Before you start….

You will need a player for your original tapes -

I have a Sharp QT-CD250 for tapes and CDs, and a LG VHS for Pal and NTSC GC480W.

You will need a digitiser capture device. Apparently they are all the same. I got one online for about $40 (search for "VHS to Digital Converter USB 2.0 Video Converter Audio Capture Card". They all look like this:

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You will need cables to connect to audio and video devices and to connect the digitiser to a Mac (USB size converter may be necessary). You may already have some of these.

For connection to an audio device, usually you need a cable with a 3.5 mm plug at one end and 2 or 3 RCA male plugs at the other end. You will probably be using the only output port that is for headphones but you might get two for sterio.

A 3.5mm plug looks like this (might have only two bars if for audio only):

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And the RCA plugs look like this and can be red, white, yellow and black (or just red and white for audio only):digitising html ab337cb5942d7eaa

For a video player, you will need a 2 or 3 cord cable with RCA plugs (male to male) at each end.

Finally, whatever, you will need Quicktime, HandBreak and possibly You can download Handbrake for free, and for 3 free turns but then it is not expensive for more.

When all the work is done, you can store the conversions on your computer or put them on YouTube. Once they have a location, you can link to them from a webpage – doing this can assist with privacy because you can build controls into the webpage. Options recommended are to use HTML5 (or AllVideos from Joomla -

To Digitize Audio Tapes

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Connect the audio cable to the player’s audio out port and at the other end, 2 RCA plugs to the digitiser (use the red and white plugs of the digitiser ).

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Then attach the digitiser to the computer – using USB or USB converter

Now, you activate software – Quicktime is very easy to use . Check the connections (downarrow next to the red record button). Next, start work recording a new audio file as tape plays. If you turn up the volume in Quicktime you can hear what is being recorded. Note that Quicktime should turn off recording when it ends on the tape.

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Quicktime will record .m4A files but you can go to to turn them into .mp3 files for free.

Alternatively, or in addition, you can use Handbrake to make the files much smaller! - if you have Handbrake, you can miss the cloudconvert stage and ask Handbrake to do it all….

Once you have the digitised audio file, you can go to to have the files transcribed – you will need to edit the files but they are usually pretty good!

How to Digitise Video Tapes

You will need a video tape player. Note that you can convert both Pal and NTSC tapes this way.

The CAPTURE converter has USB at the output side and red, yellow, white and black at the input side.

First connect RCA extension plugs, white to white, red to red and yellow to yellow, on VCR, and same to the plugs from the CAPTURE.

Connect the Capture to the computer via USB (adapter if necessary).

Fire up Quicktime and record new movie.

When you have finished, you can use Handbrake to make the files smaller and then if you need a transcript. If you don’t have otter, you can load files to YouTube, make a transcript and then change permissions. Note that your transcript might, in fact, be a narration ---

You can store files on YouTube and have them as private, unlisted or listed. This means you have control over who sees them – and sometimes who can download them, but YouTube gets rights too!