Well, as I've been recovering all kinds of cool photos, there is a collection of Beta and VHS tapes that my dad made (and I did too) that I've been meaning to copy and I saw the Elgato Video Capture which is a $80 device that you has S-VHS and Component video output on one side and then a USB B port on the other. I plugged it all in and then went to the Elgato site to download their Video Capture application. As an aside, everyone seems to be putting things into packages with no Quick-Start at all, but this isn't too hard.
You then get a Mac application and it is pretty easy, you use your VCR (man, I barely remember how to use that). Then with Component video you get 240i (if you can remember what that is, the S-VHS supports 480i and you need a VCR with S-Video outputs which I don't have). Then, you forward it and when you hear a sound, you tell it how long the tape is and then give it a name and it creates an MP4 file.
Pretty handy and way easier than taking these tapes to Costco or whatever. Now I just need to see if I can dig up a S-VHS VCR from Dad's pile of stuff 🙂
Editing the Tapes with QuickTime
Once you have this MP4, then you can just create clips of what you need. While you can load up IMovie and do this, there's a simpler way with QuickTime Player by choosing Edit Trim and then you are ready to save them all. I do this because typically in those days tape was expensive, so you would have a bunch of different movies all on a single tape and this is an easy way to divide them. It is actually hard to get the time codes ride with the Trim user interface, so I find it easier to go through the tape and just write the time codes down before using the Edit Trim feature.