Books, records, and the like are my residential albatross. I have many. And every time I move -- and occasionally more frequently -- I yearn for fewer possessions and more open space where I live. Video tapes are one of the more egregious frustrations. While I love the packaging elements of CDs, records, books, and the like, VHS slip cases are next to useless. The amount of information they provide and the real estate given to artistic graphics and content are little -- and the tapes just have too much of a footprint.
So I'm thrilled silly to have recently purchased a Sony Disc Burner. My new VRD-MC3 has the footprint about twice the size of my new DVD player, bought in January. It has multiple jacks -- you can record from a VCR, a video camera, a computer, or memory cards. And it has just two buttons: record and stop.
While it took me awhile to realize that the S-Video cable trumps the RCA cables in terms of VCR output, I'm now up and running, recording an old video tape that I'm not entirely sure I need to keep around physically. That tape is a recording of a talk I gave at a Neill Corp. conference -- Serious Business -- more than five years ago.
On the packaging tip, the hardware comes with a CD with software on it. That CD includes the operating instructions as a PDF file. iTunes often features virtual booklets with albums that you download, but I don't understand why every electronic media -- books, records, videos -- doesn't include the physical packaging, information, and content as electronic files on the media. Seems like a no brainer!
DVDs take up eminently less room than VHS tapes, and I have high hopes that this tool will help free up some packing boxes -- and valuable space in my apartment. I can always make copies of the DVDs. I've yet to test the quality of the burned DVD, but I have high expectations.
Has anyone else used this tool? It's my latest geek freak.