We get phone calls and emails all the time asking us if we'd just this once convert yet another defunct analog recording technology. As if supporting a bunch of different video formats including VHS, Video8, Hi8, Digital8, MiniDV, as well as a whole host of audio formats including Vinyl Records (33/45/78rpm), Compact Cassettes, Reel-to-Reels, Minidiscs, Digital Audio Tapes (DAT), and Microcassettes wasn't enough!
On that note, we've come up with a list of aging recording technologies that we simply can't convert and more importantly, why we don't support it. If you happen to have one of these aging formats, we suggest you check eBay or Google for other companies that might be able to capture these esoteric media formats.
What It Is: This one struck us by surprise when it was shipped to us for conversion - this 1940-50's era service was recorded on an enormous 16 inch wide acetate dubplate. This was to prolong the recording time - plenty of room for the single groove, and also recorded at the modern 33rpm speed! Alas, we had to immediately refund and return ship these precious masters, as we could not help with this conversion job! We also updated our vinyl conversion site to reflect this shortcoming.
Why We Don't Convert It: It simply doesn't fit on our turntable! You need a very special player with the tonearm moved at least 9 inches away from the center of the spindle; No modern turntables have this. These were used for radio stations looking to maximize the length of audio programs, while minimizing the man-hours and scheduling required to flip records.
What It Is: In the VHS vs. Betamax video war of the late 70's / early 80's, VHS dominated by releasing Hollywood features in its format faster, even though Betamax had a better video picture and audio quality. While Beta has only recently been discontinued by Sony (it's inventor) in March 2016, just about everybody agrees that Betamax lost the consumer video war to VHS.
Why We Don't Convert It: Playback decks are terribly old, or outrageously expensive. The format is hard to support with very few modern resources for supporting or fixing it. Consumer demand is also painfully low - the cost to maintain the equipment would outrank sales every year.
What It Is: Used to discreetly record meetings or lectures, this cousin of the microcassette made by the same creator of the famed Compact Cassette. The tape casing was slightly wider than the microcassette, and the internal reels used a smaller toothed gear, as the tape is propelled past the tape head by the reels, and not by the tape itself.
Why We Don't Convert It: As a failure of the technology and it's reel-advanced tape, all Mini-Cassettes are prone to wow and flutter. In the end, it lost the format war with Microcassettes, and incoming orders wouldn't cover equipment costs.
What It Is: Groovy 70's era 1/2" magnetic tape format (with a endless loop) that allowed you to instantly jump from one track to another via four push buttons, by the magic of multitrack audio! Found primarily in automobiles and trucks of the era due to the durable nature of the tapes, the occasional home playback decks were rare and often ignored for other components that had better audio reproductions (vinyl and compact cassette).
Why We Don't Convert It: There's no audio on 8-track that isn't already on vinyl or cassette as well. 8-Tracks hold (not surprisingly) a meager 4 channels of stereo audio on a limited length tape that ran in one direction only. Songs that ran over the tape length would be faded out and in as the tape reached it's end and the solenoid triggered to switch tracks. Even at our lowest rates, you could buy the 8 tracks on most major music services for less than the conversion itself.
What It Is: Multitrack audio saved onto inexpensive and common analog tape formats. ADAT were rebranded VHS tapes that held 8 tracks, or you could squeeze 4 tracks onto the full width of common Compact Cassettes with the right hardware. It offered studio-caliber analog multitrack recording for discount rates. These devices were popular in the pre-digital age, and were used by thousands of bedroom producers to create fantastic audio works.
Why We Don't Convert It: We can't capture all the audio tracks simultaneously with our current digitizing system. Plus, our destination output formats: CD's and MP3's expect two stereo channels, and we can't mix down the multiple audio channels for you. You'll need professional remixing services, not our consumer-level conversion.
What It Is: Pre-video, your parents would drag out the 8mm/Super 8mm/16mm film camera for short motion picture glimpses of the family holidays - often without audio. Now relegated to a closet, these haven't been played in years due to a broken bulb or non-working projector.
Why We Don't Convert It: Professional film transfer is a complicated process involving thousands of dollars in equipment, and full-time staff to support the aging technology. We recommend (and have used with great success) Debenham Media Group, and their top-of-the-line film scanners for the highest-quality image capture that is far better than you would get with the average telecine transfer!
Now that you've figured what we can't convert, why not take a look at what some of our satisfied customers are saying about their new digital conversions, as written in their own hand! See the nationwide map of our customers (and note how close they are to you!). Our Frequently Asked Questions may satisfy your curiosity, and if not, there's a simple form to ask us anything not covered! We also have a new side-by-side comparison of 'Why We Rock' the competition, and our full pricelist if you're just looking for some cold, hard numbers.