Ed’s Weblog

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Longevity of CDRs 2

Posted by Ed on August 29, 2003

Slightly perturbed by last weeks reports of prematurely-expiring CDRs, I hot-footed it down to my local newsagent to get the full story. Unfortunately the PC Active article was less than completely enlightening. They singled out three brands which were particularly poor (Kruidvat, Mmore and BestMedia), but didn’t identify the best – perhaps because there were insufficient differences between the rest.

A much more useful article is this, in which very thorough testing is described. Again, there’s no simple answer in the form of ‘X is good, Y is bad’, but some useful tips. The test results showed that initial fidelity was a reasonable predictor of longevity:

Degradation was more severe for discs of very poor initial quality than for high-quality samples, indicating that initial recorded quality was important to longevity for multiple reasons.

They conclude by stating that longevity is possible, but requires considerable care on the part of the user as well manufacturer:

CD-R discs are capable of excellent longevity, but achieving that potential requires diligence by both manufacturers and users.

Media handling and storage is very important. Both unrecorded and recorded discs should be archived in clean jewel cases in a stable storage environment of 10C – 15C and 20 percent – 50 percent RH, and protected from sunlight and other radiation sources.

Confidence in longevity can only be achieved by initial testing of drives and media, through proper handling and storage, and by periodic resampling to confirm longevity or to identify a need for duplication while the original disc is still readable. Short cuts do not exist.

Other useful sources of information include cdr-faq and cd-freaks.

As far as I have seen, brands which are most often recommended are: Mitsui, Fujifilm and Kodak (although Kodak may no longer be manufacturing discs).

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One Response to “Longevity of CDRs 2”

  1. Ed said

    See http://www.mam-e.com/web/p_prostudio.phtml

    These people guarantee their CDRs for 200 years!

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