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Old 22-06-2013, 09:16
howardl
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Have recordable discs got a finite life?
If so, what sort of timescale?
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:29
Deacon1972
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Depends where you read, some will say for recordables it's 5-10yrs, for rewritables up to 30yrs.

I have recordables that are over 10yrs old and still play perfectly.

They weren't cheap, so I suppose cost factors into it as well.
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:43
flagpole
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I have never had one fail through old age.

the problem with this topic is that a lot of what you read is received wisdom based on the very earliest media.

but i have cd-rs going back to 2001 that work just fine.
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:55
iangrad
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In theory if the discs are well stores they should last for many years ---- BUT if the content is irreplaceable ( IE photos of people in the past ) you should have a belt and braces approach and have the content stores on one of the on line back up services such as dropbox or google drive in addition to your dvd .
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Old 22-06-2013, 11:38
jcjeffe
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I have had more than one writable CD start to fail after several years. First they had read errors needing several retries but this gradually got worse. In one case the disk held photos so some were no longer accessible and in another case the disk contained software which would no longer load.

Cheap unbranded disks are obviously the main culprit but often the named brands are not much better as these day they are often made for a price. I certainly would not store valuable data on a CD/DVD as a long term archive! If you must use a CD/DVD then making multiple copies should improver the chance of a particular photo or document surviving.

The manufacturer's web site should have details which would include the expected life. However it is possible to buy "Archive" grade DVDs with a claimed life up to 100 years.
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Old 22-06-2013, 11:45
flagpole
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I have had more than one writable CD start to fail after several years. First they had read errors needing several retries but this gradually got worse. In one case the disk held photos so some were no longer accessible and in another case the disk contained software which would no longer load.

Cheap unbranded disks are obviously the main culprit but often the named brands are not much better as these day they are often made for a price. I certainly would not store valuable data on a CD/DVD as a long term archive! If you must use a CD/DVD then making multiple copies should improver the chance of a particular photo or document surviving.

The manufacturer's web site should have details which would include the expected life. However it is possible to buy "Archive" grade DVDs with a claimed life up to 100 years.
I still think this is received wisdom.

i would bet that the cheapest discs of today are still better than the best you could buy 10 years ago.
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Old 22-06-2013, 19:49
Chris Frost
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We know that archivists have a constant battle with moisture, heat and light. The same challenges must face the home recordist. Discs kept in damp warm light conditions will, I'm sure, degrade faster.

We know that moisture affects the recording layer sandwiched inside the disc. It even affects commercial produced pre-recorded discs. Laser rot is something that laser disc owners are aware of. I have DVDs where the centre spindle hole has cracked due to the stresses of being removed and returned to the disc case. Budget discs will have lower tolerances to moisture and UV light. All will succumb to physical stress sooner or later. IMO this is why there's no hard and fast rule to disc longevity. There are just too many variables affecting the final outcome.
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Old 22-06-2013, 20:07
coachtrip_fan99
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I find the green / purple film peels off, or scratches eventually. Especially if not sorted correctly.

The all or nothing nature of digital storage has its drawbacks.

With analogue cassette, you will see a gradual deterioration of the picture / audio... So have warning to make another copy... ( unless the machine chews up the tape, of course)
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Old 23-06-2013, 12:10
howardl
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I have stored photos on a memory stick as well,
have they got a finite life?
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Old 23-06-2013, 12:40
flagpole
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I have stored photos on a memory stick as well,
have they got a finite life?
they have, although again we don't know what. they also just spontaneously fail from time to time.

it's important to realise that a backup is a second copy. so in order to lose something both your primary and secondary copies must be lost.

all back up techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. dvds can fail, as can memory stick. your house can burn down.

if it's something like photos then you could do a lot worse than something like google drive, dropbox, microsoft skydrive, they will take care of them.
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Old 23-06-2013, 14:25
tealady
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Write the 1s and 0s on a clay tablet and bake that. Proven technology.
Although there are ageing emulations done, which show 10-30 years life, the acid test is what happens with 1000s discs in 10-30 years time, by which time it may be too late.
Multiple sources (as mentioned) is the only way to cover yourself.

I asked out IT dept about memory sticks and they said the limiting factor was the number of writes done. My colleague said his son's had also survived the washing machine. Nevertheless, as flagpole says they can still fail at any point.
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Old 24-06-2013, 13:42
jjne
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I still think this is received wisdom.

i would bet that the cheapest discs of today are still better than the best you could buy 10 years ago.
Not a chance.

The best from ten years ago were Japanese media. These were very stable and made to last.

The cheap, Chinese media put out today is often of very low quality. Companies like Infosmart and CMC have always produced low-grade media -- and the CMC stuff in particular is commonly branded with "top" names as well.

It's still possible to buy good media from Japanese manufacturers like Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi (and I dare say these probably are better than they were ten years ago) but it's becoming increasingly hard to find in amongst the Taiwanese, or worse, Chinese/Indian rubbish being sold at premium prices.

It doesn't help that shyster companies like E-Net Distribution continue to sell rejected, "B/C-Grade" media as quality through the budget channels.
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Old 25-06-2013, 10:53
flagpole
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Not a chance.

The best from ten years ago were Japanese media. These were very stable and made to last.

The cheap, Chinese media put out today is often of very low quality. Companies like Infosmart and CMC have always produced low-grade media -- and the CMC stuff in particular is commonly branded with "top" names as well.

It's still possible to buy good media from Japanese manufacturers like Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi (and I dare say these probably are better than they were ten years ago) but it's becoming increasingly hard to find in amongst the Taiwanese, or worse, Chinese/Indian rubbish being sold at premium prices.

It doesn't help that shyster companies like E-Net Distribution continue to sell rejected, "B/C-Grade" media as quality through the budget channels.
OK not a chance then.

despite that the industry is now 4x older than it was 10 years ago. what has been always will be and the cheaper brands have not improved their manufacturing process at all. and never will. CMC disks are no different now than they were in 2003. it is the only thing in the electronics industry that has not changed in the last 10 years.

it's nonsense i go through hundreds of dvd-rs, maybe a 1000 a year. the only trouble i've had in recent times are what i assume is a bad batch of supposedly decent verbatim MCC 03RG20. the CMC MAG. AM3 i use simply never fail.
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Old 25-06-2013, 15:29
sancheeez
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I have never had one fail through old age.
I have plenty.

Around the 6/7 year age range. No longer readable in any drive I own. I've been going through all my old CDR/DVDR's and moving everything onto HDD's.

Mostly cheapo silvers but a few Verbatim and DataWrite/DataSafe as well.
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Old 25-06-2013, 22:06
Sexbomb
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What about burning to blu ray discs for data?
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Old 26-06-2013, 12:36
spanglerokapi
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A lot of my CDRs recorded in the past ten years are deteriorating rapidly. As the deterioration seems to start at the outside of the disc it is not immediately apparent and it is only when you get a few tracks in that you suddenly become aware of swishing noises and distortion. Some recordings I have been able to replace by sourcing secondhand CDs on the web or by downloads but some are irreplaceable.
I have not been able to pin it down to any specific make of disc but it seems the ones that have a bluefish hue to the are the most susceptible. I should also add that I have a few music CDs notably Decca recordings that are turning brown presumably through some form of oxidisation but at the moment are still playable.
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Old 26-06-2013, 12:39
flagpole
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A lot of my CDRs recorded in the past ten years are deteriorating rapidly. As the deterioration seems to start at the outside of the disc it is not immediately apparent and it is only when you get a few tracks in that you suddenly become aware of swishing noises and distortion. Some recordings I have been able to replace by sourcing secondhand CDs on the web or by downloads but some are irreplaceable.
I have not been able to pin it down to any specific make of disc but it seems the ones that have a bluefish hue to the are the most susceptible. I should also add that I have a few music CDs notably Decca recordings that are turning brown presumably through some form of oxidisation but at the moment are still playable.
it does sound a lot like oxidation. maybe some moisture?
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Old 27-06-2013, 07:57
spanglerokapi
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If I recall many years ago Decca, or one of the other labels, did do a recall because of the problem. I think it was to do with the edges of the discs not being sealed properly.
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:34
jjne
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OK not a chance then.

despite that the industry is now 4x older than it was 10 years ago. what has been always will be and the cheaper brands have not improved their manufacturing process at all. and never will. CMC disks are no different now than they were in 2003. it is the only thing in the electronics industry that has not changed in the last 10 years.
Not to mention that cheap media used to cost over a pound a disc, and now can be bought in bulk for as little as 6p.....

No, of course production quality has inexorably improved

While we're at it, those 36-for-1 batteries you buy at Poundland are obviously superior to Duracells from ten years ago, and that 20 Technika "hi-fi" from Tesco has my 1995 Kenwood amp soundly beaten.
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:38
flagpole
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Not to mention that cheap media used to cost over a pound a disc, and now can be bought in bulk for as little as 6p.....

No, of course production quality has inexorably improved
i didn't say it had inexorably improved.

i said it was ludicrous to suggest that it hadn't improved in 10 years.
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:39
jjne
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i didn't say it had inexorably improved.

i said it was ludicrous to suggest that it hadn't improved in 10 years.
No, you "bet" that said cheap, 6p disc from 2013 is superior to a 2 Taiyo disc from 2003.
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Old 27-06-2013, 13:58
flagpole
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No, you "bet" that said cheap, 6p disc from 2013 is superior to a 2 Taiyo disc from 2003.
correct. although you are playing fast and loose with your numbers there. you literally just said that a budget disk in 2003 would cost you 1, so a 2 disk doesn't seem that expensive.

you are trying to make it sound like the premium disk cost 30x as much as the cheap disk. but by your own measure it cost twice as much.

by any measure with regard to the majority of electronics available in 2003 a premium version available then is inferior to the budget version available today.

this is particularly true in recordable optical media as the business was in it's infancy in 2003.

I'm somewhat baffled that you have taken this position. are there any other electronic items where you would father have the 2003 model? the mobile phone business for example has a similar maturity to recordable optical media. in 2003 i had a nokia 6600, cost me a fortune. i'd still rather have a budget phone from today. wouldn't you?
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Old 30-06-2013, 20:52
ianradioian
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I have had a cd recorder and a dvd recorder for many years,both philips,and have never had a problem with unreadable discs going back to 1999.I have also copied stuff for other people and never had a problem,nor had a problem playing anyone elses discs.However, upstairs,I now have a new toshiba dvd player,and I have two dvdrs recorded on my partners sanyo dvd recorder,and they have both failed.Perhaps it depends on the recorder as well?
I have several cds from 1985 that have changed colour from silver to bronze,but ,again,they play fine.
I never buy spindle bulk cdrs or dvdrs,only tdk or memorex blanks in proper cases.I feel that there may be bulk issue production standards,perhaps?
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Old 30-06-2013, 21:06
Pink Knight
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I've had bad experiences with Maxell DVD-R's recently. Ones that wouldn't record or play properly.
Yet Supermarket own brands fine, wouldn't like to say how long they will last though.
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