Congratulations on reducing clutter and preserving analog memories for posterity by getting them digitized. Now that you have accomplished this task, it’s time to decide on the best way to store your digital files to ensure they’re safe and storage doesn’t become a problem. This applies not only to newly digitized media, but also to hundreds if not thousands of images on smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Although the most common, keeping thousands of images on your desktop or laptop computer is not the best method for storing digital photos. Thousands of photos and other files can cause your computer to get cluttered and slow down to a crawl. Finding files can be a nightmare unless you organize them in folders that enable easy retrieval. Most importantly, storing them exclusively on your computer makes them vulnerable to viruses, damage, or theft. Although many people don’t think about doing so, it’s essential to backup photos and other media files.
Flash and thumb drives, external hard drives, SD cards, and DVDs are a relatively secure and cost effective way to store digital files.
Before you copy the files, make sure the folders are organized in a logical manner, then label the drive with a physical tag or write identifying data on the DVD to ensure easy retrieval of specific files. Something else you need to consider is that flash/thumb drives and especially SD cards are easily lost or damaged and external drives often need maintenance. If the external hard drive crashes, it can be quite costly to hire a professional company to recover files.
If you decide to digitize your VHS collection, you’ll need to save them to DVDs or digital files. An average length movie is between 1.0 and 1.5 GB, therefore CDs aren’t a viable option because they’re typically limited to 700 MB. DVDs are available in sizes from 4.7 GB to 17 GB so they can hold quite a few movies.
When you digitize your home movies, you’ll still need to decide whether you want movies on DVDs or digital file downloads. DVDS can be organized fairly easily in a variety of storage solutions, whereas digital files present the same storage issue as digital images.
Cloud storage for media files is the safest option, although not necessarily the easiest because there are many companies and each has different options and price points. Some services allow photo storage only, while others offer storage for videos and other types of files. You’ll need to ask if the company reduces image file sizes because this presents a problem if you wish to print, edit, or display your images on a TV screen at some point in the future.
It may take some research to decide which service is the best for your digital storage needs based on the type and quantity of media you need to store and share. In the long run, it’s worth the time and effort to find an optimal cloud storage solution. When you think about it, you’ll realize the keeper of your memories needs to be a trustworthy one, technologically speaking.
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