time, and be able to organize them with ease. These are some of the possible solutions if you want to keep those videos of your family moments for years to come. Keep the memories alive!

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