[Videolib] RE: [Article] CDs and DVDs Not So Immortal After All

Sat, 8 May 2004 21:56:27 -0000 (UTC)


I read this article yesterday when it was published and thought about
sending it to the board as well. Thank you for doing that. I'd like to
expand on a couple comments from the article. Most CDs and DVDs don't rot
as quickly as this article might point out. It sounds to me like the
interviewer found someone that didn't really take care of his collection
and stored them in an environment that would not have been friendly to
alot of items.

friend Mark Irons, of Corvallis, Ore., stored his CD collection in a cabin
heated by a wood-burning stove. The temperature would range between 40
degrees and 70 degrees in the space of a few hours. Now, the data layer of
some of his CDs looks as if it's being eaten from the outside."

It is true that large swings in tempature can harm discs. We repair the
play side of discs professionally and see this from time to time. Some of
them look like they've been put on top of a square burner they are so
badly damaged.

"Manufacturers cite lifespans up to 100 years, but without a standardized
test, it's very hard to evaluate their claims, Byers says. The worst part
is that manufacturers frequently change the materials and manufacturing
methods without notifying users."

This is dependent on the manufacturer of the discs. With so many
production facilities going to the low cost provider, particularly
overseas, some discs are more suseptible to rot than others. Clearly, CD-R
and DVD-Rs are more likely to experience this than the mainstream movie
production companies. However, we see a few titles that experience
repeated problems. For example, the movie Laura Croft - Tomb Raider -
Cradle of Life seems to have a problem with rot. More recently, the
release of Seabiscut and Bruce Almighty have had issues with labels that
crack or peel. In fact, I would highly recommend that if you have these
two titles in stock you look at putting a scratch guard on them now to
avoid issues down the line.

"Users that bend a DVD to remove it from a hard-gripping case are
practically begging for this problem, because flexing the disc puts strain
on the glue." and "For maximum longevity, discs should be stored
vertically and only be handled by the edges. Don't stick labels on them,
and in the case of write-once CDs, don't write on them with anything but
soft water-based or alcohol-based markers. Also, like wine, discs should
be stored in a cool, dry place."

If you haven't already done so, I would recommend the use of Amaray style
cases for your DVD collection. These use the push down tabs that release
the discs gently. This greatly reduces the strain on the discs and help
users remove them without bending them. If I may add a little plug here
as well, our website, Rubberdisc.com, has CD cases that use a lift lock
technology that differs from the traditional jewel case. When you open
the case, the locking spindle rises to release the CD. These would be
very valuable for your older, out of stock collections. Simply put, guard
your labels, store them properly and you will not experience any permanent

Finally, I couldn't agree more with the final statement in this article.

"it beats vinyl LPs and tape for longevity. Now that he's moved his discs
to an apartment with a more stable temperature, he's noticed that the
decay has slowed."

A properly maintained CD and DVD collection has a much greater longevity
than previous mediums. Vinyl wore, tapes break or are chewed up in VHS
machines. DVDs not only provide greater convenience for the user, but
when properly maintained, they provide for a much longer life expectancy
than any previous medium. Occassionally, discs are going to get
scratched. However, with services like ours at Rubberdisc, this too can
be fixed numerous times before a disc needs replacement.

David Wright
4072 Hawthorne Cir
Longmont CO 80503
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