Your process for handling older tapes/media

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by timn420, May 11, 2009.

  1. timn420 macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2009
    What is the process you use when handling older 8mm/Hi8 tapes? Do you make dupes of these tapes on other media first? Do you capture everything via FCP on these tapes and put it on a hard drive?

    I have a great number of tapes I’m working with and I am trying to come up with the best method of archiving them. I want to treat them as gently as possible because they are pretty old and won’t be able a lot more handling.
  2. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    I may be way off here... I'm talking out my @ss, since I haven't dealt with lots of old tapes in the manner you are speaking of.

    I would guess, however, you'd want the tape to be handled the minimum number of times. That is, the greatest risk for damage is going to be done when the tape is being rewound or fast forwarded, played multiple times, etc. I would minimize this by capturing everything to harddrive like you suggested. Then you just need one pass and you're safe.

    That said, how old/bad is this tape? If it's just been sitting on a shelf in an airconditioned environment, I'm not sure I'd bee too worried. ( again remember I am no authority!! ) I recently dug up a dozen or so VHS tapes (a few were 25 years old, played many dozens of times) and just tossed them in a VCR to digitize and only one out of the 12 had any problems at all. These tapes weren't properly cared for in the least and I got excellent captures from them.

    Still, you might want to inspect some of the tape ( physically ) to see what the condition is... if it feels brittle, you may want to take it to a professional media restoration group.

    Hope this helps!
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    it depends on what you're planning to do with them.

    I would dub them to miniDV first so that you have a new tape version that contains timecode that will be usable within FCP for batch capturing if drive crashes.

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