Reviewed by David Savage
People of a certain age with still have loads of videotapes and cassettes from old camcorders packed with memories. But who watches videotapes these days? Not many is my bet but you don’t want to lose them old memories of school plays, family holidays etc. With the new 8th Edition of MAGIX Rescue Your Videotapes you don’t have to! With this simple piece of software you can now very easily transfer and digitize your videotape recordings to your computer, onto DVD or Blu-ray or even upload to Facebook or YouTube should you desire.
Sounds great but also sounds complicated with the need for lots of specialised equipment and technical ability doesn’t it? Well you couldn’t be more wrong. In the box is everything you need to plug in your video player or camcorder to your computer and start transferring.
On opening the box I found:
USB Video Converter
The USB Video Converter is a lot smaller than I expected, it is the size of a USB Flash Memory Stick!
Installation was very simple and took around 25 minutes in total to install the software and drivers just by following the on-screen prompts. Once installed you activate the software by entering in the serial number and you are ready to go (internet connection required for this)!
To start just plug in the RCA Cable to the Scart cable (set the switch to OUT) and then plug this into the mini USB port on the Video Converter stick and then plug the stick into any available USB port on your computer/laptop. Plug the Scart cable into your video recorder, open the program and you are set to go.
Open opening the software it is all very straightforward. Select the options you require and start to record. The work area is all very uncluttered and easy to use.
Once you have transferred your video this is where the software gets better. If you just want a straightforward transfer just click finish and select what you want to do; burn to disc (DVD or Blu-ray), save to disc, upload to Facebook or YouTube or save to your MAGIX Online Album. But why stop with a basic transfer? If you are transferring your home movies you may want to add your own comments or titles, add in a bit of music or combine it with other videos. This software allows all that with a few simple clicks! It you want to add your own titles or credits just click the text button and type away! If the recording is too dark you can adjust the brightness to improve it.
Another handy feature for beginners are the built-in wizards to transfer in a few easy steps so no experience of using video software is required.
Be warned, it’s not a 5 minute job (depending on the length of the video you are importing). After a few tries on 2 or 3 minutes of recordings I thought I would try a full length movie (90 minutes). After importing the film (I left this running in the background while working on other things so didn’t pay attention to how long this took to import but I’m guessing 90 minutes) I added a simple text into followed by some pictures and clicked finish. I then chose to save to disc and the process took around 2 hours to save – my laptop is Quad-Core 2.16Ghz, 4GB Ram and running Windows 10.
The overall result was perfect (the video quality will only be as good as the original videotape recording except for any enhancements such as brightness, contrast, colour or saturation etc. that you may have changed).
MAGIX Rescue Your Videotapes! 8th Edition is a very simple piece of software with a uncluttered user interface that makes transferring your old collection of videotapes easy. The software comes with online tutorial videos to get you started should you need them and with the options to save to your computer, DVD or sharing with your friends on Facebook it is the perfect piece of software for the complete novice.
Videotape recordings become degraded over time so transferring to digital copies ensures that you can save those precious memories for your family and future generations to watch again and again. With a retail price of £45 it is worth every penny.
Highly recommended! So dig out your old video player and tapes, buy the software and get digitizing!
System Requirements: Windows 7, 8 or 10. 2GHZ Processor or higher, 2GB RAM, Minimum graphics resolution of 1280×768, 1GB hard disk space and USB port. Internet connection required for activation and saving projects online.
Available to buy from MAGIX here.