×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How To Choose Archival CD/DVD Media

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the 70-years-or-bust dept.

Media 225

An anonymous reader tips us to an article by Patrick McFarland, the well-known Free Software Magazine author, going into great detail on CD/DVD media. McFarland covers the history of these media from CDs through recordable DVDs, explaining the various formats and their strengths and drawbacks. The heart of the article is an essay on the DVD-R vs. DVD+R recording standards, leading to McFarland's recommendation for which media he buys for archival storage. Spoiler: it's Taiyo Yuden DVD+R all the way. From the article: "Unlike pressed CDs/DVDs, 'burnt' CDs/DVDs can eventually 'fade,' due to five things that affect the quality of CD media: sealing method, reflective layer, organic dye makeup, where it was manufactured, and your storage practices (please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media)."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

225 comments

Moo (5, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199248)

"Unlike pressed CDs/DVDs, 'burnt' CDs/DVDs can eventually 'fade,' due to five things that affect the quality of CD media: sealing method, reflective layer, organic dye makeup, where it was manufactured, and your storage practices (please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media)."

How apropos.

'slashdotters' can eventually fade due to five things that affect the quality of slashdot comments:

  • sealing method - The Sealing, in reality is the ceiling, and refers to the need to ceil() slashdot user's age to hit the double digits.
  • reflective layer - The Reflective layer is the use of low UIDs to represent importance of comments, rather than something actually informative.
  • organic dye makeup - Most comment's make up are so bad, they're DOA, and one can hear the organ playing.
  • where it was manufactured - There are no new comments on slashdot, everything is either culled from its dupe, or copied from the Microsoft Hater's handbook.
  • and your storage practices - Some comments are posted before they are fini

Help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199276)

Anyone got any good pr0n links? Ninenine seems to have died.

STFU, NineNine (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199960)

You fucking disgusting Micro$oft Whore! Nobody gives a shit about your tranny porn site!

Price is all that matters in the short run (-1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199284)

I just go to WallyWorld/ChinaMart and get me the cheapest 4.2 gig DVDs money can buy, and they work. Been doing it for 3 years, and without one failure on burn or reading. Dont' waste time on archival BS, just buy what money can buy, and you get basically the very same as there are *NOT* hundreds of sources that resellers/marketers use.

Re:Price is all that matters in the short run (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199332)

Brilliant. Now try reading them on another drive. See ya! /idiot

Re:Price is all that matters in the short run (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199520)

Hmmm, I've burned many, many DVDs, and I have had problems with about 2 per 100. I always verify after burning.

Re:Price is all that matters in the short run (2, Informative)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199716)

Yeah, I get non-error-producing (in the burning process, I mean) misburns often enough that I ALWAYS keep the "verify burned data" option checked.

Takes way, way longer to burn a DVD that way, but it's worth it.

I'm Surprised (2, Interesting)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199286)

I'm surprised to hear that consumer media can last so long. I was under the impression that consumer media would only last at most 20 years. Good to know it is longer.

Patrick got his bits wrong... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199680)

This method is called 'pits and lands', where pits 'absorb' light (ie, are 'off' bits) and lands 'reflect' light (ie, are 'on' bits).
This is incorrect - CDs record data using the transitions between light/dark and not the light/dark itself: see bottom of page http://www.digitalprosound.com/Features/2000/Sept/ RecCD2.htm [digitalprosound.com]

Re:Patrick got his bits wrong... (2, Interesting)

dotgain (630123) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200666)

Well, if you're going to be that pedantic, the data still goes through an encoding layer called "Eight to fourteen modulation", which guarantees that a pit / land will be at least x bits and no more than y bits long, so the laser won't lose tracking due to not finding any transisions in a long time.

TY fake disks (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200362)

How do I actually buy TY disks? When I try there's so many counterfeits on the market that I don't know how to assure myself I am getting these. The problem gets far worse when one wants to minimize the price one pays so one is looking at on-line discount office supply companies without the reputation and high prices of the big chains.

He forgot the most important one... (4, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199328)

"(please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media)." And NEVER ever feed them after midnight. On a more serious note, I used to worry about eventual degradation but it's coming up on 10 years that I've owned a CD-R drive and I have yet to run across a burned CD I cannot read due to this sort of degradation. Maybe at the decade mark, some of my discs will fail me and I'll change my mind but right now I'm not too concerned.

Re:He forgot the most important one... (3, Informative)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199388)

Used to run an archiving business of sorts (trade stuff in exchange for space) on many towers of CDs. I burned in the mid to late 90s many CDs and have them all archived still. Went back and uploaded them to a terabyte raid I built and without one failure of the CDRs that I archived, not one degraded to not mount and copy. I had a few that had scratches, but that is a different story and not related. Bottomline, buy what works, cheap and don't move them once archived, keep in cool dark place, and you are good to go. Oxidation is a CD-ophile's issue, not much in the reality zone. Heat is an issue, and if you store them on your dashboard, you deserve what results.

Re:He forgot the most important one... (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199510)

"(please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media)." And NEVER ever feed them after midnight.
Do not taunt Happy Fun CD.

Re:He forgot the most important one... (2, Funny)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200584)

Do not taunt Happy Fun CD.

Wanring: Happy Fun CD may install a rootkit on your system if it feels threatened.

Age... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199628)

There was a different technology ten years ago, and they have gone to less expensive technology today. There are legal standards for banks, etc., retaining info on CD's, and the bargain stuff, from what ever source, won't cut it. Banks have to have something like no loss for 8+ years. I have been told to buy nothing but made in Japan if it was important, and only the gold made in Japan stuff if it was really really important (family pictures, etc., that you may not go to the vault for for a long time, assuming you keep a lot on the hard drive somewhere). Ripping audio CD's, go with the best price from Taiwan manufacture. Gold color may or may not be gold, you have to look at both sides of the CD. Some (not all) of the made in Mexico and otherplaces stuff is rated for data loss in less than 2 years (typically 18 months), although the error correction will probably cover you for twice that long, maybe longer if you take care of the audio CD and/or got lucky with brand if not made in Japan or Taiwan. I found gold made in Japan CD's available at Walmart of all places, (don't waste your time at OfficeXXX), and have a small expensive stack for archiving precious stuff, and I buy decent brand name CD's that are made in Taiwan otherwise. Also, don't count on getting good results if you bottom fish the market for burners. I haven't burnt any DVD's yet, and haven't read anything about them either, so cannot comment.

Sorry about the anon.

Re:Age... (-1, Troll)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199934)

"Sorry about the anon"

I'd be sorrier about the utter lack of references to your claims.

Re:He forgot the most important one... (1)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200484)

Maybe you should download a program which checks the error correction codes on the CDs. You might find that some of them are almost unreadable but the error correction means that they work as normal.

Your CDs are likely to fail all at (almost) the same time.

Re:He forgot the most important one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200642)

I've had cheap CDs that died in 2 years. I've had expensive CDs that still work after a decade. You Get What You Pay For.

Heck, one of my earliest cheap CD purchases I could hold in my hand and clearly see my hand through the disc, I think the data lasted on that CD about 6 months.

Re:He forgot the most important one... (2, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200646)

I got my first burner in mid-1996, so my early discs are over a decade old. I've seen a small but non-zero number of failures among the CD-R burns over time, maybe 10 discs out of over a thousand discs. Haven't seen any from the better quality gold media (Mitsui, Kodak), but a few from CD-R and DVD-R discs made with other formulations. The failures I remember the details of were from Sony (x2, but I used a lot more of these than the others here), 3M, Memorex, and Mitsui Silver (x3). At any time I normally use a 50/50 mix of expensive gold media for important files and whatever's cheap for everything else. Normally the failure is that the disc will still mount but many sectors have unrecoverable errors.

I've lost multiple discs burned onto completely worthless KHypermedia DVD-R media after less than 3 years--two boxes of media that were free after some promotion, yet I was still ripped off.

Bummer (3, Interesting)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199354)

I always thought Matsui "Gold" and "Silver" were the top-rated media. At least for CD-Rs (though I thought they were held in high regard for DVD blank media, too). I used to mail-order un-branded blanks them by the spool.

Re:Bummer (3, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200456)

Mitsui's gold media has generally been considered the best available for CD-R work, particularly from an archival perspective. The company has reorganized and now goes by the name MAM. If you look through the comments after the article, the author suggests that the currently available MAM media isn't as high of a quality as the older Mitsui discs. I would like to see some citation for that fact, as I wasn't aware the formulation was changed at all from that reorg, but I haven't researched this subject recently enough to be able to dismiss his suggestion outright.

Safety in Numbers (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199356)

Cheap but adequate DVD-R media costs $200 for 1000 discs, about 4TB capacity. And a cheap DVD-R changer jukebox costs under $500, about 800GB per load.

Why not just burn a few copies of the archive to a bunch of DVD sets? The DVDs will get defects, but shuffling the chunks across the discs just a little will probably ensure that the random distribution of specific defects will not hit every copy of a given bit, against the odds a low defect rate will produce.

How about a pair of those archivers, which fire up every few years just to transfer the aging DVDs to fresh new ones? For another $1000, that's another 5 cycles of DVDs, 800GB per cycle. Another $1000 gets a pair of backup jukeboxes.

For higher capacities than 800GB, there are pricier pro jukeboxes, but with dual drives for the retranscription cycle (and faster restores). But the architecture is the same. Why try to make the media more reliable, when there's cheaper/easier solutions that just accept unreliable media, and move on?

Re:Safety in Numbers (4, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199538)

Why not just get a NAS that has RAID? That would make more sense. When a disc dies, you can replace it, rebuild your array, and everything is fine. PLUS, you could expand your archive over time.

I think it's absolutely stupid to use a DVD jukebox. Really. Look into a NAS box with RAID.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199672)

I think it's absolutely stupid to use a DVD jukebox.
Judged by convenience/ease/performance, I agree. But no level of RAID tiering is going to help you with the one thing off-line (tape/removable disk) solves quite nicely: that is to say, our good friend, more-than-a-surge-protector-can-stop, lightning.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199770)

How often does that really happen? Really? Got Stats for it? Are DVD's capable of surviving a bolt of lightning? I think Fire would be more probable. Or Flood. But if that was happening, it would be rather easy to disconnect my ReadyNAS NV and take it with me in the car than a huge jukebox DVD thing.

If you really want to be safe, have two NAS devices. One as your main one, for putting stuff on, and the other to make a backup of the NAS device. Or have the NAS backup itself to another drive. There are a number of ways to do it.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200050)

Are DVD's capable of surviving a bolt of lightning?.
Yes -- They don't get hit, whereas all of the NAS products I'm aware of need power, and as a result are wired.

With DVDs, you can have an off-line copy, or even store copies at alternate physical locations.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199946)

And neither will help with fire, unless you ship your offline stuff offsite.

I use a RAID both at home and at my studio. At the studio, mostly empty warehouse but good fire supression, I also back up to tape. At home I have a wireless NAS inside a safe, but your comment just made me realize that lightining could actually set a fire inside the safe. Unlikely but possible I guess.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199730)

Yeah, I'm starting to realize this is really the more practical alternative too. I think with the higher density of storage, more easily organize files and faster retrival speeds its really ideal. Theres some nice Linux distros pre-configured for NAS/SAN on different protocols which are super easy to setup. I've tried a few of them. It saves the price and hassle of proprietary units.

I would think - I don't know that much about backup media - that something like tapes would be better for archnival than DVDs. Even with higher density Blu-Ray or HD-DVD would be prone to the same fail over as CD-type media. I've been looking breifly at prices on Tape drives. Some seem quite high. Is there a make/model ideal for personal and SOHO users now? There seem to be a lot less on the market than I remember 10 years ago targeted at this price range. Looking to backup about 1 TB max (for future). Probably closer to 500 Gig for now though.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199848)

I think the little box NAS options, by such compies as Infrant (ReadyNAS NV, which I own), are great. They are small (like shoe box), quite, and run linux. And they are expandable. That is important. You can swap out drives, and expand your RAID. So, the 1 Terrabyte array I have now, when I decide I need more room, I can swap out the disks (one at a time, letting it rebuild), and when I'm done, I can have 2 Terrabytes, perhaps more (Infrant is supposedly going to offer over 2 Terrabyte filesystem next year).

Doesn't really matter what you do, but a NAS or a build your own NAS (PC with Linux) that is RAIDed is a great backup solution. Two would be ideal (one for use, and one for backing the for use one).

Re:Safety in Numbers (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200188)

With the single DVD jukebox, the first 800GB is online at one time, for $450. A 750GB HD costs $350. But the next 800GB in DVD costs only $40 - each 4TB costs $200. And there's no limit to how many $50 TBs you can archive, with a sizeable enough closet. The downside is un/loading the jukebox, 200 at a time. But that's archive, "nearline" storage.

Plus, you get a DVD reader and writer. For dealing with the DVDs (and CDs) that still distribute lots of content as a transfer medium. And for those without distributed endpoints to where they can archive data, or insufficient network bandwidth to archive all their data across the WAN frequently enough, DVDs are good and cheap offsite archive repositories. Plus you can burn DVDs that will play in every consumer player, which can connect your data to lots of people without data processing HW. HDs are a cul de sac for data, trapped within the infosystem.

DVD archiving isn't really competition to online HD storage. It's complementary, in different use cases, different user environments. There's considerable overlap in their related extremes, but there's a lot of difference that makes leaves the DVD solution worthwhile for many scenarios.

BTW, while I'm offering detailed factual analysis of HD vs DVD mass storage, don't throw in your "opinion" that "it's absolutely stupid...". Especially if you're going to offer a disagreement worth considering. Do you want to work together to figure out the real merits in a debate, or do you want to get into an obnoxious pissing contest that few other people will want to wade through? Few people worth teaching will learn anything from such unnecessary conflict. Including ourselves.

Re:Safety in Numbers (2, Interesting)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200608)

"With the single DVD jukebox, the first 800GB is online at one time, for $450. A 750GB HD costs $350. But the next 800GB in DVD costs only $40 - each 4TB costs $200. And there's no limit to how many $50 TBs you can archive, with a sizeable enough closet. The downside is un/loading the jukebox, 200 at a time. But that's archive, "nearline" storage."

But what happens if a DVD gets corrupt? Or scratched? Or, lost?

"Plus, you get a DVD reader and writer. For dealing with the DVDs (and CDs) that still distribute lots of content as a transfer medium. And for those without distributed endpoints to where they can archive data, or insufficient network bandwidth to archive all their data across the WAN frequently enough, DVDs are good and cheap offsite archive repositories. Plus you can burn DVDs that will play in every consumer player, which can connect your data to lots of people without data processing HW. HDs are a cul de sac for data, trapped within the infosystem."

Ok. A DVD Reader and writer. Woohoo. For little bits of data, yeah, ok, DVDs are good. But if you are archiving data, say, lots of data, do they work? What about getting data off bad ones? I've tried getting data off a damaged DVD once. It wasn't pretty. At all.

"DVD archiving isn't really competition to online HD storage. It's complementary, in different use cases, different user environments. There's considerable overlap in their related extremes, but there's a lot of difference that makes leaves the DVD solution worthwhile for many scenarios."

For some, yeah. I use DVD to archive a lot of projects, but at some point, it seems to make sense to consolidate all the DVDs. I think maybe when we can burn 20 gigs a DVD or more, it would make more sense.

BTW, while I'm offering detailed factual analysis of HD vs DVD mass storage, don't throw in your "opinion" that "it's absolutely stupid...". Especially if you're going to offer a disagreement worth considering. Do you want to work together to figure out the real merits in a debate, or do you want to get into an obnoxious pissing contest that few other people will want to wade through? Few people worth teaching will learn anything from such unnecessary conflict. Including ourselves."

Your first "factual analysis" included "Cheap but adequate DVD-R media costs $200 for 1000 discs, about 4TB capacity. And a cheap DVD-R changer jukebox costs under $500, about 800GB per load." which is more expensive than a HD. Then you say it $450? Which is it? I think it's more like $450 (jukebox) + $40 (200 DVDs). Then "How about a pair of those archivers, which fire up every few years just to transfer the aging DVDs to fresh new ones? For another $1000, that's another 5 cycles of DVDs, 800GB per cycle. Another $1000 gets a pair of backup jukeboxes." which, doesn't make sense. If you are just going to "fire then up every few years" why not just use a HD? Or two HDs? Just seems a huge waste of time (burning all the DVDs), and effort (loading/unloading) to get what benefit? To say you have all that neat stuff? How many hours would it take to archive all that stuff? I'm thinking days......week? Two weeks with verification after burn?

I'd just stick to hard drives, and have intervals where you'd check out the data, and every 2 years or so, consolidate data on a newer bigger drive.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200700)

Don't mistake NAS for backup. We plan to implement a NAS and a DVD archive. Here's how it works. Every night the main array is snapshotted. We figure we'll easily have enough storage to maintain about 6 snapshots, given that we change an average of 6 GB of data a day. We'll copy the full snapshot off to backup disk (IE removable disks), about 2 TB worth of data. Then we'll take the snapshot and make ISO images of just the changed data which we'll write to a dvd. If we plan on keeping a year's worth of DVD's, we can track a file back an entire year. This way we back both redundant storage (the RAID), full backup (going back 6 days) and an archive (going back an entire year. This may seem like overkill, but in a scientific institution this is what the doctor ordered.

Re:Safety in Numbers (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200442)

I'm interested in finding a good DVD-R jukebox. Could somebody point out some good ones to take a look at?

I agree... But where can I find some? (3, Informative)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199366)

Taiyo Yuden All the way. They are great for copying PSX/PS2 games (seriously) where media quality makes a difference between burning out a laser or playing your back-up game, as well as DVD Movies.

The only drawback is that you can only order them from the Internet. I do not know of any retail store who actually sells the brand outright nor do I know of any brand (like Sony, Memorex, Fujifilm) who sells rebranded Taiyo Yuden discs.

Also, the Taiyo brand is more expensive than any other brand.

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (1)

Tiro (19535) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199550)

Sony sells them, I think you just have to look for the ones that say "Made in Japan" I saw them in Circuit City, but the floor staff pushed me to buy the product with the big rebate instead.

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199614)

www.rima.com, cheap unbranded TY Media. Get the 8x its cheap these days and usually will burn at 12x.

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199696)

The only drawback is that you can only order them from the Internet. I do not know of any retail store who actually sells the brand outright nor do I know of any brand (like Sony, Memorex, Fujifilm) who sells rebranded Taiyo Yuden discs.

I'm told the Fuji's that are "Made in Japan" are usually Taiyo Yudens. I've gotten a pack of them at Best Buy (the country of origin isn't always the same) and they've worked well. I haven't gone the additional step of running a disc ID program on them.

Usually I just order a spindle of a hundred injket-printable discs from Meritline [myaffiliateprogram.com] for $30 or so when I'm running low. Watch DealMac [dealmac.com] for coupons every once in a while. Thirty cents for 4GB of archival data is worth it for me. I burn two if I really care about the contents. 60 cents is also worth it.

Also, the Taiyo brand is more expensive than any other brand.

Ah, that old "you get what you pay for" canard again...

Inkjet Printables (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199794)

Side comment....

What's a good inkjet printer for printing on printable CD/DVD media?

Re:Inkjet Printables (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200146)

What's a good inkjet printer for printing on printable CD/DVD media?

Epson R200/220/300/340 series. I have the R300 [epson.com], and can't say anything but good about it. Prints look like it came from the factory.
Epson has a refurb R340 at their outlet center for $70.

Re:Inkjet Printables (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200170)

What's a good inkjet printer for printing on printable CD/DVD media?

I'm using an Epson Stylus Photo R220. $89 or so and very good quality.

If you're using a mac, e-mail me for an explanation of the right steps to open the printer doors in so the print driver doesn't drive you up a wall.

Re:Inkjet Printables (1)

sane? (179855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200354)

Canon ip3000

At least if you are outside the US, the Canon's are probably the best at printing on CD/DVDs. Not sure what the current models are, but I've been using mine for ages, no hassles. The major advantage of the Canon models was always that you could use refills, no hassle. My cartridges cost ~£1 a shot.

Unfortunately in the US, they blocked off the feed slot for the CD/DVD tray, because they didn't want to pay someone a fee.

Taiyo Yuden & Japan all the way (1)

Venner (59051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200104)

Yes. There is a program out there that identifies a disc's manufacturer, and all the Japanese Fuji's I've bought have been Taiyo Yudens. Consequently, they're all I buy. I've never had one fail yet (and have had lots of other brands fail. (Such as, oh, about every other disc made by CMC Magnetics. Horrid.)

I've also had good luck with the Verbatum "VideoGard" line. (DVD Identifier says the batch here on my desk is made by Mitsubishi Chemical.) Their particular gimmick is a hard, scratch-resistant coating which is particularly helpful for high-use media. (i.e., non-archival.)

Whenever I archive my most important data (such as all of our old family movies) I create two copies on different-branded media for safety. And then I make a duplicate set to store off-site (safety deposit box.)

Re:Taiyo Yuden & Japan all the way (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200330)

Such as, oh, about every other disc made by CMC Magnetics

I think that would be expected when they try to make a magnetic medium work in an optical drive. The magnets, they do nothing!

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (4, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199700)

Some Verbatim DVD+Rs are manufactured by Taiyo Yuden. Strangely, the ones I used were the cheap-looking colored ones, but I've used several batches of those with excellent results. Speaking of Verbatim, some of their other discs are made by Mitsubishi, and those also very good, although I'm not sure how they'd work for PS2 piracy ;)

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200346)

The last few batches of Verbatim DVD-R and DVD+R i've bought over here in germany have all been made by Moser Baer India, were of mediocre to bad quality, and impossible to tell apart from the previous (ok to good quality) Mitsubishi Chemical blanks. As I have no interest in playing the media quality lottery when buying blanks, I have since switched completely to Taiyo Yuden media, usually from Plextor.

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200064)

If you happen to live in Edmonton or Calgary, Alberta, you can get them from Memory Express [memoryexpress.com]. Pretty cheap too.

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (1)

settrans (902777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200124)

Sony media imported from Japan is Taiyo Yuden as far as I can tell.

The secret to spotting Taiyo Yudens (4, Informative)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200162)

I've seen Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs and DVD+/-Rs in a number of retail stores under various brand names. I'm hesitant to publicize my trick, but I suppose the Slashdot community should know. Here's how to spot Taiyo Yudens quickly in the store, without checking each label for "Made in Japan":

The spindles all have a unique bottom lip. Whereas most plastic spindle coverings are the same diameter from the top of the spindle to the bottom, Taiyo Yuden cases have a "lip" on the bottom of the plastic covering that starts about an inch from the bottom. The bottom of the clear plastic covering sticks out just a bit and then recesses to the diameter of the rest of the spindle. Taiyo Yudens comes in these cases no matter how they are branded, and I have never seen a spindle of discs with this bottom lip that are not Taiyo Yuden. I guess Taiyo Yuden supplies the plastic spindles as well as the branding on top of the disc.

In any case, I have had better luck with the consistency of Taiyo Yudens than any other brand of DVD+R. I'm not sure what the case is now, since I've only been using Taiyo Yudens for the past few years, but when DVD recording was first becoming affordable, the compatibility of much DVD media with various recorders was so terrible as to be useless (and endlessly frustrating). Taiyo Yuden makes quality discs, and it's always nice to spot them in the store when there's a deal going on.

Re:I agree... But where can I find some? (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200194)

As far as I know, *ALL* Plextor CD-Rs are made by Taiyo Yuden - so I usually just buy those.

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] can also help you identify them.

Not a concern with MY optical media (3, Interesting)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199378)

I have some movies on laserdisc that're pushing 20 years, and I haven't had a problem with them yet!

Re:Not a concern with MY optical media (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199590)

Yeah. Me too! Though a couple have laser rot on them. :-(

But, I really wish I still had the double sided player. It died. I still have a single one though.....

I have some disc in my studio, on the wall, and people always ask about them......

Re:Not a concern with MY optical media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199788)

How'd that get modded +2 when the article is about media you burn, not factory-pressed media?
That guy actually burned his own laserdiscs?

Re:Not a concern with MY optical media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199846)

The nice thing about Laserdisc is that the company that made them actually had pride in their product. The technology isn't perfect, so the medium had to be perfectly created. They were made for home theater enthusiasts in mind, not mass distribution as DVD was.

I still prefer Laserdisc movies to DVD, particularly for action scenes. DVD seems to get choppy at times, something I have yet to see on LD.

Re:Not a concern with MY optical media (1)

greed (112493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200132)

And I have a commercially-pressed DVD that failed 2 years after I bought it. So did a friend's. And so did the rental store down the street....

Now, that's only 1 out of 1000....

DVD-R media, though; I've got a bunch of early 2X and 4X discs from back when that was pretty new that were unuseable after 6 months. No drive I could get near (and that's at least a dozen) would register that media as being loaded.

I'm not sure about the current state-of-the-art for no-name media; I've been using Verbatim a lot recently. (Mainly because of some crazy-good sales Staples had a year ago; I've got _lots_ of Verbatim blanks now.)

For el-cheapo CDs, one thing to watch is lack of protection on the recording layer: I've got some from Rat Shack that you can peel the recording surface off with a Post-It note.

For further information... (-1, Offtopic)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199464)

...please visit our website [google.com].

Seriously, everything that can be said about the subject has been here, by people that live and breathe it every day.

This bears repeating (5, Insightful)

Daishiman (698845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199470)

Repeating again and again and again:

For backups and archival you need tape backups, stored offsite. If you want something with more capacity and faster recovery, a backup server with rsync and beefy hard drives. Nothing else will do. With the time and effort you'll spend searching and writing DVD media you could have already bought and set up a file server or bought that tape drive.

Unless you're going to be taking those backups with you and using them in high volume, backing up to DVDs is simply a waste of time and space, and when you get some dreaded CRC errors you'll be crying for not having done otherwise.

sig: Cosas varias de un sysadmin argentino: http://aosinski.phpnet.us/ [phpnet.us]

Re:This bears repeating (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199954)

What you're saying is probably true enough if you're in a business, in a position to have a file server and tape drive. But now let's imagine you're a home user with a laptop. You already have a DVD+-RW drive built in to your laptop and a 2 GB of personal data you want to archive. What are you going to do then?

Still room for DVDs (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199978)

While I appreciate the sentiment, there are still lots of valid reasons for wanting off-line storage in the form of DVDs.

Consider the cost. Hard drive space is, at best, around $0.25 per GB? Ignoring the cost of the infrastructure you'd need (servers, RAID cards, etc.) to keep them running, that's still about 4x the cost of decent DVD media. (If you follow TFA's recommendations and go with DVD+R, about 2x.)

I've been doing a lot of slide scanning recently, basically producing 3200 dpi x 64 bpp (64 because it's RGBi) TIFFs from slides. Each one is 100MB or so, and there are two per image (one is the raw scanner data, the other is color-corrected). It would be a waste to store all that on drives -- I'd need well over a TB RAID array -- it makes more sense to burn them to DVD and keep downrezzed, compressed versions in on-line storage. Actually, I keep two copies; one gets put with the slides and stored with them when they get reshelved, and the other copy gets put in my CD rack with other backups.

Could you do this with a remote server and rsync? Sure (and in fact, I do have a rsync setup for other documents); but it would be atrociously expensive, not to mention a colossal use of bandwidth. You'd need two very large RAID arrays, and all the interface cards they'd use, plus the server itself, plus electricity...those are all constant expenses. The rack of DVDs doesn't cost me anything (the opportunity cost of the floor space it requires is minimal). 'Scaling' a DVD-based offline storage system is similarly simple; you just add another DVD to the rack.

I would certainly never recommend that someone use a DVD-based system for storage of frequently-changing documents, but for large quantities of data there are still lots of applications where they are economically and logistically the best option.

I have CDs good since 1998 (4, Interesting)

scottsk (781208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199486)

I now have some no-name-brand CDs burned in 1998 that are still good. I have never had a good, name-brand CD fail for any reason. The only failure I have ever had was the top layer peeling off some el-cheapo CDs which were stored in plastic sleeves, not jewel cases. One BIG key the article does not mention is to store the disc where the burned surface is not touching anything, such as in a jewel case -- the article should have mentioned that. Do not put in plastic sleeves or cases with slide-in sleeves. Odd that the article is a sales pitch for that T-Y brand -- what about RiData? That's what I use for DVD archival storage. I haven't been using DVD-R long enough to comment on how long they'll last. I have always found the alarmist idea that CDs will spontaneously self-destruct to be sort of over-the-top. CDs seem much more reliable for archiving than any other medium like diskette, hard disk, USB flash, or tape. Flash is more reliable, but has to be refreshed or it will disappear.

Re:I have CDs good since 1998 (4, Insightful)

slamb (119285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199860)

I now have some no-name-brand CDs burned in 1998 that are still good.

Probably using the original dyes, then? According to the article, they are most likely to fail in 2008:

The first organic dyes, designed by Taiyo Yuden, were Cyanine-based and, under normal conditions, had a shelf life of around ten years; simply, that was simply unacceptable for archive discs.

These people are talking about serious long-term archiving, not "it worked for this one guy for eight years".

I haven't been using DVD-R long enough to comment on how long they'll last.

No one has successfully used them as long as these people are talking about; they haven't existed that long. The lifespan claims are made from an understanding of chemistry (theory) and accelerated aging techniques (experiment).

Re:I have CDs good since 1998 (1)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199966)

RiData sucks. Seriously, I'm not trolling, I've been backed up on this [digitalfaq.com]. Not to mention I've personaly had RiData discs fail on me within a month of burning, their double layer DVDs are good for nothing but coasters, and I have an entire spindle of RiData CDs with visible defects on them. How the hell did that get past quality control?

For me, it's Verbatim all the way.

I have had Imation CD-Rs fail... (1)

emil (695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200134)

...when the label peels off. I don't know who the OEM was. I usually buy Sony CD-Rs now (and avoid Imation).

I have also previously read that DVD-R was slightly more compatible with most readers, but the error correction discussion below makes me want to switch.

The DVD-R specification states that for every 192 bits, 48 of them are not protected under any scheme, 24 of them are protected by 24 bits of parity, and the last 56 bits are protected by another 24 bits of parity. This weird (to put it mildly) scheme allows you to easily scramble or lose 25% of the data that is required to read your disk!... The DVD+R specification, however, states that for every 204 bits of information, it is split into four blocks of 52 bits containing 1 (shared among all blocks) sync bit to prevent misreading because of phase changes, 31 bits of data, and a 20 bit parity (that protects all 32 bits).

Dry place (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199568)

A cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

You mean... like basements?

Hm. I wonder if anyone on Slashdot knows where to find a basement...

my experience: some DVD media dies with no reason (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199580)

One Maxell DVD-R I burned in Sept. 2003 went bad within 3 years, despite every detail of the burning, readback, handling, and storage being in accord with the advice I've seen posted. An email to Maxell support on this issue had the reply: "The media if stored properly will have a life of at least 50 years."

Possibly relevant, I noticed an internal pattern of small spots visible with a loupe or macro lens (on order of 10 microns in size; much larger than the data pits). You can read more about it here: http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/DVD/Maxell-DVDR- spots.html [bealecorner.com]

Maxell America agreed to take back this DVD for analysis. As instructed I sent it to their Fair Lawn, NJ site. It was received Oct. 5 2006 and Maxell acknowledged receipt. They have apparently done nothing with it since, despite several emails to them in the ensuing two months.

Re:my experience: some DVD media dies with no reas (1)

SydBarrett (65592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199988)

Maxell is the only brand of CD-RW that I ever had problems with. I had 3 from a pack of 5 die after the 1st erase, And a Dual Layer DVD-R produce a pretty expensive coster. The only other brand to always mess up was some no-name junk that an old employer had sitting around for free, can't remember the name of it but had a ugly white and tan label, I think it was Computer Peripherals.

The only other CD I know that is not working is a TY disc, ink printable white label burned about 1 year ago. No scratches at all on it, but always skips no matter what player I use.

Re:my experience: some DVD media dies with no reas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200318)

What DVD?

-Maxell

Long term storage (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199626)

The only way to get your stuff to last more than a generation is to chisel out yer 0's and 1's on clay tablets...

I use DVD+/-R over CD-R for archiving. (2, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199670)

The reason being that DVD+/-R has the recording surface sandwiched between the two layers of plastic. CD-Rs have the recording surface on top, which can flake off unless you handle it very carefully.

Sure, you can handle the CD-Rs carefully and avoid this problem. But wouldn't you rather use a more reliable medium in the first place?

Simple Solution - Stay Away from the shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199714)

Stay away from optical media as it's unreliable. Same goes with flash media.

If you need to save photos, go with traditional film, much higher quality and it will last practically forever if kept properly.

If you need entertainment, go to a play or a concert. Beats digital fucked up reproduction anyday.

If you need to draw, use a fucking pen/pencil with some fucking paper.

If you need to paint, use fucking paint on a fucking canvas.

If you need to save documents, print the fucking thing out and file the fucking thing away.

There, simple ways to permanently save your fucking information.

Re:Simple Solution - Stay Away from the shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17199992)

The storage density of your alternatives are pathetic. Given our technological advancements, people should expect reliable storage densities of at least 1 MB/mm^3.

Re:Simple Solution - Stay Away from the shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200272)

Speaking of which, here is what you can do fucktard.

Instead of using a fucking computer for your fucking letters, use a fucking typewriter.

Instead of using a fucking computer for your fucking research, use a fucking library instead.

Instead of fucking living, go fucking kill yourself fucktard.

just upgrade... (1)

7macaw (933316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199804)

I just "upgrade" important stuff to the new media: take CDs and reburn them on DVDs. When the successor of DVDs appears, I'll move the data there. This way I don't worry about a) degradation of the particular media and b) non-compatibility of the old media and the new hardware.

Re:just upgrade... (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199916)

Thats exactly what I did a couple of months ago. I took about 60+ CDRs filled with data that I've backed up in the past 4 years and put them all on DVD+R. Now I onlly have about 10 DVD+Rs instead of 60CDRs.

But yeh. Not only as long as you 'upgrade' to different, newer media, but also diverse your methods of backing up, like printing out documents, printing photos, etc. As long as you do that, you can expect to keep your data for a full lifetime. NOw if you really want it to last forever, then what you do is, store it all in a lead container filled witn Nitrogen and have 10%humidity and in 40degrees Faren. That will surely last for thousands of years. All that matters is if they have the equipment to read the data hundreds of years from now.

Re:just upgrade... (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200174)

All that matters is if they have the equipment to read the data hundreds of years from now

That's why I made sure my lead container has a DVD-ROM in it.

Only a lifetime solution (1)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200006)

See, the problem with that is it works only so long as you're around. I think the point is that the archives are supposed to be both zero-maintanence and they're supposed to outlive you. Who's going to push your bits around when you're gone?

Re:Only a lifetime solution (1)

7macaw (933316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200632)

>Who's going to push your bits around when you're gone?

I don't see why I should care :)
But seriously, if my children think that antique porn and pictures of mom's and pop's adventures in Grand Canyon are important enough, they'll keep rewriting them on their uber-cool storage media. If not -- well, I'm dead anyway.

How To Choose Archival CD/DVD Media (1)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199828)

... 'burnt' CDs/DVDs can eventually 'fade,' due to five things that affect the quality of CD media.


So the answer is MU [wikipedia.org].

Verbatim DatalifePlus 8x MCC 003 (2, Interesting)

blckbllr (242654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199844)

Here's my two cents:

Stay away from Taiyo Yuden 16x media. I'm using a BenQ 1620 for all my DVD burning needs, and the PI/PO tests done on T-Y 16x media using DVDInfo Pro [dvdinfopro.com] have always resulted in low quality burns. I am currently using 8x Verbatim DatalifePlus DVD+R media, and burning them at 4x. The results are truly unbelievable. The media code on the 8x Verbatims is MCC 003. I've heard through the grapevine that T-Y changed their media somehow from their 8x sets to their 16x sets, which has resulted in that the 16x DVD+Rs aren't as good. If you can get your hands on 8x T-Y DVD+Rs, then go for it; otherwise, stick with the Verbatim DatalifePlus series.

-BB

Re:Verbatim DatalifePlus 8x MCC 003 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200372)

MCC 004 is even better with my burner (NEC 3520). Incredible quality burns. PIE doesn't go over 40-50, PIF gets 1-2 sometimes, and I've had burns with 5-10 PIFs total on a full DVD.

DVD media quality guide (2, Interesting)

noky (631168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17199996)

I have found this dvd media quality guide [digitalfaq.com] to be extremely informative. Yes, Taiyo Yuden is always ranked at the top (and is what I use), but they are not readily available at local retailers. It really helps to have a detailed comparison of various media instead of just saying "brand X is best".

Shoddy Article (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200098)

TFA isn't really well written. The conclusion is mostly correct, but some things really put me off:
With pressed media, the pressing method causes pits to reflect the laser's light away from the sensor, and the lands to reflect it back at the sensor.
Actually, the pits have a depth of 1/4 wavelength of the laser, so that the light that is reflected from the bottom of the pit travels 1/2 of the wavelength longer and cancels out the light that is reflected from the land.
roughly .0000000038th of a second
That would be about 263157894s. or about 3046 days - more than 8 years.
Additionally, I really don't get his argument about the ATIP and wobble. If your DVD-R has degraded so badly that you can't read the ATIP before burning it, you probably don't want to use the disc for long term archival anyway. He goes on about the error correction of the data in the ATIP, but as far as I know, the ATIP is only used to determine the recording strategy, and should be of no relevance to reading the DVD - after all, the relevant part shoud follow the same standard as pressed DVDs so that the "new" DVD-R and DVD+R media are compatible the old drives that predate the recordable media. The same compatibility argument holds for the encoding of the ATIP data itself - if it differs from the pressed DVDs, it can't really be important for reading the medium.

Out of direct sunlight, cool dark place (3, Funny)

blantonl (784786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200230)

please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media

Well, it's good to know that 95% of slashdotters are already following this practice by inherently storing their media close to themselves, next to their computers.

Re:Out of direct sunlight, cool dark place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17200344)

Dry? I've seen one of those basements... like the inside of a stillsuit, yuck. I didn't even know that a monitor could get a yeast infection.

What about DVD+RW? (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200264)

There's no dye fade with RW formats. He didn't even bother to touch on rewritable media. I imagine they'd be much more resistant.

Very interesting read (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200380)

However in all the hundreds of CDs and DVDs (both -r and +r) that I've burned I've never had reliability issues, with any type or brand. Of course I'm sure this is partly due to the fact that none of my data burnt to optical discs is 'archival', and generally only sticks around for a few months, or a few years at most. So for my purposes, I tend to just watch for those rebate deals that leave me with just the sales tax to fork over.

DVD/CD Storage Cases (1)

eieken (635333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200494)

No mention of these [dansdata.com] yet, so thought I'd let everyone know. The DiscSavers cases are great for fragile DVDs. It keeps them safe, and gives you easy access to them. Try dropping one of those on the ground and you'll see it doesn't result in scratches and broken cases. Highly suggested for anyone planning on storing any burned DVDs for any length of time.

par2 (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200578)

I create par2 files of all the videos and other large files I burn to DVD. It takes a while, but I know that I can have a 30% failure rate and still generate all my data.

Maybe someone could create special hardware to make par2 take a reasonable amount of time?

Why CD/DVD (1)

really? (199452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17200628)

There was a time, years ago, when CD/DVD archival made sense. These days when the HD prices are so low, I just don't see the benefits.

I have a box sitting in my friend's "office" in a different country - could just as easily be in a friend's house in a different town ...as long as it's not in an area that is likely to be hit by the same disaster as your home.
Currently, in addition to the drive the OS is on, it has a mirrored pair of 700 GB drives - this is enough for _MY_ current needs. It holds compressed ISO images of CDs/DVDs - stuff I used to burn in the past.

I have an "identical" setup here - same amount of storage space, different OS and hardware; eggs ... basket > 1.

So, every time I would normally burn a CD/DVD I do so to an image which then gets copied to the local and the remote archive servers. Makes management WAY easier for me. For example, until recently I used to have 250GB drives in the mirror. I plugged in the two new drives, initialized the mirror, copied the data over, removed and re-purposed the older drives. WakeOnLan makes sure that the remote box is only powered when I actually need to push new data on to it; saves power and wear and tear. I find I only archive stuff about once a week or even less. This is NOT my backup server, it's the archive server, completely different purpose.

YMMV and all that.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...