Saturday, December 10, 2011

Memories: Signed, Sealed & Delivered

Holly and ivy. . .chestnuts roasting. . . stockings hung with care. . . and cameras keeping record of it all. The holiday season is one of the most cherished times of the year, and people of all ages will be reaching for their cameras to preserve those precious memories of Christmas morning with little ones, or of New Years Eve with friends.

Questions some may be asking at this time are: “What did I do with the pictures I took last year? And the year before?” Or perhaps, “Are the digital files still languishing in a disorganized mess on my hard drive?” In either case, there’s work to do to turn prized photo collections into something more than a block of used storage space. This will free up space on their hard drives for other things—like this year’s pictures. And remember, computers and hard drives can malfunction, and because photos can’t be replaced if they’re lost, they need to be preserved in other locations. And because Grandma in Peoria or Cousin Bob in China would love to see those special moments, too, it’s important to find ways to share them. What good is a picture if no one sees it?

One option is to send photos to loved ones through email. The process is simple; just attach a few photos to an email message and hit “send.” However, most servers can only handle a few photos at a time. So sending a collection of many photos can become cumbersome; they’ll need to be spread out over multiple emails or condensed into smaller files for sending.

Photo sharing websites let people post their photos on the Internet for loved ones to view and download at their convenience. A drawback to this is that publicly posted photos can be viewed by anyone with Internet-access. Complete strangers can even download and use the photos. And usually there is a cost associated with storing more than a minimal number of photos on a site.

DVD’s offer convenience and protection that online options don’t have. They feature large storage capacities, so they can hold many photos on one disc. While the discs themselves are usually not free, they are relatively cheap compared to online storage costs involved with many photo sharing sites. No internet connection is needed to create a DVD full of photos, and loved ones won’t need an internet connection to view it.

Most newer personal computers have software that makes it easy to burn files to a DVD; just insert a blank disc and follow the prompts to fill it with the files of your choice. An added advantage to sharing photos on DVD is that the process results in safe copies of photos in other locations. If someone’s master copy is lost or compromised for some reason, they can rest assured that their photos still exist in a safe place, on DVDs at Aunt Rose’s house and Aunt Millie’s house. It’s simple and safe to create a photo DVD of holiday memories or other precious times, tuck it into an envelope, and give it to someone special.

Sklyar Tate, a mother of two, loves creating home movies of her little girls at play. Disc duplicating is important to her, so that she can share them with her family. CD replication has become the best protection for all her family memories.

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