Mudcat Café message #763647 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47161   Message #763647
Posted By: JohnInKansas
11-Aug-02 - 11:14 PM
Thread Name: TECH: How long do CDRs last?
Subject: RE: TECH: How long do CDRs last?
Don't know if anyone is still interested, but John C. Dvorak's Inside Track column in the September 3, 2002 PC Magazine comments:

"What's with 48X CD-R Burners? Dept.:

"It's been interesting to watch the evolution of the CD-R recorder. Everything began when someone came up with the idea that you didn't need to burn a pit into a CD to make a writable CD. All you needed to do was make something that looked like a pit. A gob of goo or a change of color would do.

"This led to the development of three separate CD-R worlds. The inventor of the technology was Taito Yuden, with the cyanine-disk strategy The medium was the original write-once disks—emerald green or cobalt blue—and the early ones still provide the most compatibility, in my experience, with older CD audio players. The early versions of this technology are believed to have a short life of 20 years or so. With later implementations, this has been improved to 70 years.

"Taito Yuden licenses the technology to just about everyone. I have seen it produce disks with 32x write speeds, and there may be faster formulations. Most of the TDK disks found at Costco are cyanine.

"Then came Mitsui Toatsu with its phthalocyanine disks. These are the popular disks with a light-greenish-yellow hue. This technology has also been licensed to just about everyone. Most of the ultra-cheap disks you fmd at Best Buy are of this type. They are supposed to last 100 years.

"The newest technology is the secretive Azo formulation developed by Mitsubishi. This disk has a pretty sky-blue appearance. Azo is pushing the high-speed envelope, with Verbatim licensing the technology and promoting 40X and 48X write speeds. I expect even higher speeds as companies such as Plextor and TEAC make high-speed writers. Azo disks are also supposed to last 100 years, and they are currently considered the premium disks.

"CD-R drives have to account for all the variations, and that's where compatibility problems occur. If you have an old CD-R disk that doesn't load fast, I'd consider making a new copy. Mucking up the scene are some Asian dye makers that have created variations of the licensed technologies. Their disks may not work well in all writers.

"From my perspective, the writable-technology wars have begun in earnest."

I'd divide all the "life" figures by at least 5 for any disks not stored in the dark, with temperature/humidity control, and a good insect control program, but at least Mr. Dvorak outlined what competing kinds of media are available.