10.0857 lifetime of CDs

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 23:21:50 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 863.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Haradda@aol.com (16)
Subject: Re: 10.0857 CDs?

This is something which has concerned me ever since I read the January or
February 1996 edition of Scientific American where the lifespan of CD's were
not as long as previously thought. Though the article was more about
changing technology than about CD storage. it mentioned that music CD's were
starting to radomize after for or five years rather than the unlimited
lifespan that was previously thought. I remember thinking at the time that
perhaps we have another crisis on the level of acid paper and also on the
level of going from scrolls to codexes. Since then I have seen an article in
the Wall Street Journal about this but I haven't seen very much follow up
anywhere. One of my sidelines is putting out databases. I have been asking
my venders about this. There doesn't seem to be any sure information yet.
They all say that it is indefinite but then they say that is only for
commercial CD's that have a glass master. They say the one's you burn
youself that are dye based or are based on Photo-CD technology degrade when
exposed to light. And have a life span of two to five years depending upon
exposure. Does anybody really have an idea about this or is CD technology to