By Kim KardaUpdated on August 31, 2022
Do you occasionally notice your old DVD collection and don’t know what to do with it, so leave it be? Music and video streaming have replaced CDs and DVDs, but still there are few useful things you can do with your collection.
For those who like nostalgia, of course, this question doesn’t arise. They dust off their music or movie collection and always give it a special place in their home. But even they should know that DVDs are not meant to last forever, they have a lifespan of about 30 years. Self-burned blanks, on the other hand, have a much shorter lifespan. So, it doesn’t hurt to create a digital archive on your hard drive.
DVDs have many files in different formats, such as IFO, BUP, VOB, etc. They all contain information:
IFO – these are DVD documents, which encrypt what is on the disc itself.
BUP – contains a copy of the IFO and corresponds to it and its size.
VOB – these are the main files that hold the movie.
The latter is the most important. However, VOB, for example, is inconvenient to use, it’s large and not playable by most modern video players. Nowadays, it’s very easy to convert VOB file to MP4 or any other format. For this, you’ll find many tools, some of which are free. To keep your digitized music or movie collection in order, we recommend using software to manage your media library. It can also be used to create metadata such as title, artist, performer, genre, or year of release – pretty much everything you need for a neat music or movie archive.
Some people wonder “Is it legal to digitalize/copy DVDs?” For private use, copying DVDs is allowed as long as the media is not copy-protected. This falls under private copying under copyright law. If you break existing copy protection, you will be held liable. Of course, this also applies if you transfer or even trade copies.
Although streaming services have now overtaken DVDs, there are still lovers of the old formats, which now exude almost retro charm. While DVDs are still available for purchase, you also have a good chance of selling your used DVDs for a reasonable price.
Over the years many people have accumulated a considerable amount of DVDs. Only selected movies have made it into your collection and you’re truly proud of the result. However, the DVDs are rarely used anymore and take up too much storage space in your living room closet.
Instead of storing them in a box in the basement for years or simply throwing them away, it’s worth taking another close look. Especially well-preserved pieces can be sold for a good price. Small damages are in many cases no problem, as long as the film can be viewed without problems.
CDs, DVDs, and BluRays can be disposed of free of charge at recycling centers and waste management companies. However, you should not drive to the recycling center just because of a few discs. That consumes more resources than can be saved by recycling. Wait until you’ve collected more hazardous waste for the recycling center or use your bicycle.
If there’s a recycling garbage can in your area, you can also dispose of DVDs and CDs there.
Some companies accept old CDs for free, while others take a small fee. You can dispose of the plastic cases of DVDs and CDs by throwing them in the yellow garbage can (or reuse them yourself).
If the CD contains personal data, you should delete it first. To be on the safe side, you can scratch the bottom and top of the CD with a nail or knife. Then cut the CD into several pieces with scissors.
You can donate not only food and clothes but also books and even DVDs. You might think it’s strange, why would people need DVD? It works a bit different than with food. After your donation (it can be any media not only DVDs or books) is received, it goes for sale on various online marketplaces around the world. The net proceeds from the sales end up in a donation pot and are transferred quarterly to the charity of your choice.
It’s said, that there are billions of unused media lying around in households all over the world. Often these books, films, and computer games disks end up in the trash. This does not have to be the case! CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray’s are a very good way to collect more money. Media that are no longer used should not end up in the trash but in resale. The net proceeds ultimately flow into a charity organization and thus benefit people in need. Media that cannot be sold are professionally recycled by donation organizations. The raw materials paper, cardboard, and plastic from the various media are cleanly separated, reprocessed, and sold as raw materials.
In the end, whatever you choose to do with your collection, don’t waste it. If none of the above suits you, remember that CDs and DVDs are great material for creating beautiful and useful products. And if you have accumulated a lot of them, get involved in the creative process. There are many cases online when people did a surprisingly beautiful thing out of DVDs.
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Enjoy safe & colorful digital life.