I’ve been burned (no punn’s intended) by nearly every brand and type of recordable out there.
The MAM-A Gold Archive discs are about the only ones that I can attest to having not yet tried, as they are seemingly difficult to find suppliers for and then in stock issues for those claiming to be suppliers.
I’ve been using CD burners since the $700 2x Omni-Writer days. I think that was about 1996.
Unfortunately, total storage precautions cannot always be made for real life uses of the various media types. I can however, identify a range of storage places I have kept my media, as I have always utilized multiple storage locations of important data.
To date, the really dark green 74 minute discs are the only ones from that long ago that are still readable. Absolutely NONE of the other styles from nearly 10 years ago still work. Many of the “big name” and “top quality” brands have even displayed blatant rotting in little over 3 years.
All of the “disc rot” looks like a discolored section within the dyes. Mainly, the disc recording layer, looking through the side for which the laser reads, looks like dalmation spots.
On occasion, I have identified the source to be from microscopic pinhole like markings on the label side, of discs that apparently use the foil itself as the back of the disc (really dumb and rip off concept). This form of rot is NOT what I am concerned with, though it’s still good to know what to avoid.
On occasion, I have also seen a discoloring of the dyes that sem to pop up within the pattern of where “disc safe” (specifically sold for like $2 each, markers made for writing on discs). While this is very annoying, being the claims of disc safe, and especially the inflated price because of those claims, this is also a given issue that can be avoided.
The disc rot that I am most fearful, involves the dalmation spotting on discs that have been burned once, verified, put away in their proper casing. Brands include SONY, Verbatim, Memorex, Maxell, PNY, and more recently KHypermedia.
Again, only the really dark green dyes in a 74 minute format seem to have lasted. I have some sony discs of this style that still work flawlessly, though they were poorly molded and scratch ridiculously easily.
Verbatim 80 minute discs have demonstrated to be < 40% reliable after only 3 years. Memorex and Maxell barely withstand 2 years if even that.
Beyond the dark green dyes being better, I also find that the discs marked as speeds higher than 8x also lack quality. All of my archive needs never exceed 8x, regardless of the discs claimed ability. Despite my recording of all discs at 8x, those rated faster than 8x have demonstrated pathetic quality.
Memorex has been a joke trying to call them on their “100 year life” guarantee. Every time, they claim that they were not stored properly, and that they only guarantee the quality of their craftsmanship. No scratches, stored in the cases they were sold in, stored out of light, in 69 degree Fahrenheit constant data room chambers and these “weren’t stored properly”? Let memorex die an agonizing death of papercuts and plastic parasites like the crap quality they sold me.
My first generation of 4x DVD-R discs (Princo and RiTEC both) are now starting to disc rot. So far, 3 or 4 of the hundreds I’ve used have done this. While I’m hoping this is just a select few that were maybe dropped during shipment or something similar, I don’t know what to do if the “rot” is affecting them as well.
Has anyone heard of gold/gold DVD’s? I have way too much data and photos to use just gold CDR’s.
I did have a 10 pack of Kodak CDR’s. The discs rotted too, but not the dyes. The clear plastic that the laser shines through started fogging in dalmation spots. Quite odd as I can tell that it is INSIDE the plastic and not on the surface. Unfortunately, I don’t know if a 10 pack is really enough to judge the brand in total though, so just add this to the list of observations.
I did have a 50 pack of black PNY discs that appear to be some of the most rugged discs around. They didn’t scratch even when most others did (like dropping them on the concrete when the cd binder fell off the car). I think only 1 of those stopped working after almost 8 years. Don’t know what dyes their black discs used.