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.