Whether you are a small business owner looking to back-up company files, an art teacher who wants to pass on interesting curios to your class, or an audiophile who is transferring your LP records and want a copy that will last for many years. Despite advances in CD and DVD-R technology, data breaks down and degrades occur over time. The dye on a disc which stores the data can corrode causing data errors during playback or reading the disc. The reflective layer can also oxidize and prematurely cause data degradation and loss of quality or even complete loss of data.
Many recordable DVD and CD discs use silver as a reflective surface. Special “archive grade” CD-R and DVD-R however, use a more resistant 24 carat gold reflective layer. MAM-A boasts that their gold CD-R can last 300 years and Gold DVD-R 100 years.
To test longevity claims, manufactures submit their archive grade CDs to a special “rapid aging” gauntlet. Discs are placed in an environmental chamber and exposed to varying levels of heat and humidity. Silver layer reflective DVD-R discs tend to fail after spending 500 hours or so in such a chamber. MAM gold discs, on the other hand, retain their efficacy for far longer. (The ISO guidelines for such environmental stress tests have been well established and search for disc errors at intervals of around 500 hours.)
Why might archiving data be important to your home, office or firm? Here are some examples of when you might need this technology:
• You want to keep important tax information or business accounting records on hand for years to protect your business.
• You live in a climate that has a lot of humidity and other climate factors that might cause non-archival grade discs to degrade relatively rapidly.
• You’ve discovered from experience that standard recording technologies are not long term enough for your data protection.
• You need to create a “master” audio CD that will archive music recordings that can’t be replaced if lost.
• You want to keep copies of camcorders movies for generations.