Here are some notable comments from our readers. Please share your personal experiences or opinions with us here. We would be happy to post them up in this editorial.
As a person responsible for our corporate produced media, I've had to do some reasearch into this area - our discs got both clients and corporate records.
We run six Rimage 7100n's
Our media is this - MAM-A - 43165 & 43164 (Thermal White & Silver edge to edge)
In the 10 years we've been using MAM-A's product I've never had a disc failure due to dye or reflective layer issues. We've had many bad discs due to physical damage (scratches, warping, etc).
I've noticed several things to ensure long-lived media.
1) Buy a high-quality media - and be careful of rip-offs! Many 'Name Brand' media are rebraned from another manufacturer. A little web-search can lead you to who makes what. Tayo Yuden and MAM-A are both high quality. I prefer MAM-A because it's locally produced, in the U.S.A., yes something hi-tech still made stateside, uses the more stable, but harder to record, Phthalocyanine dye. Check MAM-A's site on this. And has a great bunch of folks out in Colorado to work with!
2) Use a high quality burner - both strong laser and good glass are key here. CDFreaks are great for reviews on this stuff. The same manufacturer can produce both a winners and loosers. We have a mixture from Optiarc and Plextor.
3) Proper labeling! - Do not use Avery(R) or STOMPER(tm) type labels. I just had a set of discs that were bad due to them. Over time the labels will shrink, causing the disc geometry to take a cup-shape. While the Rimage Everest technology is a bit pricy for the average user, you can always sharpie on the inner-hub area - where there is no data. Be careful not to write on the wobble-track. The inner most data area.
4) Storage - In good quality cases that do not out-gas, ON EDGE. Do not use paper envelopes, or at least use tyvek. - if you do, no windows (you have both plastic and glue that can be an issue.
For personal use, harddrives are great, but we still back those up to CD-R and DVD-R and vault those.
Now, I am not an expert in records retention, library management, or even one of the folks out at cdfreaks that goes for the deep dive into this material (but I do use, and thank you for the use, of the material that the folks at cdfreaks creates - thanks guys!), I do speak from experience. The kind that my job is on the line to either know the answer or find out the person that does.
I totally agreed with dthanna's professional comments, as I have found out a few years ago that the warpage is the main culprit causing some of my CDRs not to be read properly. Who would store CDRs in dry box environment in Malaysia (where humidity > 60%) ??
Another main culprit for warpage is like you said, CD label. I don;t recommend using one, because the CD label (its made of paper) will shrink within 4-5 years in humid environment. Marker pen is still my main tool for labeling.
Just one advice for all, if you go pasar malam (night market) and buy those cheap DVDs (purple dye) and have read error intermittently, if you are too lazy to go out and exchange, just tear away the label and the DVD should be ok for reading..... Becareful with your finger nails though.....
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Added a new page detailing some tips on improving CD-R longevity.
Added 154 additional CD-Rs dating from 1999 till 2003.
Added 70 additional CD-Rs mostly dating from 1999 and 2003.