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Digitization

    What is the digitization station?

    The Digitization Station is a set of equipment plus a high-end computer that members of the public can use to convert analog formats (ex. VHS, slides) into digital formats.

    What assistance can staff provide me when I'm using the digitization station?

    The digitization station is a self-service offering. There are tutorial videos and manuals available on the computer that is part of the station. As well, each piece of software installed on the station has help files that can be used for support.

    Library staff can show you where the tutorial videos and manuals are and answer very basic computer questions but are otherwise unable to assist.

    If you would prefer a more full-service digitization experience, there are many companies that offer such services both locally and nationally (you submit your originals by mail). Library staff can help you find one that meets your needs.

     

    How long can I book the digitization station for?

    In 4 hour increments. Customers can book one concurrent session at a time but can book any number of additional sessions per day after their current session has expired - subject to the bookings of other customers.

    What legacy formats can the digitization station handle?
    • VHS
    • 35mm Standard slides
    • 35mm (135) Standard film negatives (these are usually colour)
    • 110 "Instamatic" film negatives (these are usually black and white)
    • Print photos
    • Print documents
    What formats does the digitization station output to for each legacy format?
    • VHS: .mpg
    • 35mm Standard slides: .jpg
    • 35mm (135) Standard film negatives: .jpg
    • 110 "Instamatic" film negatives: .jpg
    • Print photos: .jpg
    • Print documents: .jpg
    Do I need to bring anything with me (other than what I need to digitize)?

    Depending on how you would like to save your digitized work, you will need one or more of the following:

    • A writable DVD (DVD-R format is preferred) if you wish to burn a disc.
    • An external hard drive or thumb drive (USB only) if you wish to save digitized files to one.
    • An account on a cloud-based storage service if you wish to save digitized files to one (library staff cannot assist with the setup of such an account).
    When I'm digitizing a VHS tape, is the conversion in real time?

    Yes. As an example, a two-hour VHS tape will take two hours to convert.

    I just digitized my VHS tape and I'm trying to save it onto a USB drive but it won't let me! Why not?

    When you digitize a VHS tape, the file sizes can be quite large and you may not be able to save a single large file (4GB or more) to your USB drive - no matter how big this drive might be. This is due to limitations of the file system used by most USB drives (called FAT32). We recommend using drives formatted to use the NTFS or exFAT file system. Which file system is right for you depends on a number of factors.

    Can I edit images or videos after I've digitized them?

    Software that provides basic image and video editing is provided on the digitization station.

    In addition, file conversion tools that allow you to convert images and videos to different formats other than the .jpgs and .mpgs that the digitization station initially saves digitized files as, are also provided.

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