Best method for music archival

Recently, I’ve been archiving some of my favourite music CDs using EAC. Mostly it’s stuff I couldn’t live without and stuff that’s getting harder to find, or already out of print, and likely to be hard to replace should my current copy degrade.

I’m keeping FLAC copies on my hard drive, but I also want to make some copies on optical media as well. What do you figure is the best method for this?

a) Make a master back-up copy as a DATA CD (WAV or FLAC). Make secondary copies from the master and use the secondary copies for everyday use.

b) Make a master back-up copy as a MUSIC CD. Extract the audio from this as needed and burn to secondary copies.

I’ve been told DVD+/-R isn’t quite up to the same level of longevity as CD-R media. If anyone can disprove this, I’d gladly use my DVD+Rs instead.

Mind you, if I still have a FLAC copy available on my HDD then I would use that, but I’m trying to have multiple methods of backup.

I see you have a Pioneer 111L :slight_smile:

Now I don’t know tons about audio but I know what you can do to back music cds up onto DVD-R. I would recommend you copy your cds into image files using clone cd. Clone cd makes exact copies of just about anything and it should be fine for music also as I have used it without a problem for this in the past. I am currently doing this with my PS1 games also.

So you put all your images into folders etc etc. You could fit at least 6 or 7 FULL sized CD-R images onto one DVD. I would then use Nero to make a data dvd and burn them all like that. You would easily back up about 150 or more non compressed audio CD images with 25 DVDR or less.

DVD longevity is just as good as CD-R and it’s more durable so there’s no reason not to use it. Just like any media though, good quality ones last longer.

I recommend using verbatim. Verbatim sell 8x -R discs which are MCC02RG20 discs and are very stable for archiving. They also sell this media with “Video Gard” protection. This makes the recording side much harder to scratch so combined with the stability of this disc, it would be ideal for storing all important data. I currently use the video gard discs for my PS2 backups and they work very well.

Good news is that I have a Pioneer 111L just like you and it burns the above mentioned discs (Verbatim -R 8x) perfectly at 4x,6x or 8x.

Of course to be even safer you can also make a secondary DVD backup onto different media, Taiyo Yuden are said to be very good also, plenty of people recommend them but personally have not used much of their DVD media.

That’s my 2 cents, hope I helped :slight_smile:

Well, I’ve already had excellent results with YUDEN000T02 (@ 8X) and good results with MCC004 (@ 8X as well), especially on the Pioneer. I just haven’t had anything long enough to be able to make my own decisions about longevity and archival-recommended media. Scratching them is not an issue since I’m extremely careful with my CDs (unless I bought them second hand, all my 10+ years old CDs have little or no scratches). It’s just plain old dye stability I’m worried about I guess, or I assume. Whatever is the most important factor in a disc staying readable the longest.

The main thing I am worried about is DVD-/+R longevity (I guess I generally use +R over -R) versus CD-R longevity. And additionally, if it’s better to use CD-R, is there any disadvantage burning as audio rather than data in terms of error correction or otherwise?

I’d choose a) since your music will have much better data protection due to the three layers of error correction available on data CDs as opposed to two layers on audio CDs.

But personally I use option c) instead:

c) Make master copies (at least two) of CD as CUE+APE image (APE a.k.a. Monkey’s Audio is a compressed lossles format similar to FLAC) and burn to secondary copies from the master.

Only time will tell if recordable DVD media last as long as recordable CD media.

ExactAudioCopy has built-in support for ripping and encoding to APE format and for decoding and burning APE with a CUE sheet back to CD-DA (Audio CD) format. There are many other tools that also support the APE format, so I’d rather use that or some other widely supported lossless format than use a proprietary audio disc image format such as CloneCD, because using a proprietary format wil lock you in to one or a few tools.

For my audio cd projects I save one audio cd as “master” … on regular Verbatim pastel usually, nothing fancy :wink: Then i save the wav on 2 or 3 dvdr as well.

My own cd collection is being ripped to mp3, 320 kbps. Now and then .flac too but always mp3. These go to 2 or 3 dvdr. I still have years before i’m done ripping my stuff. I use Wavelab or EAC. Wavelab has an ok 2x or 3x (optional) checker before it saves the wav … :slight_smile:

Definitely lossless compressed DATA for the master, to benefit from data-level EDC.

You could also archive them individually to CD, and as many as will fit on DVD (two completely different media types, handy if one media turns out to have a serious degradation issue).

I seem to remember some freeware that could create “redundancy groups”, but at the moment, I can’t remember the name.

Perhaps you’re thinking of PAR2 files and the QuickPar or similar utility?

I use the RS02 ECC redundancy function of DVDisaster instead to add redundancy to an ISO image before burning it.

There’s also ICE ECC:

DVDisaster was what I was thinking of, though such things can only help with partail defects, and not a catastrophic failure…

The best protection is to have at least two copies on different media (not junk) and verify at least one sample (to pick up on aging issues) of each at (say) six monthly intervals - if paranoid, verify the entire set, but sampling a media from every batch should give warning of any systematic “going bad” issues.

It might not help at all, but may as well fill amy remaining space using one of those ECC programs, to add a 4th level of correction above C1, C2 and data level ECC

Excellent suggestions. The theory of redundancy on optical media always lingered in my mind, but I never knew such tools actually existed. I’ll probably end up doing some combination of CD and DVD media using the tools you suggested, along with FLAC backups left on my hard drive. Thanks again for all the help.

I got thinking about this and I recall trying the CUE and WAV image thing years ago. When doing this with EAC, it would be a lot more precise in terms of track separations (since it included the original CD’s pregaps) but I noticed slight clicks or pops between tracks after burning. Was this just an isolated incident or was it a consequence of using the CUE+image method of backing up audio CDs?

It’s possible that the pops and clicks are due to a bad burn or bad media, or it could be a bad rip (using a non-secure ripping method in EAC). The CUE+WAV method is not responsible for the pops and clicks.

I use the CUE+WAV method almost exclusively for my audio CDs and have never encountered any clicks or pops that weren’t in the original WAV file. So like DrageMester said, the source is elsewhere.


Okay, that would make sense. Like I said, this was years before I started coming here.