Archival CDs and DVDs
Question : I want to archive my
digital photographs onto DVDs, but I don't trust the fragile ones that I've
purchased before. Which type of DVDs should I look for? I want them to last a
Answer : Archival-quality writable DVDs
are just beginning to appear on the market. Manufacturers such as Delkin,
Memorex, and Verbatim have released discs specifically for archiving important
data, including digital photographs.
Traditional CDs and DVDs use easily-damaged Cyanine or Azo dyes on the
writable surface of their discs. Delkin and others are employing a new
Phthalocyanine dye, which lasts significantly longer and is tougher to boot.
Combined with more durable gold coatings, these
disks generally carry life expectancy ratings of up to 100 years.
Additionally, they are less prone to being damaged from typical handling.
Unfortunately, right now, you'll pay for the privilege of having disks that
are more durable and long-lasting. At the retail level, archival single-layer
DVDs are running anywhere from two to four times more than traditional DVDs. At
that price, you may wish to consider making two copies of your data and storing
one in a safe place where it's never handled.