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November 15, 2004

Q & A: What to do with my audio & video?

Hi Tina,

I have a question. I’m working with a non-profit spiritual organization that is going from a ”brochure” site to something that will bring in revenue. They have hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings (super VHS, VHS, Beta, cassette tapes…. as well as more recent recordings in DVD and CD). What is the best and most economical way to transfer this material so that it can be made into downloadable products (MP3 or similar)?

Elizabeth Fletcher Brown

Hi Elizabeth,

Sounds like an awesome project you are working on, with enough material to last years. Great problem to have! ;)

What you will need to do is find an "audio/video pro" who can take all the audio off of your tapes, CDs, DVDs, VHS, etc... (Beta? Wow, thats a blast from the past.) These AV pros have special equipment that they use to transfer the files from the original format into digital format for use online.

To keep things simple and economical, I suggest going through the material you have now and picking a few items to start with online. What would you like to offer as your first few products online? Maybe pick a few clips to use as a free ecourse, and then perhaps some longer audio recordings or videos to sell as the next part of your funnel. To start with just a few items can help keep the cost of audio conversions down (they can be expensive) and it also gives you a simple way to start building your revenue site.

I would say start with the audio products first as that is the easiest to start with... video is still pretty "young" online so maybe save that for down the road or sell as VHS/DVDs.

Also, when looking for an audio pro be aware of what it is that you want to do with the audio. A few things to consider:

- start with online audio only in mp3 format. This is the easiest to create, easiest to deliver online and the least expensive to get converted.

- does your audio need any editing? if yes, this is where expenses will go up... as AV pros will charge anywhere from $50/hr (great rate) to $350+/hr (yikes!). keep in mind that people don't mind buying "live and uncut" audio online, so unless your audio files are super messy I suggest selling them as is.

- do you want to sell any of your audio on CD? If yes, you will need to get your audio files "mastered" to CD which falls into that hourly rate mentioned above. And then you will need to find someone to replicate the CDs for you. You may not want to do this yet, but something to keep in mind for future.

I just found a GREAT audio guy that I recommend. I'm not sure if he can do the conversion part, but he is great for any editing, mastering & replication... and he offers a great rate at $50/hr.
Dan at dan@dandroid.com.

Of course, you can always look for local AV people as well. Because rates can vary so much be sure to call around and get the best price... and let them know you have LOTS of future projects too if they would be willing to give you a special rate.

Let me know how it goes!


Posted by Tina at November 15, 2004 06:55 PM