Digitizing

Any physical media can be represented as a computer file or Digitized media (a format that can be stored and used with a computer). When a document, a music piece or a video or a photograph are represented as a digital file, they become a common media which allows various combinations of the different original media in one electronic document, such as a Web page or an Internet site, which can combine text, photos, video clips and background music.

Digitizing is the primary step into working with media files on the computer, and the product of thios step is a raw digital file which may be noy usable yet, nut it includes all the original data in a digitized form. Any physical object can become mobile once it was digitized. The various types of physical media would need different tools though to perform the conversion into a usable digital computer file:

Text Text documents first need to be scanned to a computer image of the original document. Printed documents can be then converted to digital text format through the use of OCR (Optical character recognition) software. Handwritten documents may need typing with the use of Word processing software.

Source: Handwritten or printed documents.

May need: Typing, scanning, text OCR & proofreading, new or reconstructed layout.

Services: All the above. We recommend that scanning will be done by the documents owner, and can provide guidance. Scanning is very time consuming and demands full access to the physical media (the original documents) with no more than very basic skills. Anyone with free time and patience will do fine – see our Scanning Guide. Typing is a very time consuming alternative not fit for large volumes of documents.

Photos Printed photographs: The first step in digitizing printed photographs is a similar process to that of text documents: scanning to a computer image. The image then can be tuned to fit it’s intended use.

Source: printed photos, drawings, extracts from text documents

May need: Scanning, color edit & photo resizing, cataloging

Services: All the above, and all that was said about the scanning of text documents applies.

Documents Integrated documents: Integrated text and photographs documents with additional layout (tables, special design features) may need additional processing after the OCR phase. Depending on the type of document, sometimes the whole processing can be done automatically with special OCR & layout software.

Source: Handwritten or printed documents formatted with photos, tables, and various design features that need to be preserved in the archived document.

May need: Scanning, auto formatting, proofreading for text and format

Services: All the above, and all that was said about the scanning of text documents applies.

Music Recorded music is a very different form of original data. It usually comes as tapes, records in various speeds or CD’s, but can be kept on various legacy or esoteric formats as well. CD audio can usually be transferred automatically to computer files, while tapes and vinyl sources need to be manually handled.

Source: tapes, records, cassettes, any legacy (non electronic or electronic) media.

May need: Digital recording, normalizing, cleaning, separation & naming, format conversion.

Services: All the above. Much like scanning, this process demands full access to the physical media (the original music) with playback equipment such as a phonograph, or a tape deck that connects to a digital sound card (a part of most computers these days) – see our Recording Audio guide.

Spoken Spoken word combines the digital recording of the original audio and the transcription to a computer text file, in case that’s the chosen form of archive. It can also be processed and kept as audio files, much like music files.

Source: tapes, records, CD’s, cassettes, any electronic or non electronic media.

May need: Digital recording, normalizing, transcription, editing, format conversion.

Services: All the above, same as for recorded music.

Music Recorded video is very similar to recorded music. It usually comes as tapes, DVD’s, and can also be kept on various legacy or esoteric video formats. DVD audio can usually be transferred automatically to computer files, while VCR tapes and legacy sources need to be manually handled.

Source: VCR tapes, DVD’s, camera cassettes, any legacy (non electronic or electronic) media.

May need: Digital recording, splitting and format conversion.

Services: All the above. As with recorded music, the most time consuming part is the initial recording itself. Much like scanning, it demands full access to the physical media (the original video) with playback equipment such as a VCR, or DVD, and a special digital video card (that’s usually NOT a part of most computers these days) – see our Recording Video guide.

See also: Archiving, Processing, Data entry, Usage

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