Skip to comments.CD-Recordable discs unreadable in less than two years
Posted on 08/24/2003 7:12:45 AM PDT by Eala
The Dutch PC-Active magazine has done an extensive CD-R quality test. For the test the magazine has taken a look at the readability of discs, thirty different CD-R brands, that were recorded twenty months ago. The results were quite shocking as a lot of the discs simply couldn't be read anymore:
Roughly translated from Dutch:
The tests showed that a number of CD-Rs had become completely unreadable while others could only be read back partially. Data that was recorded 20 months ago had become unreadable. These included discs of well known and lesser known manufacturers.
It is presumed that CD-Rs are good for at least 10 years. Some manufacturers even claim that their CD-Rs will last up to a century. From our tests it's concluded however that there is a lot of junk on the market. We came across CD-Rs that should never have been released to the market. It's completely unacceptable that CD-Rs become unusable in less than two years.
On the image you can see the exact same CD-R. On the left you see the outcome of our tests done in 2001. On the right you see the same CD-R in 2003. The colours indicate the severeness of the errors in the following order; white, green, yellow and red whereas white indicates that the disc can be read well and red indicates that it cannot be read.
For those of you who are interested, the original Dutch article can be found here and in the September issue of PC-Active. Please discuss this subject in our Media Forum.
(Excerpt) Read more at cdfreaks.com ...
Sure..I've got a 3 1/2 - 5 1/4 combo floppy drive on one of my machines here just for that purpose. Gotta love all those VisiCalc spreadsheets and WordStar docs.
I am for micro-etching print (data) using lasers on metal or a hard plastic that will last for a million years.
There is a huge problem with outdated media storage. Lots of extremely valuable data will be lost due to the changing technology. We just don't have the time, money, or resources to transfer all archived data from one media type to the next as technology advances.
You are succumbing to the "copernican syndrome": that the universe and history start when you do and that only that which affects you personally matters.
I suppose that is no surprise. In times past great public works routinely were conceived to serve generations into the future, because it was the rational thing for humans to do.
Today, "if it doesn't extend past my lifetime, so what?".
Five, or even 10 years is a blink in the larger scheme.
Does anyone care what the picture is in 30 years? 50? 100?
And I still have a working Dual turntable and stylus.
How is that going to help the other 1.2 billion Americans 100 years from now?
What are you saying?
Did NASA lie when they reported that tons (literally) of data tapes from the past are now unreadable?
It wont. Read post #23.
Closer than you might think :-) I have over 6000 books at my house too (most technical). I love information.
BTW, thank for the compliment. :-)))) I loved that analogy. :-)
Nope. I worked flight operations with NASA at JPL, and that was one of the great concerns.
The problem is that a lot of what we are storing in now digital in nature. It just doesn't lend itself to any meaninfull paper storage. Maybe we ought to go back to the old style of recording, but on titanium instead of vinyl for important stuff. Edison records still play just fine.
All of my 15 year-old music CDs still play without a hitch, so I cannot believe the medium itself is fundamentally flawed. I can believe that individual data bits might be lost (and not affect audio playback performance, due to error-correcting algorithms) and that would clearly be a problem with files that require absoutely full and accurate data bits. But for audio and image recordings especially, the CD medium seems to have proven its adequacy.
Now, the article suggests that perhaps the particular media sold to the consumer CD-R market is inferior. And maybe even some consumer CD-R hardware doesn't burn data consistently well. Still, for the permamant archival market, industrial quality recorders and CD media should get the job done, I would think.
That's why everything is digitized and stored in multiple disks and systems at my house :)
As do I; about a third technical, the rest art, history, philosophy and literature.
But we both know that what happens to those after we depart is another matter altogether. Thank God for the Library of Congress. If that goes, the future are in deep doo doo.
(Sounds like the ideal subject for a good movie, no?)
How do we store and retrieve the data? Literally millions of bits/second are being recorded non-stop in millions of places simultaneously.
I know. I too am glad for libraries. Should there be a major catastrophe, all knowlege will not be lost. Unlike what happened at Alexandria.