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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Jul 2010
    Hartford, CT
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    I have some old vynal albums that I want to record on CD. I have the equipment and software to do this OK, but I have read that the CD will last only 5-6 years before it must be burned again. That is totally unacceptable. I seriously doubt that the commercially produced CDs are junk in that time period. For example, I just got some pictures developed from film at my local pharmacy and the CD claims that it will "Last a lifetime up to 100 years". Now I really don't believe the claim of 100 years, and I surely won't be around to find out, but it appears that either the CD or processing method is more durable than what the average PC can produce. Plus, I have never seen any articles mention that we need to repurchase our software because the CD becomes unstable.

    I know that there are high quality CDs available. Is this all that is needed to assure that the contents would remain viable for a long period of time? Is there different affordable hardware that will create even more reliable copies?


  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    South of the North Pole
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    Commercial grade and home made are two completely different beasts. The former is replicated or "stamped" from a master. No special dyes, somewhat degradable mediums or flimsy back cover that can be scratched off easily like there is with homemade burns. Archive quality and special care can greatly extend the life but its in the nature of homemade burnable optical media to be somewhat fragile. Take a look at the burn-side surface of the pharmacy-produced CD, if its bright silver and shiny like a commercial CD, it will last a long time with proper care. If it has a colored tint and is a little darker, its most likely just an ordinary burned CD and the 100 year promise is just super-hype.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    California & Arizona
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    Reality is somewhere in between.
    I have music on cheap CDs that are at least 5 years old that continue to play while remaining in the truck.
    But I would never rely solely on CD/DVD disks. Keep backups on a separate hard drives as well, either internal or external.
    CD and DVD disk integrity is also highly dependant on how they are stored.
    Long-term CD/DVD storage
    We're all making loads and loads of CDs and DVDs nowadays - music compilations, backups and storage for digital photos and video. But what's the best way to protect these discs from damage?

    Here are my top tips for CD and DVD storage.

    •Keep fingers off both sides of the disc, not just the "data" side but also the label side. The grease and acids on the skin can damage discs. Pick discs up by putting a finger tip through the hole and resting a thumb on the edge.
    •Store discs in a jewel cases. Soft-sleeve cases don't protect the discs from scratching and deformation. There is also a danger that the plasticizers from some plastic sleeves could cause damage to the discs in the long term.
    •Don't drop or bend discs.
    •Don't stick adhesive labels to the surface (unless they are designed for CDs or DVDs).
    •Store discs in a cool and moderately dry environment. Slight temperature and humidity changes won't harm them but fast changes between very warm and wet conditions to cooler and very dry conditions can sometimes result in warping and distortion.
    •Store discs away from bright light as this can damage the dyes used in recordable CDs and DVDs. Keep them away from direct sunlight too (sunlight contains high levels of UV which can damage discs).
    •Remove dirt, fingerprints, smudges, and liquid splashes by wiping with a clean cotton fabric in a straight line from the center of the disc toward the outer edge. Never clean in a circular direction around the disc. Use isopropyl alcohol or methanol to remove stubborn dirt.
    •For maximum lifespan, don't store discs horizontally for extended periods. Store them vertically in a jewel case.
    A temperature of 18°C and 40% relative humidity is considered suitable for long-term storage.

    A CD or DVD can get quite hot when being read (55°C) so it's a good idea not to keep an important disc in the drive for extended periods.
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  4. #4
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Shay View Post
    I know that there are high quality CDs available. Is this all that is needed to assure that the contents would remain viable for a long period of time? Is there different affordable hardware that will create even more reliable copies?
    Hello... I have "DVD RAM 4.7" 120 min 4.7GB disks made by Panasonic that report to be for the "long term" They are hard to find but they act just like old video tape you can edit, add to, delete , start and stop where ever you want. I use them for my home video collection, purchased them at "Best Buy" though it wasn't easy. Regards Fred

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