If you have a ton of music CDs to digitize for backup, storage, and convenience, Mac users can use iTunes to convert the music tracks to the proprietary format Apple Lossless (ALAC) via the import settings. Modern Macs are strong enough to rip a full CD in just a few minutes! If you have a Windows PC, use a FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) ripper like Exact Audio Copy. Don't skimp on audio quality just to save space, disk storage is cheap and getting cheaper! So no need to convert to MP3 as the music won't sound as great and it'll lose bits.
Nate is looking for a fast way to digitize his Mom's physical photos. Leo says that you can go to a service bureau like Scancafe where you can ship them your photos in a box that they send you, and they will send you back CD's of your digitized photos. However, since Nate has tons of photos to be digitized, Leo recommends buying a scanner and doing it himself. Leo recommends the brand, Epson, on scanning your photos because they have a type of scanners called FastFoto that has a feed that is great for scanning photos quickly.
Richard has tons of photographs and he has to digitize all of them. He's thinking of using his iPhone to take pictures of them and then put them on Google Photos. Leo says the only issue here will be time. Essentially taking a photo of the physical photos is all a scanner is doing anyway. The advantage of using an actual scanner, however, is that there will be perfect lighting and the picture is exactly flat to the camera. The scanner can get a high resolution photo by being able to slowly scan across the image.
Tony wants to digitize his VHS home movies, but he's not very tech saavy. Leo says he can get a VHS to DVD recorder, but if he's going to do it, why not digitize them and then edit them down? Then he can burn them to DVD. Leo recommends Adobe Premiere Elements.
Leo recommends ScanCafe.com as opposed to doing this all manually himself. It's about 22 cents an image, but will be much better than investing the time and equipment into scanning in the images and cleaning them up himself. ScanCafe also has a shoebox where he could fill up a shoebox for a flat fee.
Costco and Walmart also offer similar services.