When Discs Die


This seemed like the best forum category for this article which discusses the history of optical media ageing process.


Thanks for the link.

Doesn’t really tell us anything new. We’ve been aware of disc deterioration problems for well over a decade now, and the only solutions are still the same: buy blank discs from manufacturers known for high quality products, burn at moderate speeds (not always the slowest), store in individual cases in a cool, dry environment, and don’t expect re-writable or double layer discs to last as long. We have fewer choices for high quality discs these days, of course, and there isn’t much that an individual can do about commercially made pressed discs, like movie discs or game discs, except store and handle them properly.


I used to store discs in individual cases, but due to lack of space, I now store in cake boxes (spindles). Is this not safe?


Best policy is to store in individual cases. Spindles are probably safe, I have a lot of less important stuff stored this way. Just don’t store discs in wallets for long periods. I’ve seen some stick to the plastic used in wallets and ruin the discs.


There isn’t a single median on Earth that won’t eventually degrade in some shape or form and have negative affects long-term. Take care of your stuff and store it properly and it’ll last for a long time. Anything that was defective when it was manufactured will eventually show up much sooner than something that was made well. I can find plenty of very old CDs on e-bay for example that are in great condition, still play well, and rip with no errors.