Does this apply to photos?
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I have been recording legal live music to CD-R for 4-5 yrs. now (Phish, Grateful Dead, etc), after switching from analog cassette tape. So the longevity of my collection is of extreme importance to me. Here is what I post on my website:
--I don't accept Taiwanese Fujis (very common nowadays), Memorex, Imation, Maxell, TDK's, Sony, or any generics in TRADES. I will accept Verbatim, Japanese Fujis, Mitsui, Kodak Gold, and Taiyo Yuden's. For the MOST PART, I've learned the general rule of thumb, is to only use discs made in Japan. Anything else just doesn't cut it. Discs made in Taiwan use cheaper dye that deteriorates much more quickly than the dyes used to make Japanese discs (again, for the most part!). I use most of these brands at different times -- mainly Japanese Fujis. Again, I've found the consensus criterion of what discs not to use are any discs manufactured outside of Japan.
--For labeling, you should NEVER write on the printed, data portion of the disc. Rather, ONLY write on the clear inner ring in the middle of the disc. This part of the disc does not contain any data. I recommend using a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point black marker.
i would record all those CD-Rs to metal cassette tapes , just in case. keep the CDs..but if they decide to go south ,youl still have the tapes.
we KNOW tapes last atleast 30 years...(i have tapes that are 30YO and are fine anyway) CDs and especialy recordable CDs ,we just dont know.
or if you want to keep them digital, i would invest in 1 or 2 large hard drives (in the 400GB range) and rip all your CDs to them and store them as lossless FLAC or APE files. and then if your reely anal...copy that drive to an identical one or even set up a RAID, then you have 2 copys (3 if you count the origanal CDs)and the possibility of losing ther songs to a mechanical HDD failure will be virtualy non existant.
I have a room full of backup tapes from the past decade. There is no equipment that can read the tapes, since the technology out ran it.
The CD/DVD burners today will also be left behind, and what do you have? Pretty little circles of plastic coasters for your drinking pleasure.
The real question is what are you going to use to read that disk 10 years from now? The operating system will change, your software will change and you will be on your 4th new computer, with all the "current" whiz-bang technology, which will not be able to access those beer coasters.
I'm not so sure about tapes either. I've been working with computer systems for 20 years now and have seen tapes fail (non mechanical) in 3-5 years as well. The media being used was not cheap run-of-the mill stuff. The usual rules of keep in a cool place, retension, etc. were followed but I learned that if it was really important, you probably should have two tape copies of it as one of them was guaranteed to have a read failure if you really needed the data.
In Barry W.'s reply, he stated:
"-Labeling: The glues in adhesive labels, or the solvents in pen-type markers, both applied to the label side (the side containing the data) can SLOWLY penetrate the reflective backing and dye layers and destroy the data."
Was that a missprint? "the side containing the data"?? I generally don't consider the label side to be the side that contains the data. I can only guess that he means that "the label side (the side not containing the data) can SLOWLY penetrate . . . "
Otherwise, I see no reason to mention a problem with labels -- I don't know anyone who would mark the data side.
I think the reference was to the way a disc is built: the underside of the disc is thick plastic but the label side has a reflective coating just under the surface, into which the data is written. It's the side which is most easily damaged which is why it's not a good idea to write or stick things on it.
The back of the "lable side" is where the data is written, and if you have a CD you don't want, just use a key, coin, or knife to scratch it off (or bend it) and you will see it flakes off with a shiny back like mirror backing -- then when you look at it you only have a clear plastic disk in that area. The data went "bye-bye" with the reflective coating from the "back", "top" or whatever you call the side that has the place to write on, or the imprint of the manufacturer's name.
The "stress test" to show degradation used temperatures of 90-100 degrees CELCIUS. That's over 200 degrees FAHRENHEIT.
So the bottom line is:
DON'T USE YOUR OVEN TO STORE YOUR CD-RW or DVD-RW COLLECTION. For you kiddies, this also means don't store your CD-RW's loaded with stolen music on your car's dashboard in the hot summer sun.
If you keep your CD-RW or DVD-RW indoors on a shelf or out of the sun, you can be fairly satisfied that it will still be usable in 100 years. And by that time you'll have probably upgraded to the new 1/2" optical chip storage, the next generation of Flash ROMs.
So this "concern" is a snoozer.
I agree on not paying the price for DVD RW media, except...
I use DVD+RW to record TV movies on an RCA 8000N DVD recorder, for later viewing. I edit the movie and ''hide'' all of the commercials, then re-record it to DVD+R. I erase the RW and use it many many times. The end result is a collection commercial-free movies on +R media that will probably outlive me.
I like this post a lot. The one thing I would add is that cd-rw media does have its place. I don't use them for archiving, but I have a couple of discs that I use to transfer files between my desktop and notebook. One could easily use a thumbdrive or other removable media, but cd-rws are very cheap in comparison, and pretty well any computer built these days can burn them, so they make a pretty good option.
Can anyone shed any light (no pun intended) on the newer, or more recently available, inkjet printable lables? Are their adheasives more stable, or is there a problem about them too? I thought they weould be somewhat of an advantage even if I didn't print on them because the printable surface would "provide" some "protedtion" to the "foil" or whatever it is on the back of CD's that when it get's scratched looses all of the data in that area.
A further extrapolation or carry on/over is a similar question about the newest "technology" the HP "Lightscribe" CD's and DVD's don't they by definition have the dies, or whatever on both surfaces, and would that have any affect or effect on the longevity of them?
I agree that you should NEVER save any important data on RW media. But there is a place for this media. I use RW for temporary backups (generally useful for only a few months anyway). If you back up every month, and keep three sets in the rotation, the data only has to survive for 3 months. I've never had such a backup fail if I needed it.
I also use RW media to offload DVD files from my digital video recorder. Then I either transfer the contants to read-only disks if I want to keep it, or I recycle the RW disk for another use. Again, short time needs.
You may have misunderstood the comment. The data side of the CD-R is not the clear side which is read by the laser beam. The data layer is actually on the other side, protected by only a thin overlayer of spun on laquer (with or without an overprinted label). You must label this data side because writing on or otherwise labeling the other side would block the laser beam and make the disk unreadable.
I'm as big a fan of technology as the next guy. We have both MAC as well as PC technology. Love the improvements in the digital photography area. However, the bottom line is, if you want to have a picture to last ... it needs to be on a negative. That, when stored adequately (archival sleeve etc) will take the test of time.
Here at Diagraphix, we not only still pull picture files for our customers which are well over 10 years old, but we finish pictures for museums on very old negatives. Any picture taken which needs to be preserved (oil & gas, mining, exploration, reclamation etc) is always taken with analog technology.
This is not only the best (responsible) option for businesses, it also sometimes is a smart personal choice. Such events as weddings, births, reunions ... think about it ... how long do you want these to last ?
Although the digital camera technology has come a long way (we do use it also), any picture which is deemed vital either personally or to a business, should be taken on a negative. Then ... you know for sure for how long this will picture be available to you.
Just my 2 cents worth ...
Have a great day all ...
Iv found if that CD's are proberly the most unreliable source of storage i prefer the LP and have a great device that lets me put tracks from my computer on my LP's. I also have a huge CD collection though and after losing all my computer tracks i reliased i needed more than my computer to back up my CD. I have taken advantgae of being able to have an additional hard drive. I brought a harddrive for
This may have been covered elsewhere in the sea of replies, but the statement "In a pressed CD, the data is literally "molded into" (actually pressed into) the media and will not disappear unless the CD is physically damaged" is misleading. Rot of the metallic layer is common, especially in discs produced early in the history of commercial CDs but also seen periodically in much newer discs. The discs (or at least parts of them) become unusable to play (or to rip to a CD-R.)
Thank you Lee Koo for all that great concise and understandable information. This one article is invaluable especially since I have been archiving data on CD-RW which I now know to be a big no-no amongst other things.
I sure would like to have your email or other kind of contact information as computer knowledgeable people like you are a golden find. In the words from Wayne's World, I bow before you and state "I am not worthy".
Again thanks and I will share this with several of my Assoicates.
Don't go too far, Barry - I find RW media invaluable for checking the end product and avoiding the coaster pile. Burn it, save the project, check the disc on the player (obviously, I am talking mostly about aspect ratio and audio playability on dvd's), then burn it again on CD-R or DVD-R. I'm probably up a couple of dozen discs with this technique.
I just copied a bunch of CD-Rs I have recorded over the years to my hard drive to prepare for writing to DVD-Rs. The oldest CD-R was about 7 years old and it even had a full adhesive label on it (I don't do this anymore since I read about the possible problems). The CD-R was essentially full of data and I received no errors in reading it.
Though there are many different answers as to how long any optical media may last, it is a moot point. 10-15 years is most likely long enough since the technology continues to change. Once a new technology "takes over" in the market place you have to convert all your old media over to the new anyway. This has been a big problem with any person/company/organization/etc. that has large amounts of data to archive.