Records Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is your ordering process?
A: The best way to proceed is to either print out our paper order form to send with your records, complete and submit an online order form for CDs or Digital Files, OR simply include a handwritten or typed note to include with your records.
With both the online form or printable form, you can skip or select any option you would like such as Duplicate Copies, Custom Photos, Track Separations, Jewel Case Upgrades, MP3 CD options, Permanent Archive Storage, and more. You are also welcome to include any special instructions on either order form, or include a note with your package.
Next... package up your records in a box, or sandwich them between cardboard layers, and send them to our studio address below.
If you submit our online order form, we will match your order form with your package when it arrives.
NOTE: You may also instead of using our online order form, or printable order form... type out or hand-write your order information on paper, and include with your records. This information should include: Name, address, phone number, email (if available). Main title for new CD (if 78's or 45's), and how many CDs needed (or digital drive). Plus any other information you would like to add.
2127 Rice Rd.
Chehalis, WA. 98532
You are welcome to include your payment information on our online or printable order form, send payment with your package (if you know your exact total - check, money order etc.), Or, if you would prefer, call us at anytime with your payment information, after receiving our email confirmation that your order has arrived at our studio.
(Special instructions for 78's and 45's only). We will automatically combine as many sides as possible onto a single CD. You ARE able select the order in which they will be digitized on the final CD. Simply mark (or indicate by name) the sequence, and we will record them in that order. Also, please choose a CD "Main Title" for any compilation of 78's or 45's. This will be printed directly onto the CD itself. If an upgraded Jewel Case is ordered, this main title will also appear on the spines of the CD case, and front case insert.
Q: How long does it take to complete my order?
A: Our normal completion time is 1-3 business days for most orders. If you need it back faster, please let us know of any deadline you may have and we will do our best to expedite the completion of your order at no extra charge. For even quicker service, there are always various shipping options such as Priority Mail, Express Overnight Service etc.
Q: My records are commercially purchased, can you transfer these?
A: YES, fair use copyright laws allow you to have a back-up of audio that you already own. We are simply changing the format of audio that belongs to you from analog to digital.
Q: Do you clean my records, what about all the crackling, how's the quality?
A: YES... we clean every record VERY carefully. For LP's and 45's we use dry sponges and high-pressure air to remove dust and debris from the grooves. The better quality the record's surface is, the better chance the final sound can be.
We also enhance all audio files with a "de-popping" software. This amazing program detects little micro-crackles and pops and reduces them. If a record is brand new and in perfect condition... the "de-popper" will have no needed effect. If the record is very worn, this audio "de-popper" program will have a greater effect.
For 78's however, almost no cleaning is done due to the fragility of these 60+ year old records. Any undue pressure can damage the grooves, so we are very particular and purposed with any handling of 78's. With metal platter records, the thin vinyl surface can actually flake right off in handled improperly. With 78 records, the quality can really vary. A successful transfer of 78 records, is being able to hear what was originally recorded. Scratchiness sound is normally very inherent.
An interesting Medialocks fact to know from years of experience and thousands and thousands of record transfers... A record can look in mint condition with no scratches, and still play very poorly with lack of clarity and crispness. On the other hand, a different record can look extremely beat up, scratched and ready for the junk pile, yet play and sound almost perfect. Why is this?
This has everything to do with the unseen quality of the micro-grooves that make up each record's surface. If a record has been played previously over and over with a worn needle and poor equipment, these little grooves loose their finite definition, even though no visible scratches or defects can be seen. Conversely, records that have been played previously with high quality needles, and excellent equipment can look a little beat up, yet still play with all the clarity and crispness you would hope for.
Needless to say, we utilize the highest quality needles and turntables we can. This results in the absolute best transfer possible, regardless of the surface quality of your records.
Q: Can you add the LP cover art or any photo to the CD or case?
A: YES, this is called our "Custom Photo Upgrade". For LP's, you can have the front jacket cover replicated, the rear cover replicated, or both. We take a digital picture of either side, and format it to fit into the front and/or back of the case.
For 78's and 45's, you can choose any photo you would like... we will add it to the front of the case. You can email us a photo, or send an actual photograph.
Q: Can you list the individual song titles on the CD or case?
A: YES, this option we call our "Jewel Case Upgrade". We type out the individual song names and create an insert for the back of the case... we do not list song titles on the CD itself.
This option also includes an upgraded CD case. The record's "artist" and "main title" are listed on the two spines, as well as the front of the case.
Please note: with LP orders, if a "Custom Photo" is ordered for the front of the case, we will use THAT photo for the front insert (instead of simple text), and type out the track names for the rear of the case. Combining the "Custom Photo" option with the "Jewel Case Upgrade", makes a very nice presentation, and is a very popular combination upgrade with record orders. If no photo is ordered, the front case will simply have the record's "artist" and "main title" in black text.
Q: Can I pick and choose individual songs from my record to be put onto the CD?
A: Generally no, however we do on occasion provide this service if there is a track or two that you very specifically do not want transferred. Also, if you have a favorite track you would like moved to the first song on the CD, let us know... we can usually accommodate this request.
Q: Can you combine several records onto a single CD?
A: YES, however this is normally only done with 78's and 45's. As long as the combined audio does not exceed 75 minutes (a CD's maximum capacity). With 78's, it depends on their length, but generally we can put around 10-20 sides onto a single CD. With 45's, normally about 20-25 will fit. Again, when combining it just depends on the records' lengths.
Sometimes with LPs, we CAN fit a "Double LP" set onto a single CD (upon request).
However please note, the cost is per record even when combined, as each record is individually processed.
There are several benefits of combining multiple records to a single CD.
One: We make sure all the records' volume levels are the same on the final CD. Rarely are 2 records ever recorded at the same volume, so we adjust and normalize all levels with a process we call "multiple record decibel leveling". This way you'll never need to adjust the volume level up or down.
Two: (for 78's and 45's) we create and include a separate track for each record's side on the final CD. If there are 12 sides on a single CD, there will be 12 accessible individual tracks. Meaning, you could easily locate any particular record's side on the final CD.
Three: when combining multiple records/sides to a single CD, there will be less duplicates needed if ordered.
Note: with 78's and 45's we automatically combine as many sides as possible onto a single CD. If more than 1 CD is needed, we will include however many CDs are necessary to complete your order.
Please choose a CD "Main Title" for any compilation of 78's or 45's. This will be printed directly onto the CD itself. If an upgraded Jewel Case is ordered, this main title will also appear on the spines of the CD case, and front cover insert.
*For LP's, if you would like any records combined (75 minute limit applies), simply include a note with your records to "combine if possible". You can also indicate the order on the CD you would like them recorded.
Q: What if my record has visible scratches or is warped?
A: Deep scratches cannot be repaired, but can often times still play through fine. The severity of the scratches and intensity of the warps will determine if the record can be played without skipping. Deep scratches and severely warped records will inevitably make the record skip, which will leave a slight "bump" in the final audio. We do however implore various techniques to resolve these issues if possible. This is done mainly with varying needle/stylus pressure.
Q: Are duplicate CDs as good as the original first CD?
A: YES, the duplicate CDs we create ($4.95 each) are the exact same quality as your 1st CD, as we create duplicate CDs from the same original file.
Q: Can I make my own copies of the CDs Medialocks creates?
A: YES, your new CDs belong to you, we have no copy-protection built into them. They are very flexible and can easily be downloaded into your computer for several purposes, including ipod use, or making additional copies.
Q: Will I get my records back?
A: YES, your records or any other media will always be returned to you just as we received them.
Q: What type of files are the CDs I receive?
A: The CDs we create are very flexible audio files. If you load them into your computer they will say .cda which simply stands for CD Audio.
Q: Do you supply any music or songs that I can purchase?
A: No, MediaLocks does not sell any songs or music. We provide a transfer service only of audio you already own.
Q: Do you keep a back-up of my records?
A: Temporarily yes, we do keep back-up files of your records in our system for about 4-5 weeks after we send them out to you solely as a shipping safety net. If something were to happen to your order during return shipping, we could easily reproduce the same exact same CDs. After 4-5 weeks we delete the files.
We do also offer a permanent back-up service (see below).
Q: What is the Permanent Archive Storage Service?
A: With this option, we will keep an extra copy of your CDs permanently in our studio. This service has 2 distinct benefits:
(1) You will always have your audio backed up in a 2nd location with us.
(2) If you ever need extra CDs made, no need to send a CD back to us for duplication... just email or call us, and we will send more out to you. We also store the labeling information!
Note: Any CD(s) stored with us always belongs to you. If you ever want them back, simply pay for return shipping.
Q: I am nervous about sending my records, how can I know they will be safe?
A: We have GREAT news in this area!!! We have never even once had an order not reach us that has been sent. Nor have we ever even sent out an order that did not reach its destination. We also send out every order with a tracking number, as well as keep a digital back-up of your recordings for about 4-5 weeks from the time your package leaves. If something were to happen to it, we could easily make identical CDs and send them out again.
The best way to send/protect your records is to completely enclose them in a box, or sandwich them between several layers of cardboard. For extra further assurance, you can always purchase some type of tracking number through the US Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS. We will then email you when your order arrives.