Interesting situation here - my father found some old cassettes that he believes contain words of wisdom from the guys he served with in the military. He got married before being shipped to Vietnam, and the guys at basic recorded some advice for him. The problem is that the tapes look like they're in pretty bad shape. They're old and grimy. My question is, do I take the chance of playing them, or is it better to ship them to a professional who can determine whether they need converted instead. I'm tempted to give it a try, but I'd hate to wreck the tapes.
From what you've shared, it looks like you have more than one tape. I think you should try to play one of them. If it works, great. If not, then you can send the mangled tape off with the others to see if the recordings can be salvaged. Play it loud enough that you can record it digitally at the same time. There's probably a machine that will do that for you, but I've never run across one.
We've played the first tape. Some of it comes through, but it cuts out here and there. No big deal. It plays enough to get the gist of it. How cool that Dad found these tapes! We're having a blast playing them. They are grimy as can be. I'm surprised they play at all.
I'm glad to hear that it worked out. I've sent some old reels off to have them turned into a modern format, and the quality was very hit-or-miss. Plus, it cost a fortune. It all depends on the quality of the source material, so it's probably not worth sending off a junked up tape. The pros are good, but they can't do magic.
That is equally interesting to me. My father used to be a circuit preacher, and I recall some old tapes of his sermons together with other good but oldies country songs by Skeeter Davis and Dolly Parton that I have been trying to save. I would appreciate having them converted and listening to those rare sweet voices again.