Not everyone has the benefit of a known family history or legacy.
It is fairly safe to say though that everyone has some great ancestors somewhere and when the older generations pass on sometimes it is a double tragedy as not only has a loved one been lost but also the oral and unwritten history that they carried with them sometimes disappears.
Sometimes a family is lucky enough to find some old recordings on reel-to-reel or other audio and video tapes left for them by the older generations.
These things are something to be cherished beyond words many times as they are a way for families to experience their elder's lives as closely as is possible and to get a feel for their roots.
The Reel Tragedy It's unfortunate when these family resources are known to exist but are in such bad physical shape that any attempt by unskilled hands to access the information on them could destroy them completely.
One thing that can be done is transcribing the information.
You may have found some old VHS, Betamax, reel to reel or cassette tapes in the attic.
Rarely, you may even come across a personally recorded 8 track.
These old forms of media have a character all their own but how much longer can they withstand the test of time? Audio/Video transfer and transcription services can be a valuable resource in salvaging these memories from the ravages of the years.
When Good is not "tan bueno"(Spanish for "good enough") Not everyone speaks the tongues of their ancestors.
It can be quite beautiful and even fulfilling to listen to long spoken, eloquent words recorded by a great, great grandparent but if you don't understand any of what they're saying then a piece of your history might be lost; historical accounts of major events, the weather, personal feelings among other things.
In situations like this, when it's good to hear their voice but not "good enough", then you can enlist the aid of a quality translation service.
They make it possible for the descendants who no longer speak their ancestors tongue to understand what was passed down.
You could have the old video recording transferred to a digital format along with subtitles or you can simply have the video translated to a document format.
When Lost is not Gone Over time your audio or video recording might have degraded quite a bit.
Perhaps the original recording wasn't very good to begin with.
With forensic transcription services these losses can be negated and sometimes even reversed.
Even the speech on a bad quality recording or one ravaged by time may be partially if not fully transcribed using the techniques of the forensic transcriptionist.
Using scientific analysis of phonemes and waveforms coupled with other decoding and speech enhancement methods, individual bits of noise can be removed and other sections of marginally intelligible speech can be deciphered.
If you have old recorded memories in your possession that you can't hear, can't understand or fear listening to because you want to avoid damaging them then you may want to have that recording transferred to a more modern medium and consider having the speech transcribed or translated so you can actually enjoy the memories that have been left by family and others in the past.