Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

For years, I’ve been a hoarder. But not just a hoarder of home decor. :) I’ve been a hoarder of memories I couldn’t access. You see, over the years we’ve owned a variety of video cameras to record precious memories of our family. We even recorded our kids’ voices on cassette tapes, back when cassette tapes were a thing. But as each device stopped working, or ceased to be available to us for playback, our outdated tapes of recorded memories started piling up in boxes.

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

It was heartbreaking. But what can you do when you can’t even play them back any longer? I knew that “someday” I’d figure out what to do with them all. I wanted to watch them again and preserve them for our family, but it was something I kept putting off because who can you really trust with this kind of sentimental treasure?

When we were getting ready to move to this house, I carefully gathered each of those tapes into one box, vowing that this would be the year I’d finally figure out how to preserve them. After a little research online, I found Legacybox. I knew this was the right company to trust. And then they contacted me a few weeks ago, I was over the moon to finally try their service and share it with you.

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}
Every detail about the Legacybox service and packaging reassured me that they cared and would protect these irreplaceable memories.

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

Legacybox sends you a sturdy crush-proof mailing box that includes easy instructions and round-trip shipping.

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

You’ll also receive special barcode stickers you easily apply to each item you are sending back, so you can rest assured your memories are safely linked to you.

We packed up our tapes, secured them with packing paper in the packing box, and sent them off in the mailing box, eagerly anticipating the day they would return and we could once again relive our memories together.

Twice, while our videos were being processed, I received emails from Legacybox letting me know our memories were in good hands and what step they were in the digitization process. It might sound silly, but I loved being able to track the progress and receive the emails reassuring me that this service understood my fears of sending these tapes away. The whole process only took a couple of weeks, it was so fast!

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

I’ll admit, I cried when I popped in the first DVD and saw my now 15 year old son as a two year old running on the baseball field. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so emotional over a package I received in the mail! I was so happy to see all those DVDs carefully packaged and labeled for us. So many hours of memories from my kids’ childhood are now preserved!

As an add on option from Legacybox, you can also order a thumb drive to make it really easy to load and share your videos on to a hard drive. Of course, your original tapes will also be returned.

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

We made a short video just to show you a little peek of a few sweet memories of our three kids, so you can get a glimpse of how happy this service made our family. We watched some of the DVDs over Thanksgiving break with the whole family and laughed and cried together. I’m sure you can imagine why, there is nothing more special to us in our home than our family and the memories we’ve made together.

(note: you may have to let the video buffer to play it back seamlessly)

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your family this year, I’d say this would be it!

Do you have memories on tapes you can’t even watch stored in boxes like I did?

DISCOUNT **The first 25 people to use the code INSPIRE at checkout will receive 40% off their Legacybox!**

Legacybox {Preserving Family Memories}

Comments

  1. Very cool service. Would you be able to release any information on the more technical specifics of Legacybox’s work? As a professional archivist, I’m always on the hunt for fantastic resources for my own use or to recommend to patrons.

    I would also HIGHLY encourage you to purchase the full, uncompressed digital files! DVDs are NOT viable for long term preservation. Anyone who tells you different is lying. They’re fantastic for accessing and sharing your files but if you want them to be around more than 5 years, you NEED to have the UNCOMPRESSED digital files.

    • Sarah,
      I emailed Legacybox and they said the thumbdrive files are indeed compressed. They also say on the website that the DVD’s are rated to last many years. As I am technologically challenged, please can you share details about why uncompressed files are vital? I would love to get this as a gift for a family member, but want to make sure it is money well spent. Thank you.

      • Compression means that you aren’t getting the full, original digital file. Compression is a summary of different parts of a file. In an image, for example, the computer notes that pixels 1-4 are really, really close, so it saves those four as a single thing. Then it will do the same with pixels 5-9, 10-11, and so on.

        The dataloss caused by compression isn’t visible to the human eye for a while — you don’t notice with JPGs until they’ve been resaved about 100 times.

        The other big danger with compression is that there’s a great risk for data loss. It’s possible for something to go wrong during the compression and some of the original bit stream disappears for good.

        Compressed files in formats like JPGs are great for sharing digital files but they’re inherintly unstable and therefore unsuitable for longterm preservation. Basically, they make great gifts but you also want to have the original bitstream (the original uncompressed files or files saved in a lossless format) so you can be certain that you’ll have the files 10, 20, or even 50 years in the future.

        Regarding the DVDs, they’re certainly rated for many years and it’s entirely possible that they will last that long. But the format has only been around for 10 years. Their lifespan is completely theoretical.

        In my work as a professional archivist, I’ve seen and heard about numerous instances where the files on a DVD get corrupted, just as they do with 3.5 floppy discs, zip discs, and older removable media drives.

        The final consideration is access. DVDs are 10 years old. Before that we had CDs, video cassettes, audio cassettes, laser discs, and so on. With how fast technology changes, you have to take conscious steps to ensure that you can still access your digital files.

        With the current push for Cloud computing and the rapid improvements to solid state drives, it’s not unreasonable to assumem that we’ll start seeing regular computers come out with no disc drives. Tablets don’t have them, nor do computers like my own hybrid laptop-tablet.

        On top of that, software is also changing very rapidly. You could keep a disc drive for years and years, finding new ways to attaching it to a computer, but without the right programs, you won’t be able to access what’s on the DVD. Think how hard is is to find something to play a Betamax tape, for example.

        Basically, Legacybox wasn’t money illspent. These cherished memories have been captured in a digital format gor easy viewing and sharing. And that’s wonderful.

        At this stage, however, new steps will need to be taken to preserve these memories longterm. Digital preservation is much trickier than preserving analog materials. A the glue in a scrapbook will degrade over time but the items attached to the pages will linger on. Digital stuff isn’t like that. You have to think about preservation as early on as possible.

        And that’s why archivist such as myself exist. We’ve been working for decades in the US to consciously preserve our cultural heritage. And we’re building the tools and knowledge base needed to do the same with this new digital frontier.

        • Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain that. I really appreciate it!

          • I’m happy to explain, it’s part of being an archivist! Feel free to contact me if you’d like to work on preserving these fantastic memories as well as others on your computer or things waiting to be digitized! This is a rich topic and there’s a lot that we could talk about!

            Regarding the specifics of this project, you basically have three options at this point if you want to preserve these digital files long-term:

            1) PURSUE OBTAINING UNCOMPRESSED FILES FROM LEGACY BOX
            It wouldn’t hurt to contact LegacyBox and see if they’d be willing to give or sell you the uncompressed files along with the thumb drive. I imagine they’ll keep the original bitstream on their servers for a while, so it would be a matter of coming to some kind of an agreement. You didn’t mention this something available for purchase, however, so it could be that they wouldn’t release the files or that it would be unusual and complex.

            If they did, however, it would happen one of two ways: they’d load up multiple high-capacity flash drivers or utilize a file sharing service like Drop-Box. Uncompressed files are BIG, so transferring them is no minor matter.

            2) SEARCH FOR A NEW VENDOR
            You’ve already spent money on a digitization project, so this is the least desired option of the three. If you sought a new vendor, it would be specifically to obtain uncompressed copies of these materials for preservation. You’d end up paying at least what you did already with LegacyBox and possibly a bit more in order to have the files transferred to you.

            The other consideration at this point is that the original media (the VHS tapes and such) have already been digitized once. Their best bet for longevity is to be played as little as possible. Having them re-digitized would require them all to be played through again and add stress to the magnetic tape.

            3) USE THE COMPRESSED FILES AS THE STARTING POINT FOR PRESERVATION
            While not ideal, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with using the compressed files as your starting point for preservation. You would basically have to open the files in the appropriate program on your computer and save a fresh copy in an uncompressed or lossless format.

            The bitstream wouldn’t have as much data in it as having the original bitstream from the vendor but it would be better than nothing. Plus, there shouldn’t be any degradation to the playback that’s visible to the human eye.

            As I said, this isn’t ideal, but we don’t live in a perfect world and we do have to do this sort of thing at times when in an archive. We don’t always get the original carrier medium and instead only have a compressed copy that was saved to someone’s harddrive.

            • Hi I have been reading your post here and was wondering if you could give instructions as how to do what you mentioned above. I have a Apple with the application photo shop and would greatly appreciate if you could tell me how to do this. I am now waiting for my box from legacy to send my videos and when I finally get them back would love to preserve them for long term so that my children will be able to enjoy them in years to come. I am not a computer expert so it would really be appreciated very much. Thanks.

  2. Melissa, there was no video link in this post! I would love to see it because I am very interested in their service.

  3. Oops! Now I see it. Sorry about that!

  4. Barb Hughes says:

    We did this with Costco one summer for our Christmas gifting… they were over the top excited to see our family history preserved and they had a copy too!

  5. I saw this in a few gift guides this year and was wondering about this service! Thanks for the review – I have an old cassette recording of my grandma I would love to digitize.

  6. Elizabeth Bailey says:

    Thank you for share this info. I was excited to learn about this service because I have loads of slides that I need to get digitized. I was hoping I wouod be one of the first 25 people to link through to Legacybox from your site and get a 40% disvount. I was sad to learn that they do not ship to addresses in Alaska or Hawaii. How antiquated.

    • Carol Leatherman says:

      Hi! I live on Maui, and ordered a Legacybox, and it is here! Don’t know if they just misunderstood the address….or if they have improved service –

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I was just talking with my family about this the other night. We have so many home movies that I know we all would love copies of, as well as really special footage of my older relatives who are no longer with us. Everything is on VHS and those little camcorder tapes, of course. Anyway, thank you again!

  8. Ms. Maggie the Elder says:

    All set- been meaning to get to this. It is a gift for my hubby on Xmas. He will be thrilled. In the future, can you say millions of slides to go………… thanks and best to all who want to keep a bit of the past still fresh~

  9. I don’t even know your kids and this made me have tears. Sweet to be able to see you holding your babies :)

  10. Loved this Melissa! Beautiful family and loved getting to see Winston!

  11. Wow!!! This is such a good idea! I’ll sure send some of my old videos!

    Thanks for the tip.
    http://www.thecozypad.com

  12. I’ve never heard of this company. I will definitely have to check them out because my parents have so many videos and tapes on different things of us growing up.

  13. Thanks!!! I was looking for a good gift idea and I swooped up the 40% off for a family box. Awesome idea!

  14. What a beautiful idea! Thanks for sharing!

  15. So precious and there’s Winston!!

  16. Linda Grubbs says:

    Wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing. Now I just have to round up all those tapes! I think I may have to wait til after the holidays…but this definitely goes to the top of my to do list. Thank you for sharing your darling family with us….very sweet. (Even though it was BJ…Before Jack) ha-ha!

  17. Thanks Melissa! I just found my wife’s Christmas present. For 18 years the VHS tape of our wedding and the roll of negatives from the photographer have been sitting in a box. I just placed an order so I can get them digitized.

  18. I was looking back over the original post and a question popped up — are the DVD labels printed onto the disc or are they paper labels?

  19. Thanks for posting your experience with Legacybox! I had never heard of it before, but I just ordered one as a Christmas present for my parents! They are going to be THRILLED. :D

  20. Thank you for commenting on the digital format – good info to know. I just purchased a box via a groupon for great bargain (paid $188 for the “$500” box. Haven’t sent my box in yet. They do give you barcodes for your items, and I did order the flashdrive in addition to the DVD’s that was $49.

  21. i hope this site is still active – i saw info today on facebook re: legacy box and i am interested – i believe i am probably older than many of you as my photos were done in the 1950s with what was called a ‘motion picture camera’ – in order to see the film, we threaded it thru a path on a (?) on a desktop machine which then put the images onto a wall screen for us to see – no audio at all, colour as i remember it wasn’t of a good quality – nonetheless, these are memories of my family which i would love to see one more time – my children(adults) would treasure seeing pictures of their gramdparents, and both granddaughters a very interested in being able to put a face with a name when it comes to stories they’ve heard about “when i was growing up” – obviously, i don’t know the proper terminology for these ‘motion picture films,’ but i do know their condition is brittle – what is my best bet here? i would love to see these people i love one more time before i leave this earth, and to watch it with my children and grandchildren would be a dream come true – can anyone advise, please? and thank you

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