There are few things as valuable as memories. The photos, videos, and music you’ve collected over the years are all connected to priceless memories. Some media formats deteriorate as they age, and the thought of losing your favorite photos or video from Christmas ’83 can be painful. You can prevent this by moving them into the modern era.

VHS and Home Videos

Unfortunately, the lifespan of many of your home videos may be running out. The average VHS tape lasts roughly 15 to 20 years, depending on how well they’re stored and treated. VHS cassettes kept in humid locations may have an even shorter lifespan! Over time, the magnetic strips storing sounds and videos in the cassettes lose their magnetism, leaving them blank and unusable.

Fear not, there are ways you can transfer these videos to more permanent solutions. Shops like Walgreens, Sam’s Club, and Walmart all offer to transfer video and photos onto DVDs for you. If you want to convert the video files yourself, there are products that simplify the process so you can do it yourself.

A Photo Album with Decades of Memories

If you’ve ever looked back at photos taken a decade or two ago, you’ve seen how time ruins pictures. Despite lifetime guarantees, the most important survival factor for photos is environmental. If you store a photo album properly, it should last a lifetime.

Digitally backing up your photos is always a wise precaution!

That said, digitally backing up your photos remains a wise precaution. Even if you store your photos in the perfect environment, they can still be lost, damaged, or simply age. The easiest way to preserve your photos is to take them to a store, much like videos mentioned above. Chain stores aren’t your only options for both video and photo conversion. Websites like ScanDigital offer photo and video services that can even restore your media.

Much like video, there are also DIY options for digitizing photos. All you need is a good photo scanner and a computer to connect it to. After that, all that’s left to do is to sit down and begin digitally preserving your photos!

Your Favorite Tunes from Yesteryear

Our favorite songs can have deep emotional connections to certain points in our lives. It’s understandable that you would want to protect that connection by modernizing your music collection. So, how long does music last?

The longevity of your music depends on the format you have it on. Luckily, music is also the easiest thing to replace.

The longevity of your music depends on the format that you have it on. Cassette tapes have the shortest lifespan, using magnetic strips like VHS tapes. The other two popular music formats, vinyl and CDs, can survive for years depending on how you store them. The risk with both is damage, which both are very susceptible to.

Luckily, music is the easiest thing to replace, should they become damaged or lost. You can buy most songs in an updated format, either in a new CD or digitally from an outlet like iTunes. Most songs can also be found online on YouTube, Spotify, or Pandora.

If you don’t want to buy the music again, you can convert your music into digital files. CDs are the simplest to convert since most computers with a disc drive give you the option to copy the songs from a CD onto your hard drive. For vinyl records and cassettes, you’ll need special equipment to digitally preserve the music.

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Losing your treasured photos, videos, or music can feel like you’re losing the memories themselves. For many, that would be a nightmare. By taking time to digitally preserve these aging media formats, you ensure that these memories survive to shared and enjoyed for years to come.