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I am a blubbering wreck. Have just found some tapes of the DSs when tiny. Want to transfer them to disc, how?

(10 Posts)
mehgalegs Thu 04-Sep-08 19:33:23

Sooo cute. DS1 aged 2 1/2 and DS2 aged 18 months, chatting in their bedroom after lights out, talking about their day making new train set and jumping in a big puddle <sniff>. DH and I had left the dictaphone running and they didn't know.

Anyhoo, the quality is poor, quite hissy and the tapes are tiny little dictaphone ones.

Can I get them put on a CD and the sound quality improved?

Also have same of DS3 and DS4 as babies going Bah!

colacubes Fri 05-Sep-08 00:06:12

Your local camera shop, I had my dds done was about £10 per hour transferred,was done at Jessops, they are in most towns I would think!

WendyWeber Fri 05-Sep-08 00:15:02

Oh I have some like this tucked away somewhere too, they are adorable smile

You want somewhere like this although it doesn't actually say it can improve the quality (or not on a quick scan, may have missed it, but it sounds like the right sort of place)

WendyWeber Fri 05-Sep-08 00:16:49

Ah, just found this on another page on the website:

<<Tape recordings were never meant to last. Tapes can become stretched, broken or damaged by magnetic fields. In such circumstances tapes can, over time, finish up unplayable and precious memories will be lost forever.

In the short term we can significantly reduce the stickiness of deteriorating tape.
We can mend breaks
Remove damaged or stretched sections.
Remove most pops and clicks
Reduce background hiss.
Transfer the recording onto a CD
A CD stores information in a digital form and is not subject to the same deterioration as tape.>>

MrVibrating Fri 05-Sep-08 00:21:52

Does the dictaphone have a headphone (or earphone) socket? If it does, get a lead like this one (no need to pay a high price plus postage - you can get these in Tesco) and plug it into the light blue socket near the light green one where you plug your speakers in on your PC.

Now you need some sound recording software. If you have Window$ Vi$ta it includes the imaginatively named 'Sound Recorder' which is OK. (The Sound Recorder in previous versions of Windows was rubbish). But if you are going to spend some time getting it as good as you can you need some decent software - I use the free, open source Audacity.

Good luck!

mehgalegs Fri 05-Sep-08 10:17:19

Thank you for advice. Think I will try MrV's method first Wendy and then send tapes to your link to have quality improved. Had horrible thought that they might get lost in the post.

Found another one last night with DS3 singing twinkle twinkle at 20 months and later with DS4 gurgling and chuckling at 4 months.

WendyWeber Fri 05-Sep-08 10:36:43

Yes, I would worry about that too, ML - we have hours & hours of old VHS tapes of the kids & I would love to get them transferred to DVD & the same applies.

They have some sound samples on the website though, if you click on "sound samples" on the L here you can hear before & after from an old cassette tape & it's amazing - they do clear out all the "noise" on it!

Maybe do MrV's sound recording first, so you have a copy, & then send off to the other place? (registered post of course!) I'm going to dig ours out for a listen.

WendyWeber Fri 05-Sep-08 10:37:08

Oh sorry, that's what you said you would do blush

BethatPreciousVoices Fri 05-Sep-08 13:29:17

Dear Mehgalegs, Wendy & friends,
We tracked your chat via our web site counter and Chris called me in to respond. My name is Beth (aka the old dinosaur, Mum or Chris) and our family audio restoration firm called Precious Voices someone kindly added a link in this thread to our website. We thought you might like to know that its best not to transcribe the tapes yourself after they have been in storage for some time as there is a real danger of them snapping unless they are retensioned first. Tapes were literally just cellulose tape coated with ferric oxide and they were never meant to last. As time goes by they become increasingly fragile and need expert handling. I realise you dont want to consign them blindly to the post but we have worked out a system we use every day to minimise the risk of losing them. In all our years we havn't lost one yet.

There is a number on our website you can ring for free advice without obligation. Just to make you laugh that young child earnestly mending a machine with a screwdriver is Chris who is not such a young dinosaur himself these days.
Beth aka Chris's Mum

mehgalegs Fri 05-Sep-08 17:42:09

Thanks Beth. I'll get in touch.

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