hardcorehubz

1dollarscan.com

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So I've had quite a few boxes of magazines I planned to scan eventually but have no idea when I'd find the time to do it, I already run a site where I scan in manuals boxes etc. of everything I can get my hands on - www.gamingalexandria.com that keeps me busy enough.

Someone alerted me to 1dollarscan.com and I thought what the hell I'd try them out. They ended up doing a pretty nice job I thought! Here's an example -

http://www.gamingalexandria.com/tapedumps/Nintendo Power Jun1991 104p.pdf

I had them do these at 600dpi which with how they price scanning in "sets" ended up being about $50 for 7 issues, plus it was another $16 to ship them to them. Not exactly cost effective... but a huge potential time saver. So I contacted them letting them know I had a large collection of gaming magazines I'd like to scan but needed the price to be cheaper. They agreed if I did a large enough lot they'd do them in 600dpi for $2 every 100 pages (a set).

I'm considering this but would need to save up the dough to do it and/or solicit donations if others were interested in 600dpi scans. Also if there's already good quality 600dpi scans out of magazines out there then I'd rather not waste my money and destroy these issues if it's unnecessary. Does anybody have any clue what has been scanned already in 600dpi? If Retromags wants to host the scans they're more than welcome to as well, and I can post links to the other 6.

Thanks,

- Hubz

  • Thanks 2

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Well, I'm not about to pay someone to scan magazines, but $66 for 7 issues is around $9 per issue.  Assuming they were all of the same length as the one you posted (108 pages), that works out to around $2.50 per hour (if you were paying someone to scan and edit the mags they way we do here.  That seems more than reasonable if you're satisfied with the results.

600dpi is unnecessarily large for the purposes of reading magazine scans.  A lot of scanners such as myself scan in 600dpi, as that gives the largest possible image to make editing easier.  However, the final step in the editing process is to reduce the size of the image to a more reasonable size (at Retromags, that usually means between 2200 and 2500 px high, depending on the scanner).  That scan of Nintendo Power you uploaded is nearly 700MB for a 100 page mag.  I guarantee you could have the same mag at less than 200MB and wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

So regarding how many 600dpi scans are out there...almost none.  I know some scanners keep their original 600dpi scans in case they need to re-edit them in the future, but almost no one releases 600dpi scans into the public, because quite frankly, the public doesn't want them.  Imagine downloading a 3GB scan of one of those 300-400 page magazines that were fairly common in the late 90s....:blink:

As for hosting them here, that would be Phillyman's call, but I see 3 things that might be a problem:

  1.  Our rules state that all scans hosted at Retromags must be scanned and edited by Retromags members.  That rule is mostly in place to prevent people from trying to upload scans they found somewhere else on the net.  No idea how it applies to a third party service that was paid to create the scans.
  2. The files are too big.  We'd have to resize the images in the PDF before re-compiling them into a CBR (this would be easy to do)
  3. The files haven't been edited as well as we like.  Looking at the scan you posted, it seems that the pages have been only been straightened and cropped.  The cropping cuts off some of the gutter image, which some scanners like myself don't like, but that isn't necessarily a deal-killer, as even people like Phillyman use a guillotine cutter to remove the spine, saving a bit of time at the expense of cutting away part of the page.  Looking at the cover, however, it is apparent that the quality of the scan their service provides will be dependent upon the quality of the magazine itself, as faults such as scuffs and scratches have not been corrected in Photoshop but rather preserved as-is.

Still, getting anything as-of-yet unscanned into a scanned and readable state is surely worth the prices they're charging, if you're willing to pay.

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Man, I wish I'd heard of this before I ditched all my Nintendo Powers earlier, many of which hadn't been scanned. Whether or not they'd be hosted here I'd totally be willing to donate to have that work done.

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It might be a good idea to post a list of what you're considering having scanned.  After further consideration, I'd like to amend my previous assertion that I wouldn't ever pay someone to scan a mag.  If it was something I personally really wanted, I might consider chipping in.  In other words, I may have no interest in paying money to have GamePro or Nintendo Power scanned, but if it was an early issue of PC Gamer or one of our missing issues of Game Player's PC Strategy Guides, I'd be willing to help out.

Of course, the personal pet mags of people who are active scanners might be better off as donations.  If someone sent me one of those mags I really care about, I'd definitely get it scanned, and so the person sending it would only be out of shipping, rather than shipping + scanning fees.

But for other mags, this service really does seem pretty useful.  Scanning is actually not that time consuming, but editing sure as hell is.  Editing is why it takes so long for us to release scans here.  1dollarscan doesn't do the kind of Photoshop editing that takes up so much time, but their scans seem pretty decent otherwise.  Whether we host them here or not, there's always archive.org, and everyone will be grateful either way.

The PDFs you received are 600dpi, so once the images are removed from the PDF, it's essentially like you have a folder full of images that have already been cropped and straightened.  At that point, Photoshop could fix any significant blemishes (usually on the front/back covers) and if any other kind of adjustments are needed, such as tweaking the brightness, those could be applied to the entire mag at once using an action set.  So taking the files that 1dollarscan provides and turning them into a final edited work that meets even our exacting standards wouldn't actually be THAT time-consuming. 

Of course, even then, I wouldn't get my hope up that people around here would be jumping at the chance to help.  Phillyman has had dozens of completely scanned mags sitting around in raw unedited form for over a year waiting for anyone to volunteer to edit them and no one has offered to yet.  I think the sad truth is that almost no one who wants magazine scans is willing to contribute any time or effort towards getting it done.  But maybe they'd be willing to contribute some cash?

At any rate, this topic warrants further discussion.  Thanks for bringing it up - I'd never even heard of that site.

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I have most of the early issues up into the 70s of Nintendo Power and then some random ones after that. I oddly have some random Chinese Computer Gaming World issues that I may eventually get scanned. Then a bunch of random EGMs, Play, Die Hard Game Fan, and some misc. others but no PC Gamers unfortunately.

I've got a ScanSnap iX500 I could personally scan magazines with with but like you said it takes a lot of personal time to debind, scan, and line and clean up. This service does a majority of that and overall it's cheap when you consider the time savings. I do think 300dpi is good enough, but I can notice some slight differences between 300dpi and 600dpi and for a buck more I'm thinking why not? Just more future-proof as everything gets will likely be read on higher resolution displays in the future.

Glad you think it might be useful in some cases. I think it's a neat option to consider, although scanning and editing them yourself will always be cheaper. I'll probably do a batch of magazines in the next month and post what I get back. I'll post links to the other 6 soon as well.

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There's no reason NOT to scan in 600dpi, and it's what I would recommend all new scanners to do.  As I said, the bigger the image, the easier it is to correct blemishes and physical faults like scratches or tears in Photoshop.  While it's true that this service isn't actually doing any of those corrections, having the 600dpi files will make it easier to do it yourself should you want.

As for reading purposes, I stand by the (pretty much universally held) opinion that 600dpi is completely unnecessary unless you're planning to make large-sized prints of the scans at  some point.  The only difference you will ever see between a 7500px high image and a 2500 px high image is if you zoom in to such a degree that only a tiny fraction of the page fills the screen (like 5% of the page or less.)  And no one will ever read a magazine at that kind of magnification.  Maybe if you wanted to read your magazine as a ten-foot tall image projected onto a wall, or something, I guess.:P  But seriously, scanning resolution is a different matter from the final dimensions that the files should be saved at for reading purposes.

It sounds like a lot of your mags are already available, so unless you just want a better quality scan (I'm pretty sure that most of the Nintendo Powers available here were scanned over a decade ago when quality standards were lower, and lots of GameFans are available at archive.org but the quality is just OK) you could always save your money for other things/ different mags.

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Yeah I can understand that 600dpi seems unnecessary for reading purposes but I think it would be nice to have 600dpi high quality issues out there preserved and done just in case, since the more people that have it the safer something is. Plus if it's 600dpi it can always be resized down for reading purposes if storage is an issue.

Nothing I have is terribly rare, which is why i don't really have an issue debinding and scanning them in for high resolution scans. I could maybe get a couple hundred bucks selling them but I'd rather have them preserved and shared for those that want high resolution scans.

I did descreen (manually) one issue this weekend when I had time and I decided this is the big knock against 1dollarscan. They do some sort of weird descreening that is very sporadic and patchy, which is why I had a difficult time descreening most pages as part of the pages would be but other spots were not. I had asked if they did any descreening that they knew of and they said they didn't think so but something is being done for sure.

We have some Fujitsu 7130 scanners at work i'm going to see if I can use and get something to quickly cut and debind the magazines with and just get them scanned that way and save a lot of money. I'll still have to spend time cleaning and organizing the scans but that can't be helped.

BTW Here's Volume 25 uploaded to the Archive - https://archive.org/details/NintendoPowerVolume25

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An ADF scanner shouldn't really need descreening.  That option exists to try to compensate for deficiencies like moire created by flatbed scans.  I have to believe that a professional scanning service uses ADF scanners, so it seems odd that they would descreen anything in the first place.  I've never descreened anything I've scanned (of course, an ADF like the Fuijitsu doesn't even have a descreening option, so it would have to be done in editing if done at all).

I recommend you upload all of your 600dpi scans to archive.  They don't care about filesize, and anyone who doesn't want to download an enormous file can just read it in their browser software.

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