What format is right for me? – Part 3: The Direct Download

By Jonathan Fouch

This is part three of a four-part series where we explore the main ways to digitize your movies and photos: DVD, USB, Digital Download, and Streaming. We’ll talk about the advantages of each format so you can choose the one that is the best for you and your family.

Go back to Part 1 – DVD 

Go back to Part 2 – USB

Skip ahead to Part 4 – Streaming

Direct Download – For the DIY Crowd

The “Direct Download” method is for the DIY, computer-savvy crowd. These are the folks whose attitudes are “man… just convert my tapes and I’ll handle the rest.”

With Direct Download, I’ll send you a link to a secure webpage where you can download your movies and photos to your computer. Because I don’t have to produce a DVD or a USB, there is no additional cost to receive a Direct Download. The link is active for 60 days, so don’t go disappearing on me!

Direct Download gives you a lot of options. Once you download your old photos and movies to your computer, you can view them, edit them, copy them, share them, or stick them in the cloud. 

Direct Download requires some set up to watch your movies on your TV. Techies already know how to do such things and would view my help as an intrusion. So again, different strokes for different folks. This is for the computer-savvy crowd. 

If you’re going with Direct Download, I highly recommend copying your media to a cloud service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Apple’s iCloud. You can find my explanation of such services here

Please note that storing your memories on a single computer is never a good idea. Personal computers have short, unpredictable lifespans. I’ve had some computers last me 10 years and others 10 hours. So don’t toss your original photos and tapes until you’ve moved the digital copies onto at least two devices (computer, external hard drive, USB), if not a cloud service.   

Direct Download Summary:

            Pros: Free, get your media instantly, do whatever you want with it

            Cons: Only recommended for the computer-savvy crowd


Jonathan Fouch is the founder of History Creators. He has spent the greater part of his 9-year career helping families build their legacy through technology. You can read his full biography here.