The US Library of Congress examining lifespan of CD’s



We’ve just posted the following news: The US Library of Congress examining lifespan of CD’s
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            Please note that the reactions from the complete site will be synched below.


I think they also came out with that scare a few years back.
Personally, I don’t put much stock in the report.

I have a Memorex music cd that has been cooking, freezing and all the in between temps for about 3 years now in my car.
It still plays fine, I dunno, possibly there are more errors now but given it is a very cheap brand not known for anything quality wise, makes me wonder about these corruption studies.
Not stating there aren’t any truth in them but I do have my doubts.


I think some of it is luck Steve as it depends on how near to perfect the disc is to start with.

With regard to markers I know that the chemicals in these migrate into the disc.

I’ve had older discs that I’ve tried to rename and when I cleaned the majority of the ink off with solvent it became apparent that some of the ink it had migrated into the actual substrate of the disc.

As to the effect this would have I suspect it’s negligible but without proper scientific tests it’s hard to tell.

[B]Wombler [/B]


I wonder why the heck the LoC cares about such stuff, unless they intend to “save” every CD in existence and want to know where to start i.e. which CDs are likely to fail soonest.

If they want a more permanent storage for such things they will burn everything they have to M-Disc, then let someone else worry about “Thriller” in 1,000 years.



[QUOTE=DukeOfUrl;2727557]I wonder why the heck the LoC cares about such stuff, unless they intend to “save” every CD in existence and want to know where to start i.e. which CDs are likely to fail soonest.[/QUOTE] Presumably because the Library of Congress has to store and preserve originals of published works in the U.S., not just books, just like our national library in Denmark does.


Yes well I understand that…I just do not understand how doing this study is going to help them.

If you start with the premise that ALL are going to fail eventually, then why not just decide you’re going to transfer everything e.g. to M-Disc or hard drives or whatever-they-want-to-do and get on with it.

But instead let’s waste a boatload of effort first on statistics of dubious value…


Since the CDs or for that matter, DVD and Blu-ray are sold to us consumers, there will be some failure and even early failures on any given blanks.
Nothing much lasts forever however I would trust our own members on this and other like forums for information or any info done apart from the govt.

In the years I have been burning discs, I have only had a few that developed a few glitches…these were all on el-cheapo brands like Maxell dvds and a few RO4 blu-rays.
They are still 99% readable.
I have read that sharpie ink can cause failure to read but I still have doubts that this is a major problem even for CDs.
Anyway, all the ones I have been buying for some years now are ink-jet printables.

There is a rebuttal dated late 2010 concerning a National Archives article.


I’ve been burning discs from the 90’s. I’ve bought what “the internet” has said have been quality discs for most of that time. Most of my cd’s/dvds/bluray backups still read fine.

The only stuff I have that don’t are discs I tried out from a friend of mine (princo dvdrs). They are very unreadable now.

If your picky with your discs, the discs should outlive the usefulness of the content on them :slight_smile:


Agree to that.

I have dumped most of my old DVD-Rs and CDs now, because they had old information. I had problems reading some Verbatim DVDs but it was still only a few parts, over all the discs where good. And none of my older CDs had any problems.

The thing is, if you have pressed cd’s, music and so on that you bought way back in the day, all of them are just fine. As long as you store them right you will have no problem. Burned discs is a different story. But I would say that old CD-Rs are way better than DVD-Rs and bluray is the worst, at least the disc you can burn your self.

If you buy quality gold CD-Rs to burn stuff onto, you should have no problem trusting them for 20-30 years, they will hold the information without degrading, that said, it is wise to do a new copy every 10 years just to be on the safe side. And you also have to burn the discs the best way possible to maximize quality of the burn.

As long as “The US Library of Congress” distributes backups (pressed discs) and save stuff on tape. They should be fine.

Best storage is however books, printed paper. But the question is, how long do you need to store old data, books tend to not store data in that way, they are more of a information bank.