Most of us have obsolete old media stuffed in our cupboards and closets or in the attic such as photographs, slides, VHS tapes, audio cassettes, vinyl records etc. We’d like to convert them to a digital format so that we can store them on our computer, mobile device or CD/DVD. Many of us have seen the horrendous cost of having them converted professionally; the bill for digitizing everything I have professionally could easily run into the thousands of dollars. So why not digitize old media yourself?

So, here are some suggestions for doing the work yourself and saving loads of money:

Photographs and Film

Photomyne is an app for your phone that lets you easily scan and save photographs. There are automatic cropping and enhancing features as well as a facility to allow the addition of dates, locations etc.

Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner

This is the best selling photo scanner on Amazon. It allows for high quality enlargements and can scan slides, negatives and medium format panoramic film. You can also remove the appearance of tears  and creases as well as restoring faded colour pictures.

Click here to see it on Amazon

All In One Film Scanner

This scanner can convert 35mm, 126PK, 110 and Super 8 (cine) negatives to jpegs which can be saved onto your computer. The device comes with holders for the different film formats, a USB lead, a TV connection cable, a mains plug, a lens cleaning brush and an instruction manual. It is a stand alone device and has a built in memory that can store up to 50 images. There is a slot for an SD card, but it does not come with one. I do recommend that you use an SD card as you will be able to store a lot more pictures.

Click here to see it on Amazon

Please see my post on digitizing film for more information on this type of product.

8mm Home Movie Film

I’ve seen a number of videos on YouTube showing how it’s possible to convert 8mm home movie film to a digital format using a projector and a camcorder. This is one of the best I’ve seen: How to transfer older 8mm home movie film to DVD 

Wolverine 8mm and Super8 Reels Movie Digitizer with 2.4″ LCD, Black (Film2Digital MovieMaker)

However, if you want better quality and have a fair number of 8mm or Super 8 films to convert, you may like to consider this product. It is fully automated  and converts film to MPEG MP4 digital movie files at 720P 30 fps. Files are directly saved on to SDSDHC cards (not included). Playback is also possible directly to your TV with the included cable.

Click here to see it on Amazon

HP Sprocket Photo Printer X7N07A.

Incidentally, a useful tool for printing pictures on the go is the HP Sprocket Photo Printer X7N07A. This device is the same size as a smart phone and prints 2″x 3″ photos on sticky-backed paper. You download the HP app and can download and print images from your social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and flickr.  

Click here to see it on Amazon


Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Color Duplex Desk Scanner for Mac or PC

This is the best selling document scanner on Amazon. Up to 50 sheets of paper can be inserted into the advanced, automatic feeding system which allows for double sided scanning. Its features include auto color detection, auto rotation for upside down documents, and blank page removal. The scanner comes with easy to use software with color, grayscale, and monochrome scan speeds of up to 25 double-sided pages per minute.

You can scan your documents directly into cloud based services like Google Drive or Dropbox. Connect via a USB connection or wi-fi.

Click here to see it on Amazon

Brother Mobile Color Page Scanner DS-620

The Brother DS620 Mobile Color Page Scanner is the best selling portable document scanner on Amazon.  It is compact and lightweight and delivers fast scan speeds of up to 8 ppm, in both color and black & white. The DS-620 produces crisp color scans with resolution up to 600 × 600 dpi and comes with versatile software.

Click here to see it on Amazon

Audio Cassettes

Honest Technology Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus with Cassette Player

This product looks like the original Walkman cassette tape player but it comes with a USB lead which you plug into your computer. With the included software you can convert your cassette collection to digital MP3 files and then create CDs if you desire. I’ve personally had this package for a couple of years now and have successfully converted much of my collection of music and speech cassettes.

Click here to see it on Amazon

For more information about this product and for converting cassette tapes generally see How to convert Cassette Tapes to CDs.

Vinyl Records

Behringer UFO202 Audio Interface

I have several hundred vinyl records and I’ve been slowly digitizing them as time permits using this device which is basically a USB pre-amp.  You need to download Audacity which is a free, open source, multi-track audio editor. You plug your hi-fi record turntable into the UFO202 using it’s RCA leads, then plug the interface into your computer. For best results, record a track at a time. It takes me about an hour to complete a 40 minute album.

Click here to see it on Amazon

Please see my post on digitizing vinyl records for more information on this product.

Video Tape

Easyday EasyCap DC60 – USB 2.0 Video Capture Adapter with Video Editing Software

This product plugs into your VCR and connects with your computer via a USB interface so that you can convert your VHS tapes into a digital format which can be copied onto DVDs. It comes with simple video editing software and is easy to use.

Click here to see it on Amazon

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite 

The VIDBOX can capture VHS, Beta, 8mm and camcorder tapes and convert them to DVD or another digital format. A video player is required.

See it here on Amazon

Happy digitizing!

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