Our new Torrance office is NOW OPEN. You’ll find us at 357 Van Ness Way Suite 90, Torrance, CA 90501. We can’t wait to greet you in our new store!

Our new Torrance office is NOW OPEN. You’ll find us at 357 Van Ness Way Suite 90, Torrance, CA 90501. We can’t wait to greet you in our new store!

Compatibility Guarantee - All Media Transferred Local

Photo Scaninning

Photo
Scanning

Slide Scaninning

Slide Scanning

Negative Scanning

Negative Scanning

Video Transfer

Video Tape Transfer

Film Transfer

Film
Transfer

Audio Transfer

Audio Transfer

Slideshows

Video
Tribute

Latest Posts

Deciding What Hard Drive is Best For Your Media Transfer Needs

Often times, I come across people with all sorts of older-type media, such as VHS tapes and Film, who decide that after all these years, they want to take their family’s media, archive and consolidate it,  and even perhaps do some editing to create a fresh new video or compilation to share with loved ones. Many times, people simply have no idea what do to with it or who to give it to.

One simple method I recommend to everyone, is instead of putting that video to DVD, take all that old stuff and put it on a Hard Drive!

With hard drives continuing to evolve as technology moves forward, it will only get easier to transfer your files as time goes on. You may be asking yourself, “What kind of hard drive is the best solution for me and my particular video transfer San Diego project?”

The answer to this, in part, depends on what you are planning to do with the media once it’s on the drive?

If you plan do to some video editing, for instance, you need to make sure you have free space equal or greater than what is currently on the drive.  For instance, if you have 250gb of video and plan to do some editing, it is recommended to get a drive with at least 500gb to compensate for renders, clips, snippets, and whatever else you may try along the way.

If editing is way over your head, and you simply want to archive your media onto a hard drive, then you just need to roughly figure out how much space you’re going to use. When video is captured as uncompressed AVI, it typically runs about 13GB per hour of video. You can use this basic rule of thumb to give you a rough idea of what to expect when it comes time to purchase a suitable drive.

There are also a variety of different types of hard drives. Some of the most common drives include flash or thumb drives, portable USB hard drives, and desktop external hard drives.

Flash drives (or thumb drives) are small, portable solid-state memory drives which currently range from a few megabytes to 256GB. They are often referred to as the “new-age floppy disks”, only they are smaller, faster, more durable, and are capable of holding thousands of times more data.  These are best for transferring small files between computers, or for people with small San Diego video transfer clips or scanned images.

USB-powered portable hard drives are smaller, portable 2.5″ drives intended for laptop and embedded devices are slightly more expensive in cost per GB compared with larger capacity 3.5″ drives. They do not require an external power source, which can come in handy if traveling or somehow unable to find an electrical outlet.

The standard external hard drive is typically a 3.5″ SATA hard drive in an enclosure with a USB connector. It can hold a great deal of data from a few megabytes to several terabytes. This is great for people with large amounts of data to be transferred.

When it comes time to transfer your family’s old images and video, instead of immediately thinking, “Wow let’s turn this VHS to DVD in San Diego!” It always helps to do a little bit of research and find out the best solution for you.

Super C Video Conversion Software- Full of Options, Supports Most File Types, No Spyware, and Free!

During all of my years of working with audio and video, not once have I come across a conversion program more versatile, more configurable, more helpful than Super C. You can get very specific with what you want/need (which may confuse some people, but remember, Google is your friend!) It has a small resource footprint. You can batch convert multiple files. There are so many options!

I use Super C all the time. One of the features that I particularly like is that you can have it save your new file in the same folder as the one being converted automatically (without a “Save As” prompt). This speeds up the process, as I no longer have to tell it to do this every time. Also, it makes it very easy to find where the files are (instead of searching for some seemingly random default folder). You can also change the bitrate, framerate, dimensions, decoder/encoder combo, boost or diminish volume, exclude audio or video, create animated gif, crop or pad video dimensions with black, encode only a portion of the video, take jpeg snapshots at a certain point, and on and on and on!

It is particularly useful for creating web-ready videos or videos for hand-held devices. It has preset standards for your iPhone, Zune, Nintendo DS, PS3, and PSP. It also has presets for VCD, SVCD, DVD (VOB), 3GP (for cell phones), M-JPEG (for digital picture frames), and “Sequence Of Images” for a “frame dump” of the images that compose the video itself (this one requires a lot of space/processing power for long videos). It also seems that for the “Sequence Of Images” feature, the image quality is pretty good compared to other programs with screen shot/frame dump capabilities. All in all, it’s pretty amazing what it can handle.

Every once in a while I try to do something it won’t do, but every time it’s been because I had a setting incorrect. I just Google the error, and someone before me who had the same problem has already had the answer supplied. Typically it’s the decoder (you change it to a different one, and “TADA!” it works again).

In the world of  San Diego video transfer and conversion, there are many many programs and tools out there. It’s very nice to have just ONE that works for almost everything, and doesn’t install a bunch of junk! I’m sure you understand if you’ve looked for free utilities before how much garbage and clutter you end up with in experimenting to find something that’s going to do what you need. Well, no more!

You can get Super C at their website. The catch is finding the download link among the ads! Don’t worry, the ads are all work safe. This is the only gripe I have. But hey, if I have to find a download link among some non-offensive ads for such a great program, I’ll do it every time.

-Bryan Clark

Recommended Photo Scanner

I know Canon makes scanners with excellent multi-scan single-pass functionality. This means that you put 2 or more pictures down, scan once, and it digitally crops without having to do multiple passes. This is a HUGE time-saver. I know the 8800f model does this.  Sometimes it cuts the photo scanning time in half or even to a quarter. I have 2 of them, and have used them to scan literally tens of thousands of images. They are generally $200, but the time saved is well worth the $50.

Photo Scanning San Diego

Slideshows, Image Resolution, Upscaling

A buddy of mine was having some problems creating slideshows. He told me it just plain looked like junk. After delving a little deeper, I found out he was photo scanning the images and cropping them for high definition, but then burning them to DVD and using the player to upscale! Here’s basically what I told him:

Upscaling your slideshow after reducing the size manually is no good! No wonder you’re disappointed with the results. The software you use to create the slideshow SHOULD resize your photographs, however, because they will not be exactly the same resolution (unless you crop them). You’ll also have to crop them to DVD video resolution (~720X480), because that is what will actually be burned to the DVD, regardless of the upscaling (1920×1080). This is where your problem lies. Regardless of the original size, the burning software will scale the photos to fit the DVD resolution without stretching the image. Then, the BluRay player tries to increase the image size.

On video, its harder to notice upscaling. This is because video is constantly in motion, and our eyes have to continually work to notice the ever changing information. In a still frame, you have a long time to analyze everything about it. Ever notice how crummy a paused video looks? Video literally tricks your brain, since we’re not seeing actual movement, but a fast progression of images.

So- a solution! Try using DVD resolution for your images (make sure when you scan, you choose your output options carefully). If you’re still not pleased, spend the money on the Blu-Ray discs. It should be worth it once you’re ready to save it for good.

Looking for a custom slideshow in San Diego? Check out our slideshow page for more information!

Google Calendar Is Down

Which means I can’t schedule video to DVD appointments.

Google Calendar is down today, Tuesday 07-21-2009.

Photo Scanning/Organizing With Corel Photo Album 6

Janet is a friend of my mom’s. It seems when you work in an industry that specializes in photo scanning in San Diego you’re expected to know everything! Thank goodness for Google, since I knew what the problem was and how to solve it, but not the specific steps for Corel Photo Album 6. Picasa as well as iPhoto have similar formats of how they handle what they show you in the organizer. “Hey Guru, help me out! I’ve begun to scan photos on my own, and in the meantime, have installed Greeting Card Factory. My issue is that ever since, when I try to organize using Corel Photo Album 6, all these weird images from that program come up! How do I get rid of these?! It’s messing up my slideshows! Thanks, Janet” So here’s the deal- Picasa and Corel Photo Album (not all inclusive) only show you what they’re programmed, or told, and sometimes this is not what you want. The way to change this is to change what folders they are searching for the media they show. The way to do this in Corel Photo Album 6 is: -Open Corel Photo Album. -On the Corel Photo Finder dialog -Click the Custom Folders option, and then click the remove button for every folder you do not want cataloged (the folders created by Greeting Card Factory or any others you do not recognize), and add those that you wish to include. For Picasa, it’s: -Open Picasa. -Go to “Tools” then “Folder Manager” -There should be a list here, in the bottom right, of all folders ALWAYS watched for new media. On the left is the explorer representation of your folders, including the ones in the list. Remove and add folders as you like, and it will start updating as soon as you hit OK. There are plenty of other programs that work the same way. Hope this helps you out Janet.

Why use our company?

Today I received this email:

I have several cassette tapes of songs I have written and recorded. I want them to be transferred to CD. I found you guys by typing “Cassette to CD in San Diego” in Google.

I’ve used another company to do this in the past. The problem I have is that they aren’t local. You seem a little more expensive but I have not looked in awhile. Do you boost sound levels if need be and try to minimize tape hiss? Please let me know. Then I may call if I have further questions before bringing the tapes in to you. Thanks.”

This got me thinking about how we compare to other companies out there. It’s true- we are definitely not the cheapest company to do this transfer type. My initial reaction is something like “You get what you pay for,” and “Do you really want to trust your irreplaceable memories with some McJob employees?” If I were to enter a debate about it, though, those answers are really not very well thought out. So why are we “a little more expensive?”

We only use archival grade media. Your transfers will be put on premium archival grade CDs or DVDs as our standard. Many places charge $10 above their normal cost for this. We think that the whole reason you are transferring them in the first place is to preserve them and get them into a format that can be used today. Why would you want anything less?

Your media will never be shipped unless you request it. We are dedicated to keeping your media in our hands from the day you bring it by to the day you pick it up. We will NEVER ship off to another state, Mexico, or India to cut labor costs. This means instead of having to trust the post, customs, and employees/companies with no personal sense of responsibility toward your media, you only have to trust us.

We ONLY do media transfers. This is not a side project, or a division of a larger company. We have no other income to rely on, which means all of our service has to be top notch in order to keep people coming back.

You will be able to speak directly with the technician who is working on your order. Because we are focused on doing business locally, our offices are relatively small. This means that we can have one technician work on your order from start to finish, who can and will contact you if he has any questions, as well as answer your questions or concerns if you have them mid-transfer. Your order will also be taken by this technician, if at all possible.

We guarantee compatibility of the new media. We know of no other store that does this. If your media doesn’t work, DON’T THROW IT AWAY! Most likely, it’s a compatibility problem, and we can figure out a way to fix it! Also, you will want to keep your original copy as a master (even if it is not compatible with your player, compatible copies can be made from it), since it is an archival grade disc.

Of course, I answered his other question, too. We print the song titles on the CD upon request (most often at no charge. If it’s determined that it’s just basic labeling instructions, there’s no additional fee to print the titles on the CD). As standard operating procedure, we will play back the first 2 minutes or so of the tape in order to check the gain and adjust the levels appropriately. This is the best time to do this, as trying to boost them afterward just increases the extra noise in the background.  Although we do try to minimize tape hiss, if the tape itself has the hiss recorded into the tape, it will require restoration work, which we charge per half hour. Most audio tapes do not need this, and you can decide whether or not to do it after listening to it.

Guess what? He decided to have us transfer them.

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