Genealogy Road Trip Tip 22: Duplicate your recordings

Tip 22: Duplicate your recordings. Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.

If you used video or audio on your Genealogy Road Trip to record oral history interviews — or other aspects of the journey — you should duplicate these after you return and save the uncut version in several places.

Duplicate your recordings when you get back home. Voice recordings and video images from your genealogy road trip are among the irreplaceable genealogy gems you will bring home with you — so take a few steps to safeguard these audio-visual treasures for years to come. By: Karl Baron

Voice recordings or video images of your loved ones and/or their friends, neighbors and associates — along with videos of the area where they lived — are among the irreplaceable genealogy gems you will bring back home with you.

So take a few steps to safeguard these audio-visual treasures for years to come.

Save the recordings on your computer. If you did not do this during your trip, then first thing on your return upload your videos and audio recordings to your computer. Most digital recording devices make this easy — just check the directions that came with your equipment, or do an online search for a step-by-step guide.

Duplicate, duplicate, duplicate! As with your photos, the next step is to duplicate your recordings in multiple places — on an external hard drive at home, another external hard drive that you keep off-site (such as with a friend, family member or at work) and in a cloud storage solution like Dropbox. Having duplicate copies is your insurance in case  your computer or external hard drive is irreparably damaged.

Edit copies, not originals. If you plan to edit your audio or video recordings later, be sure to label the original version and its duplicates as “uncut” so they remain untouched. Then do a “save as” and work from a copy when you edit. That way, if something goes wrong or gets erased during the editing process, you will still have your original, uncut recording to return to.

Stay on top of changing technology. Even if you do a great job of saving and duplicating your recordings right after your trip, digital media changes over time and you may have to redo the process in the years ahead.

Some of my first oral history interviews were done on cassette tapes — which I dutifully duplicated, storing copies off-site. Yet I had to convert these later to digital format to keep pace with changing technology.

Who knows what might replace the digital formats we use today? Your best bet is to stay on top of technological changes and convert your precious recordings to the new technology when the need arises.

Other ideas or suggestions? Please leave them in the comments section.

Up next: Tip 23: File your findings. Please stop back.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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