I admit I've got boxes upon boxes full of old 3.5" floppy disks and VHS tapes that I'm hesitant to simply throw out because of the memories that these outdated physical media formats contain. I finally decided it was time to recover their contents (and my memories) and get rid of the junky old tech, and so should you!
I've got stacks and stacks of floppy disks that I refuse to throw away for nostalgia's sake. Not simply because they're floppy disks but rather they're chock full of digital memories, from old English essays to photos and personal files — all stuck on a medium that's been long dead. I've ordered myself a USB floppy disk drive for only $20, and once I've copied all my files off the disks I can not only save the physical space and chuck them into the trash, but also relive the past with the accessible files.
There are plenty of online companies that will transfer your tapes for you, but at a price. Local stores charge an arm and a leg it seems. if you have a lot of tapes you can buy a USB VCR, but that's still a hefty chunk of change. If you've already got a video card that can capture video, then simply plug in your old VCR to your computer and capture away. Otherwise, you can buy a cheap one online or an external device that's fairly inexpensive. Either way, that's a lot of family reunion footage ready for YouTube.
DVD & Other Such Media
It's not just floppies and VHS tapes, there's BETA tapes and DVDs and cassettes and all sorts of technologies that have been put out to pasture. Save yourself the torment and save your files and toss the tapes.
MORE ON CONVERTING OLD FORMATS TO DIGITAL FROM APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Converting a DVD Collection
• Good Questions: Importing Mini-Cassettes To Digital
• How to: Two Ways to Convert Your Vinyl Collection to Digital Formats
• Ion USB Cassette Deck Helps Save Your Mixtapes