tips, treasures

My Happy Audio Digitizing Experience

Tapes (Pascal Terjan) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Once upon a time in about the late 1970s, early 1980s, my mom interviewed her Grandpa and recorded that interview on two audio cassettes.  Fast forward to the early 2000s when my mom had a friend digitize those tapes.  She gave each of us kiddos three CDs of audio gold.  I loved listening to my Great Grandpa’s stories!

Fast forward to about 3 years ago and those CDs won’t work on my computer.  They’ll play for about 20-30 minutes and then they give up.  They play longer in my car but they still can’t make it to the end.  The sound quality is not awesome either.

I wanted to do something about that.

On a recent visit with my mom she gave me the original audio cassettes, plus two more that she said were recordings of my Grandpa Peterson reading children’s books.  Sweet!

Fast forward again to RootsTech.  I stopped by the booth for Larsen Digital and asked them a bunch of questions about their audio digitizing service.  I grilled them actually.  They were really nice and I loved their answers.  I’ve heard their name over and over so I felt pretty confident that they must have good customer service.  They were offering a RootsTech special that lasted a month or so after the conference was over.  I got home, got back into my everyday life and forgot about it.  The week the special was ending they sent an email reminder and so I decided to try them out.

I packed up my four precious audio cassettes and took them to the closest drop off location with instructions to have the digitizer call me.  He did.  We chatted.  I told him that I was worried about sound quality because the original digitization required quite a bit of sound editing and it still sounded bad.  He told me they would do their best and if they needed to do anything more than their normal service he would call me so we could discuss it.

A few weeks later I got an email with an invitation to the audio files.  I downloaded them and they sound amazing!  So much better than the CDs my mom made a few years ago.  Sound editing has come a long way.

Happy, happy day!!

Yesterday I picked up my cassettes plus CDs of each item.  If you have ever used a digitization service for audio or video you may know that some services put a file in the CD or DVD that makes it so you can’t import the audio or video and make a copy.  Larsen Digital doesn’t do anything like that.  In fact they gave me digital downloads and CDs.  I’ve already shared some of the files with my family.  So awesome!

So if you are in Utah, try Larsen Digital for your audio digitizing needs.  If you are not in Utah but can’t find a good place near you, well, call Larsen Digital.  I’m sure they would let you ship in your project if you are brave enough.


ps – I am not an affiliate of Larsen Digital.  I’m not benefiting from this post in anyway.  I’m just a very happy customer who felt like sharing a great genealogy consumer experience.


8 thoughts on “My Happy Audio Digitizing Experience”

  1. I echo Amy! But seriously, how cool is that to find a quality place to improve your recordings. And to be able to share them with other relatives without restriction. As long as his descendants continue to share with each other, your g-grandpa’s voice will live on and on for future generations to hear. And that gives me goosebumps. Way to go!

    1. Thank you! It is really exciting – all of it, having the recordings, finding a way to digitize and preserve them, and being able to share them. Such a happy genealogy day!

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