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Gift Idea No. 1: Digitize Your Family’s Audio Recordings

November 11, 2012

Flickr Image by Dean Terry

No, we’re not talking about your old 8-track of “Houses of the Holy” or your foldout double-album of “Frampton Comes Alive.”

In your closets, in your storage boxes or even up in your attic may be a few personal items that you don’t know what to do with. Vital artifacts of your family’s rich history that you would like to preserve – or even revive – in some way.

Yet they aren’t exactly conventional.

A few examples:

  • Cassette tapes of interviews/oral histories conducted with one of your grandparents or other older relatives about 10-30 years ago, talking about life during the Depression, their immigration from Europe of even what it was like to watch a young Frank Sinatra in concert.
  • Reel-to-reel recordings of the same kind of material. Or perhaps phone calls of a parent spreading the news of your birth to other relatives. Or the sounds of a family wedding from the 40s or 50s.
  • Non-commercial vinyl records of your mother crooning her own version of “I’m Sorry” during a visit to a carnival midway 60 years ago. Or perhaps a vanity album of your grandfather singing some of his favorite songs at the piano in his old basement.

Flickr image by John Kennenberg

You have long since gotten rid of your tape recorders. You might still have a turntable, but perhaps the needle is worn out. Regardless, you really want to preserve these amazing pieces of family history you have. What can you do?

Turn to your friends at Ann Arbor-based Priceless Photo Preservation, that’s what.

While  you may be familiar with the fact that we scan photos, capture slides, digitize videos and convert  home movies, you may not know that our services extend into the audio world as well.

We can digitize those non-commercial recordings,  giving you both CDs you can listen to in your car  as well as storage disks containing the  digitized files as MP3s and WAVs. The best part of all: You won’t have to worry anymore about tapes disintegrating or irreplaceable LPs getting scratched.

These CDS would make completely unique gifts for other family members and other relatives: Something they will not only appreciate, but hold onto and cherish. Perhaps you can surprise your spouse by digitizing something from his or her side of the family. The possibilities are endless.

So endless in fact that we have another use in mind for those old recordings.

To learn more about it, keep your eye on this space in the coming days.

As always, if you have any preservation needs or want our help on a family digitization project, drop us a line at  or call us at 734-219-3916. We offer pickup and drop-off service throughout southeast Michigan and northwestern Ohio. We are now serving the Grand Rapids area as well.

Stay tuned for our next gift suggestion on Tuesday.

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