Frequently asked questions

I'm in the Seattle area. Can I drop off my tapes somewhere rather than mailing them?


Yes. We have arranged with The UPS Store in downtown Mercer Island to accept drop offs from our customers and they are open Monday thru Saturday. Weekday hours are 7:30am to 5:30pm. On Saturday, they are open 9am to 5pm. The media should be in a box that is sealed but does not need to be packed for shipping. Just not an open bag or open box. Write the number "270" on the box and include your name and email address in the box. Taped Memories staff will pick up your media box later that same afternoon.




I have a VHS tape with a broken tape and a cracked VHS housing. Can you fix the tape in order to transfer my home movie?


Yes, we can repair broken tapes (VHS, VHS-C and Video8) and, if needed, move your tape spools to a new cassette in order to transfer the recording. Price is $29.95 for the repair.




I digitized my videotapes a few years ago but some of them are pretty grainy looking.  Is there anything that can improve these?


Yes. With our Gold Service, we use advanced noise filtering software tools to remove noise dots and greatly improve the sharpening of faces and other objects in the video. We'll also adjust the color vibrancy/saturation, contrast, brightness and exposure to improve overly dark scenes and footage that is too bright. Finally, we'll use software tools to clean up your video soundtrack and remove tape hiss, background noises and master the final audio track with an equalizer in order to enhance the speech and/or music.




What file formats do you provide for vinyl record transfers?


We transfer 33, 45 and 78 vinyl records to both WAV and MP3 files. We also provide transfers of 78 rpm shellac records. The WAV files are large sized, non-compressed (lossless) files for archiving. The 320kbps MP3 files are used for every day listening. Smaller sized MP3 files and other formats such as AAC, AIF, FLAC and OGG are available.




What is the difference between Standard Service and Gold Service?


Gold Service includes post-processing filtering and manual software enhancements on audio, film, photo and video transfers. Standard Service includes no manual touch-ups. For video tapes, Gold Service includes time-based correction, dynamic noise reduction, blank space removal, frame cropping, manual adjustments to color, brightness, contrast and exposure, audio enhancement and noise filtering, video noise reduction, and titles at the beginning and end of the video. With 8mm and Super 8 films, Gold Service includes digital noise reduction filtering using Neat Video software, manual adjustments to color, brightness, contrast and exposure and titles at the beginning and end of video. For audio media, Gold Service includes audio software enhancements using Audio Cleaning Lab 2 software with manual pop/click filtering on vinyl and hiss removal with audio software enhancements on cassettes. Gold Service on photo scans receive cropping, manual color correction and manual noise reduction filtering using the acclaimed Neat Image software.




Where is my media transferred?


Unlike the big box retailers and drug store chains that send your media to 3rd parties, usually in Asia, all work at TapedMemories.com is performed on Mercer Island near downtown Seattle, WA. We do not outsource any of our work.




How does this work?


  1. Fill out the Request Quote form on our website or contact us by phone, instant message, or email to tell us what you would like done. We will email a quote with pricing for you to approve.
  2. Ship your audio/video media to TapedMemories.com at 7683 SE 27th St, #270, Mercer Island, WA 98040. For the Seattle area, you can drop off your media on Mercer Island Monday through Saturday or contact us about the option of scheduling a media pick up at your home or office.
  3. If ordering custom video editing or a photo slideshow, we provide you a log sheet to fill out that describes the music, photos, titles and text you would like on your custom video or family DVD slideshow.
  4. Orders over $200 require a 25% deposit.
  5. We will email or text you once we receive your media and confirm what was received.
  6. We contact you during the process with the progress of your order, any questions, and the expected delivery date.
  7. The finished media files are uploaded to a private folder in your name on the Google Drive cloud service for 60 days and you will receive a notification on how to download them. You will not require a Google account or Gmail account to access and download the files on the Google Drive folder.
  8. We will email you an invoice that can be payed online or over the phone.
  9. Your original audio/video media will be shipped back along with any physical storage media you ordered such as USB keys, CDs, or DVDs.




What rules or policies do you have for privacy?


Besides college backgrounds in film studies and video editing, our staff has extensive cybersecurity experience, so we take privacy very seriously. No video, film, photographic or audio materials received or any digitized files of those materials leave our studio. No customer material is ever used for social media posting or advertising. Private videos (i.e. bachelor and bachelorette parties, child birth, Las Vegas weekends) are confidential. However, no media with pornography or criminal activity is accepted.




I have photos in an album that are difficult to remove because of age. Can this photo album be scanned?


Yes, we can scan photos in the album but the process is more labor intensive and priced accordingly. We'll scan the photos on each page and then digitally crop each photo so you have a separate photo file for each picture.




What type of file formats do you provide with the transfers?


For consumer videos and 8mm/Super 8 films, we provide QuickTime Movie format files (.mov). MPEG-4 (.mp4) and other formats can be supplied upon request. For professional video formats, we can provide ProRes, AVI, MPEG-2, H.265, MKV, M2TS and most other formats upon request. Audio files are provided in uncompressed WAV and 320kbps MP3 files. Photo files are provided in uncompressed TIFF or high quality JPEG file formats. For archiving purposes and any future editing you may want to do, we can provide uncompressed, lossless versions of your photo, video and film transfer files. These larger, uncompressed files can be included with the smaller digital files that you will use for listening or playing your media. The compressed file formats are for convenient playback on TVs, laptops, tablets and streaming devices. All digitized media is stored on Google Drive for 60 days at no charge for viewing, downloading and sharing with others.




How are the converted files delivered?  I no longer own a DVD player.


We load your digitized files to a private folder on the Google Drive cloud service where you can view, download and share the digital files with colleagues, friends and family. This service is free for 60 days. You will not need a Google account or Gmail account to access your files. Files can also be provided on a USB flash drive, portable hard drive or DVD. If you have a USB or portable hard drive that you want loaded, please include it with your media and we'll store the files on one device at no charge. Otherwise we can supply the USB keys for an additional charge. DVD burning is $15 for a 4.7gb disk and includes a custom label and a DVD menu system. Typically, 2-2.5 hours of home movies will fit on one DVD.




How much are Extended Play recording mode VHS tapes to digitize?


We provide VHS transfers for tapes up to 2 hours in length which covers Standard Play (SP) mode recordings. Long Play (LP) mode is 4 hours and Extended Play (EP) or Super Long Play (SLP) recordings can be 6 to 9 hours long depending on the length of the tape. We charge $6 per half-hour for each additional 30 minutes of transferred tape over 2 hours. So a 6-hour EP tape would be $68 and an 8-hour EP recording would be $92.




I don't know what recordings are on my tapes since I no longer have a camcorder or VCR to play them.  How do I make sure I don't pay for a transfer of a "Seinfeld" episode?


We can help. We will scan through your tape for $10 to look for home video content. We'll contact you to inform you which tapes have home videos and which tapes are TV show recordings. We do not rent or offer equipment for you to view your tapes. Often tapes have a mix of TV shows and valuable home videos in which case we'll transfer only the home videos unless you specify otherwise.




I have a VHS tape with some type of white powder on the tape spools. Can you transfer this recording?


No. Tapes that look like they have powered sugar on the tape spools have mold which can damage not only the tape but also any VCR that plays that tape. Breathing in these mold spores can cause serious health issues. We can recommend specialists who provide mold and fungus removal from videotapes.




My organization has video recordings made on Betacam SP and DVCAM formats. Do you transfer professional format tapes?


Yes. We work with corporations, ad agencies and non-profits to help them digitize historical footage on a variety of formats. We transfer Betacam, Betacam SP, Betacam SX, Digital Betacam (DigiBeta), HDV, DVCAM and full-sized DV tapes. Digital video files can be provided in ProRes, MPEG-2, AVI, H.265, MKV, M2TS or just about any video format upon request. We provide 60 days of free Google Drive storage of a compressed version of your videos (MOV or MP4) so colleagues can view, download and share the digitized media with others.




Do you offer a charity program for those who cannot afford to digitize their tapes?


One of our interns provides a charity service to digitize tapes for low income seniors and underserved communities. For more information on this program, please contact the Mt Si Senior Center in North Bend, WA. The Program Coordinator is Valerie Stewart valeries@soundgenerations.org




My video recordings have shots of the ground and other footage I don't want.  What's the price to remove these scenes?


Our video editing service is based on 30 minute billing increments. Clipping out unwanted footage is fairly quick work if we know what sections you want removed. We suggest having the tape digitized and then using a movie viewer on your iPad, laptop or desktop to choose the footage sections you want deleted by marking the start/stop times with your movie viewer clock. We provide a log sheet that lets you mark down sections to be edited. Besides deleting unwanted scenes, we can adjust the color and exposure and add titles to the beginning and end of the movie.




I have audio cassette tapes with family history stories but the volume is not very high and there is background noise.  What can be done for these?


We'll digitize your tapes on our audiophile tape decks and then use the highly-acclaimed Audio Cleaning Lab 2 software that removes a wide variety of audio issues. The De-Click module automatically identifies and removes clicks, pops and digital impulse noise. The De-clip module repairs both digital and analog clipping artifacts and reduces distortion. The De-hum module automatically identifies the fundamental frequency of unwanted humming and removes it from your audio, ensuring you get clean sound without electric noise. And Voice De-Noise reduces unwanted background noise on vocal recordings. During final mastering of your recording, we'll use a graphic equalizer to complement the type of recording (speech, jazz, R&B, classical, etc.).




Do you digitize open reel audio tapes?


No, we do not. We support all 3 versions of compact audio cassettes (standard, mini and micro sizes) as well as Sony MiniDisc but have not seen enough demand for reel-to-reel tape transfers to offer that service.




I have old film negatives from one of those small spy cameras from the 1960's. Can you scan these film strips?


Yes, we can scan the Minox spy camera film negatives. Because of the small size of the frame on Minox film and other small formats like 110, Kodak disc camera and View-Master reels, we recommend at least a 3200 dpi resolution scan.




What is the resolution of your photo scans?


For print photos, the scanning resolution options are 300, 600 and 1200 dots per inch (dpi) optical resolution. Film slides and negatives are scanned at 2400, 3200 or 4800 dpi. Format options are JPEG and TIFF. If you plan on archiving scans or printing in sizes 8x10 or larger, we recommend scans at 3200 or 4800 dpi.




How long is the turnaround to get my digitized files?


Current turnaround is 3-4 weeks after receipt of the media. Delivery times increase during certain times of the year prior to Mother's Day and the holiday period from Nov 20th to Dec 23rd. We offer a Rush Delivery service option.