Information on the digitization of audio cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl records, and MiniDiscs

While digitization can be done using household equipment, the result obtained through professional technological means differs significantly. At Office Support, in our effort to get the best result every time, we constantly test different digitization methods and incorporate new processes/equipment/software into our provided services.

Since 2004, when we entered the industry, museums, companies, cultural associations, and individuals have entrusted us to digitize their significant memories from the past, which has prompted us to obtain ISO certification for these specific services as well.

At Office Support, depending on the type of material, we apply different digitization techniques so that all the information is transferred to the digital file. Let’s not forget that time negatively affects the quality of the content of video tapes, rendering the choice of the best digitization technique essential.

If the time comes for you to digitize your archive, don’t settle for anything less than the best. Preserve your memories as beautiful, vibrant, and significant as they were when you created them.

Categories of audio storage

Audio cassette tapes were the most commonly used format for storage. They came in various capacities (46, 60, 74, 90, and 120 minutes) and offered different options in terms of the quality of the magnetic tape (ferric, chrome, chrome equivalent, ferrichrome, metal). Smaller-sized journalistic cassette tapes (mini tapes) were also used in both small tape recorders and answering machines to record voicemail messages and incoming calls.

Another form of audio file storage was reel-to-reel tapes. Reel-to-reel tapes could record in both directions, allowing for up to four separate monophonic files or up to 2 separate stereophonic files. Similar to audio cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes differed in quality and tape duration. They usually operated at two speeds, 3.75 ips and 7.50 ips (inches per second). Some reel-to-reel machines, however, recorded at a slower speed (1.785 ips). The most common reel sizes were 5 and 7 inches (approximately 13 and 18 centimeters), although larger sizes were also available (primarily for studio recordings).

Finally, a separate category –mainly because the storage method did not involve analog recording on magnetic tape– includes MiniDiscs, where recording is now digital, as well as vinyl records, where sound reproduction is derived from converting the needle’s oscillation into a weak electrical signal in analog form.

We can provide even more!

Our primary goal is that there is no loss of information during the digitization process. However, sometimes either time is not on our side, or the recording method was not the most suitable (especially for external recordings), affecting the result of digitization (interference, noise, hum, etc.).

Even if such things happen, we don’t get discouraged! At Office Support, we can do wonderful things. With noise reduction processing, boosting the volume or normalizing the sound, we can extract the best possible result for your collection, removing the unnecessary and highlighting the beautiful, so that every second you listen to will be equally enjoyable.