Preserving priceless memories -- at a reasonable price

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The memories in old home videos and old photos are priceless.  But converting them to today's technology doesn't have to be pricey.

The solution to saving your old photos is in your phone. We found an app that does the work for under five bucks a month.  

Photomyne offers a free three-day trial and then various subscription options, ranging from $36 a year to $60 for a five-year plan.  You could always buy a scanner for $60, but this app's claim to fame is the easy cropping feature so you don't even have to pull the photos off the page of your old albums.

When it comes to video and audio, the owner of Feldman's Photography in Tampa has converted her share of old technology onto DVDs or external hard drives. She says it's important to get to old film before it dries out and becomes brittle.

"Oh, we go back to reels I’ve had stuff come in from the 1920s," Feldman's Debbie Whitmer said as she dug through old media. "These are slides, tape, 8mm, 16mm film, wider. A cassette tape. These are splicers. That is an 8-track tape!  It was your first way of playing music in car that you wanted to hear that wasn't the radio."

Cheaper prices may mean the project is shipped out of state or even out of the country, which worries a lot of people. And companies may not offer that up info unless you specifically ask.

"First and foremost, ask if they do it themselves: Do they do it in-house, or do they ship it out," Whitmer advises.

You could also opt to do the work yourself.  There are scanners that can read film and slides for under $100 or $200, and you may need to buy additional software.  So it all depends if you have the time to spend preserving the time gone by.

"Four, five generations down the road will see their past ancestors and see their movements and be like, ‘Little Johnny moves like Great-Grandpa Jones!’ This is the first time in history we can do this, and it's wonderful," Whitmer added.