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About Us

Did you know we’ve been around for more than 40 years?

 

Established in 1975, we are a family owned business, still going strong. We began as an audiotape duplicating company and later grew to include video and audio production services. Today, our CD and DVD duplication business has grown into our “sister company,” MediaXpress, while Greatapes has shifted its focus to offering media transfer and conversion services. We’re helping both the consumer customer market by saving their family memories from outdated and deteriorating formats, and small to large business customers, who want to preserve and archive their media legacies.

Privacy Policy

Greatapes Respects Your Privacy

Protecting your privacy is important to Greatapes. Here is how Greatapes collects, uses, and safeguards the personal information you provide via our Web site:

Information collection

When you browse Greatapes’ Web site, we do not collect personal information, including your email address. We do log the Internet address of your computer – your IP address – to give us an idea of which parts of our Web site you visit and how long you spend there. This type of information helps us to continually develop our Web site to best meet your needs. We do not link your IP address to anything personally identifiable, and unless you register on our site, we do not know your personal identity.

Like many other Web sites, Greatapes’ Web site may use a standard technology called an Internet cookie. Internet cookies are small files that may be placed on your hard disk for record-keeping purposes. We use cookies for two purposes:

1) to estimate our audience size by determining repeat usage of the Web site; and
2) to measure certain traffic patterns for use as a research tool to understand how our users’ habits are similar or different from one another.

We use these records help us to improve our Web site.
Please also be aware that Web sites that have links to our site may collect personally identifiable information about you. The information practices of those Web sites are not covered in this privacy statement. We encourage you to learn about the privacy practices of those Web sites you visit.

Information use

Once you register on our site, Greatapes will not sell, rent, or lease your personally identifiable information to others without your consent. If you provide us with your email or postal address on our online registration forms, we ask you if we can use it to send you updates on the latest Greatapes products, special promotions, and newsletters. At no time will we share your email address with third parties. We also ask if you want us to share your personal information with other companies that offer related services. If you do not want us or other companies to contact you, you can choose to “opt out” and Greatapes will not send you the information you have declined to receive. Greatapes does research on our users’ demographics, interests, and behavior based on the information provided to us during your use of the Greatapes Web site. This research is compiled and analyzed on an aggregated basis. Aggregated data does not include personally identifiable information. Greatapes may share this aggregated data with others.

Declining Email offers

Greatapes provides customers with an easy means to decline to receive email offers and newsletters. Although most customers tell us they appreciate receiving our newsletters and notice of special offers, we recognize the importance of providing you with choices. At any time, you may request to discontinue receiving these offers from us by emailing us info@greatapes.com. All email offers and newsletters that you receive from Greatapes will tell you how to decline further emails.

Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the appropriate use of information, including credit card numbers entered on the /shop page, we have physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information you provide us online. To protect your information once your transaction is complete, Greatapes stores your information on an off-line server stored securely behind our firewall. There is no external access to this information and its internal access is strictly monitored.

Greatapes takes appropriate steps to communicate our privacy policy and guidelines to all employees
Greatapes’ privacy policy is subject to change at any time. Greatapes will provide notice 30 days prior to implementing any major changes to our privacy policy. If you have any question specific to privacy, please contact us at info@greatapes.com.

Media Terms

Glossary of Terms

  • AC-3The former name of the Dolby Digital audio-coding system, which is still technically, referred to as AC-3 in standards documents. AC-3 is the successor to Dolby’s AC-1 and AC-2 audio-coding techniques.
  • Access TimeThe time it takes for a drive to access a data track and begin transferring data. In an optical jukebox, the time it takes to locate a specific disk, insert it in an optical drive, and begin transferring data to the host system.
  • AGCAutomatic Gain Control. A circuit designed to boost the amplitude of a signal to provide adequate levels for recording. Also see Macrovision.
  • ArtifactAn unnatural effect not present in the original video or audio produced by an external agent or action. Artifacts can be caused by many factors, including digital compression, film-to-video transfer, transmission errors, data readout errors, electrical interference, analog signal noise, and analog signal crosstalk. Most artifacts attributed to the digital compression of DVD are in fact from other sources. Digital compression artifacts will always occur in the same place and in the same way. Possible MPEG artifacts are mosquitoes, blocking, and video noise.
  • Aspect RatioThe width-to-height ratio of an image. A 4:3 aspect ratio means the horizontal size is a third again wider than the vertical size. Standard television ratio is 4:3 (or 1.33:1). Widescreen DVD and HTDV aspect ratio is 16:9 (or 1.78:1). Common film aspect ratios are 1.85:1 and 2.35:1.
  • AuthoringFor DVD-Video, authoring refers to the process of designing, creating, collecting, formatting, and encoding material. For DVD-ROM, authoring usually refers to using a specialized program to produce multimedia software.
  • B frameOne of three picture types used in MPEG video. B pictures are bidirectionally predicted, based on both previous and following pictures. B pictures usually use the least number of bits. B pictures do not propagate coding errors since they are not used as a reference by other pictures.
  • BLERBlock Error Rate. A measure of the average number of raw channel errors when reading or writing a disc.
  • Blu-Ray DiscBlu-ray (not Blue-ray) also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD), is the name of a new optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world’s leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson). The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data.
  • BufferTemporary storage space in the memory of a device. Helps smooth data flow.
  • ByteA unit of data or data storage space consisting of eight bits, commonly representing a single character. Digital data storage is usually measured in bytes, kilobytes, or megabytes.
  • CBRConstant Bit Rate. Data compressed into a stream with a fixed data rate. The amount of compression (such as quantization) is varied to match the allocated data rate, but as a result quality may suffer during high compression periods. In other words, data rate is held constant while quality is allowed to vary.
  • CD-RCompact Disc Recordable. An extension of the CD format allowing data to be recorded once on a disc by using dye-sublimation technology. Defined by the Orange Book standard.
  • CD-ROM XACD-ROM extended architecture. A hybrid version of CD allowing interleaved audio and video.
  • CD-ROMCompact Disc Read-Only Memory. An extension of the Compact disc digital audio (CD-DA) format that allows computer data to be stored in digital format. Defined by the Yellow Book standard.
  • ChapterIn DVD-Video, a division of a title. Technically called a Part of Title PTT).
  • CIRCCross-interleaved Reed Solomon Code. An error-correction coding method, which overlaps small frames of data.
  • Clamping AreaThe area near the inner hole of a disc where the drive grips the disc in order to spin it.
  • CodecCoder/Decoder. Circuitry or computer software that encodes and decodes a signal.
  • Combo DriveA DVD-ROM drive capable of reading and writing CD-R and CD-RW media. May also refer to a DVD-R or DVD-RW or DVD+RW drive with the same capability.
  • CompressionThe process of removing redundancies in digital data to reduce the amount that must be stored or transmitted. Lossless compression removes only enough redundancy so that the original data can be recreated exactly as it was. Lossy compression sacrifices additional data to achieve greater compression.
  • CSSContent Scrambling System. An encryption scheme designed to protect copyrighted material that resides on a disc by periodically scrambling the data using encryption keys.
  • ContrastThe range of brightness between the darkest and lightest elements of an image.
  • DATDigital Audio Tape. A magnetic audio tape format that uses PCM [Pulse Code Modulation] to store digitized audio or digital data.
  • dBDecibel. A unit of measurement expressing ratios using logarithmic scales related to human aural or visual perception.
  • DecodeTo reverse the transformation process of an encoding method.
  • DecoderA circuit that decodes compressed audio or video, taking an encoded input stream and producing output such as audio or video. DVD players use the decoders to recreate information that was compressed by systems such as MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital
  • DVDDigital Versatile Disc. Generic name for a family of related disc formats encompassing Video, Audio, and computer file storage on an optical disc format. They share common physical format and logical/file structures. They differ only in content.
  • DigitizeTo convert analog information to digital information by sampling.
  • DLTDigital Linear Tape. A digital archive standard using half-inch tapes, commonly used for submitting a premastered DVD disc image to a replication service.
  • Dolby DigitalA perceptual coding system for audio developed by Dolby Laboratories and accepted as an international standard.
  • DVD-RDVD Recordable. DVD-R offers a write-once, read-many storage format akin to CD-R and is used to master DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs, as well as for data archival and storage applications.
  • DVD-ROMThe base format of DVD. ROM stands for read-only memory, referring to the fact that standard DVD-ROM and DVD-Video discs can’t be recorded on. A DVD-ROM can store essentially any form of digital data.
  • DVD-VideoA standard for storing and reproducing audio and video on DVD-ROM discs, based on MPEG video, Dolby Digital and MPEG audio, and other proprietary data formats.
  • EncodeTo transform data for storage or transmission, usually in such a way that redundancies are eliminated or complexity is reduced. Most compression is based on one or more encoding methods. Data such as audio or video is encoded for efficient storage or transmission and is decoded for access or display.
  • Enhanced CDA general term for various techniques that add computer software to a music CD, producing a disc that can be played in a music player or read by a computer.
  • File SystemA defined way of storing files, directories, and information about them on a data storage device.
  • FireWireA standard for transmission of digital data between external peripherals, including consumer audio and video devices. The official name is IEEE 1394, based on the original FireWire design by Apple Computer.
  • FrameThe piece of a video signal containing the spatial detail of one complete image; the entire set of scan lines. In an interlaced system, a frame contains two fields.
  • Full Motion VideoVideo that plays at thirty frames per second [NTSC] or 25 frames per second [PAL].
  • GOPGroup of Pictures. In MPEG video, one or more I pictures followed by P and B pictures. A GOP is the atomic unit of MPEG video access.
  • HDCDHigh Definition Compatible Digital. A proprietary method of enhancing audio on CDs.
  • HDTVHigh-definition television. A video format with a resolution approximately twice that of conventional television in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions, and a picture aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • I FrameIn MPEG video, an intra picture that is encoded independent from other pictures. I pictures provide a reference point for dependent P pictures and B pictures and allow random access into the compressed video stream.
  • InterlaceA video scanning system in which alternating lines are transmitted, so that half a picture is displayed each time the scanning beam moves down the screen. An interlaced frame is made of two fields.
  • InterleaveTo arrange data in alternating chunks so that selected parts can be extracted while other parts are skipped over, or so that each chunk carries a piece of a different data stream. In DVD, used for seamless multi-angle and Director’s cut features, in which multiplexed streams are subsequently interleaved to allow seamless playback of alternate program material.
  • ISO 9660The international standard for the file system used by CD-ROM. Allows file names of only 8 characters plus a 3-character extension.
  • ISRCInternational Standard Recording Code.
  • JitterTemporal variation in a signal from an ideal reference clock. There are many kinds of jitter, including sample jitter, channel jitter, and interface jitter.
  • JPEGJoint Photographic Experts Group. The international committee that created the standard for compressing still images.
  • LandThe raised area of an optical disc.
  • LayerThe plane of a DVD disc on which information is recorded in a pattern of microscopic pits. Each substrate of a disc can contain one or two layers.
  • Layer 0In a dual-layer disc, this is the layer closest to the optical pickup beam and surface of the disc, and the first to be read when scanning from the beginning of the disc’s data.
  • Layer 1In a dual-layer disc, this is the deeper of the two layers, and the second one to be read when scanning from the beginning of the disc’s data.
  • LetterboxThe process or form of video where black horizontal mattes are added to the top and bottom of the display area in order to create a frame in which to display video using an aspect ratio different than that of the display. The letterbox method preserves the entire video picture, as opposed to pan & scan.
  • Linear PCMA coded representation of digital data that is not compressed. Linear PCM spreads values evenly across the range from highest to lowest, as opposed to nonlinear PCM, which allocates more values to more important frequency ranges.
  • Lossless CompressionCompression techniques that allow the original data to be recreated without loss.
  • Lossy CompressionCompression techniques that achieve very high compression ratios by permanently removing data while preserving as much significant information as possible. Lossy compression includes perceptual coding techniques that attempt to limit the data loss to that which is least likely to be noticed by human perception.
  • MacrovisionAn anti-taping process that modifies a signal so that it appears unchanged on most televisions but is distorted and unviewable when played back from a videotape recording. Macrovision takes advantage of characteristics of AGC circuits and burst decoder circuits in VCRs to interfere with the recording process.
  • MP3MPEG-1 Layer III audio. A perceptual audio coding algorithm. Not supported in DVD-Video or DVD-Audio formats.
  • MPEG audioAudio compressed according to the MPEG perceptual encoding system. MPEG-1 audio provides two channels, which can be in Dolby Surround format. MPEG-2 audio adds data to provide discrete multichannel audio.
  • MPEG videoVideo compressed according to the MPEG encoding system. MPEG-1 is typically used for low data rate video such as on a Video CD. MPEG-2 is used for higher-quality video, especially interlaced video, such as on DVD or HDTV.
  • MPEGMoving Pictures Expert Group. An international committee that developed the MPEG family of audio and video compression systems.
  • MultiReadA standard developed by the Yokohama group, a consortium of companies attempting to ensure that new CD and DVD hardware can read all CD formats.
  • MultisessionA technique in write-once recording technology that allows additional data to be appended after data written in an earlier session.
  • Noise FloorThe level of background noise in a signal or the level of noise introduced by equipment or storage media below which the signal can’t be isolated from the noise.
  • NoiseIrrelevant, meaningless, or erroneous information added to a signal by the recording or transmission medium or by an encoding/decoding process. An advantage of digital formats over analog formats is that noise can be completely eliminated.
  • NTSCNational Television Systems Committee.
  • Operating SystemThe primary software in a computer, containing general instructions for managing applications, communications, input/output, memory and other low-level tasks. DOS, Windows, Mac OS, and UNIX are examples of operating systems
  • P FrameIn MPEG video, a “predicted” picture based on difference from previous pictures. P pictures (along with I pictures) provide a reference for subsequent P pictures or B pictures.
  • PALPhase Alternate Line. A video standard used in Europe and other parts of the world for composite color encoding.
  • Pan & scanThe technique of reframing a picture to conform to a different aspect ratio by cropping parts of the picture.
  • PCMPulse Code Modulation. An uncompressed, digitally coded representation of an analog signal. The waveform is sampled at regular intervals and a series of pulses in coded form are generated to represent the amplitude.
  • Perceptual CodingLossy compression techniques based on the study of human perception. Perceptual coding systems identify and remove information that is least likely to be missed by the average human observer.
  • Phase ChangeA technology for rewritable optical discs using a physical effect in which a laser beam heats a recording material to reversibly change an area from an amorphous state to a crystalline state, or vice versa. Continuous heat just above the melting point creates the crystalline state [an erasure] while high heat followed by rapid cooling creates the amorphous state [a mark].
  • Physical FormatThe low-level characteristics of the DVD-ROM and DVD-Video standards, including pits on the disc, location of data, and organization of data according to physical position.
  • PitThe area of an optical disc where a physical depression exists.
  • PixelThe smallest picture element of an image [one sample of each color component] A single dot of the array of dots that makes up a picture.
  • PGCProgram Chain. In DVD-Video, a collection of programs, or groups of cells, linked together to create a sequential presentation.
  • QuantizeTo convert a value or range of values into a smaller value or smaller range by integer division. Quantization is a primary technique of lossless encoding.
  • RasterThe pattern of parallel horizontal scan lines that makes up a video picture.
  • Red BookThe document first published in 1982 that specifies the original compact disc digital audio format developed by Philips and Sony.
  • Regional CodeA code identifying one of the world regions for restricting DVD-Video playback.
  • ResolutionA measurement of relative detail of a digital display, typically given in pixels of width and height.
  • ROMRead-only memory.
  • SamplingConverting analog information into a digital representation by measuring the value of the analog signal at regular intervals, called samples, and encoding these numerical values in digital form.
  • Signal-to-Noise RatioThe ratio of pure signal to extraneous noise, such as tape hiss or video interference. Signal-to-noise ratio is measured in decibels (dB). Analog recordings almost always have noise. Digital recordings, when properly pre-filtered and not compressed, have no noise.
  • StampingThe process of replicating optical discs by injecting liquid plastic into a mold containing a stamper.
  • SubpictureGraphic bitmap overlays used in DVD-Video to create subtitles, captions, karaoke lyrics and menu highlighting effects.
  • SubstrateThe clear polycarbonate disc onto which data layers are stamped.
  • Time CodeInformation recorded with audio or video to indicate a position in time. Usually consists of values for hours, minutes, antabuse seconds, and frames. Also called SMPTE time code.
  • Track pitchThe distance, in the radial direction, between the centers of two adjacent tracks on a disc.
  • Transfer RateThe speed at which a certain volume of data is transferred from a device such as a DVD-ROM drive to a host such as a personal computer. Usually measured in bits per second or bytes per second.
  • UDFUniversal Disc Format. Enables file interchange among different operating systems.
  • USB Flash DriveA data storage device that consists of flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than a floppy disk. Most weigh less than 30 g.[1] As of January 2012 drives of 1 terabytes (TB) are available,[2] [3] and storage capacities as large as 2 terabytes are planned,[4] with steady improvements in size and price per capacity expected. Some allow up to 100,000 write/erase cycles (depending on the exact type of memory chip used)[5] and 10 years shelf storage time.
  • VBRVariable Bit Rate. Data that can be read and processed at a volume that varies over time. A data compression technique that produces a data stream between a fixed minimum and maximum rate. A constant level of compression is generally maintained, with the required bandwidth increasing or decreasing depending on the complexity of the data being encoded.
  • VCDVideo Compact Disc. Near-VHS-quality MPEG-1 video on CD. Used primarily in Asia.
  • VIDEO_TSUDF file name used for video directory on disc volume. Files under this directory name contain pointers to the sectors on the disc, which hold the program streams.
  • VOBVideo Object. A single, complete file composed of multiplexed Video, Audio, Sub-picture, PCI and DSI elementary streams.
  • White Flood CoatAlso called white base or white mask. A White Flood is the coat of ink that is applied first to a disc face print. This flood-coat is often used with 4-color process printing. A CD/DVD is originally reflective silver in color. The White flood-coat acts as a base-coat or primer for the colors printed on it, recreating the effect of printing on White paper. Without the flood-coat background, colors may not be as bright or vibrant as they would print with the darker Silver background.If the design calls for silver background to show through some part of the design, the white flood can be omitted.
  • Yellow BookThe document produced in 1985 by Sony and Philips that extended the Red Book compact disc format to include digital data for use by a computer. Commonly called CD-ROM.