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I have a microcassette tape with some video on it that I'd like to digitize, but the camera I have that can play microcassette tapes is so old its drivers come on a floppy disk, which I can't read with any of my computers.

However, I can use a firewire cable to transfer the video, but none of my computers have a firewire port, so I bought a firewire-to-usb cable.

I've tried using WinDV VideoDub and dvgrab to capture the tape, however both WinDV and VideoDub suffer from the problem that Windows has no drivers for the camera, and dvgrab can't find the camera in Arch Linux, probably for the same reason.

Is there a way of using the equipment I have to read the video, or will I have to purchase a floppy disk reader to get the drivers?

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Even with a floppy drive, you may be SOL -- it's likely the drivers won't work in your current OS. You might have to fire up a virtual machine with an older OS.

If the video is analog, consider a USB video capture device. Here's a whole page of them, or search for "USB video capture".

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If the camera has a firewire cable then it can send out a DV signal through it, like any other DV camera. so you should be able to capture it, and you won't need specific drivers for it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394#DV

A firewire to USB adaptor isn't going to work though, you'll need a DV capture card for your machine. There are plenty and they're not too expensive — try to find one that comes with free video capture software.

I'm guessing that it's not really a microcassette camera — microcassettes are a subcompact audio recording format and not something you could possibly record video on. Given the existence of a firewire connection I'd be prepared to bet cash money that it's actually miniDV.

  • Given that there's video on the cassette, you're probably right. I am by no means an expert in this field. – Charles German Jul 31 '15 at 22:39

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