Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:42 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 0
Default

I just read in a magazine that using CDs to store your digital pictures is not a good idea because the life span of the CDs are only two years. The quality of the pictures willdeteriorate greatly after this time. Is this true?

I would send my "negatives" to an on-line storage system; however, I don't have access to high-speed internet service, so I think it would take about 13+ years to upload my pictures onto a website that would store them. I am getting a bit nervous because I have lots of pictures stored on CDs and would be very disappointed if they can't be saved this way for any length of time.

Anyone heard of this?
gotonodj is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 3, 2006, 4:14 AM   #2
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

Now this is exactly same question as to what I answered few days ago...


It's just that you get what you pay, there's complete "landfill group" El Cheapos around which shouldn't have gone farther from factory than garbage dumb, those can start to deteriorate in few days and couple months could be good achievement if storage conditions aren't good.
But quality medias (expensive ones) work much better.


I have some much older than 5 years old Traxdatas made by Kodak using gold reflective layer... Haven't gone through all of them but what I've checked they're in good condition.

As example I checked one cd burned in July 98 with Nero CD-DVD Speed and it gives 93 from 100 as quality points for it, now I haven't checked disc earlier and don't now how much from that is coming from age because there isn't thing as perfect disc, even just burned disc will contain lowest level errors and values over 95 are kept as really good. (even for just burned disc)

Traxdata, date not available (98 or 99): 98
HP burned in Feb 99, same Kodaks if I remember right: 99 points!
Mitsui, gold, March 98: 98
Kingtech (silver-based, possibly good one), April 00: 97
Lead Data (silver, second class factory), somewhere around 00-01 : 98

HP, Dec 00, carried along in varying temperatures for a year, one circular scratch parallel with data track, scratch causes error spike dropping points to 0, otherwise good quality and perfect reading speed curve. (MP3s in "bad" point were perfectly readable)
So that should tell how strict this quality scale is, even if there isn't single incorrectable error and even reading speed stays constant it gives 0 points. (drop of reading speed is clear and literally audible sign of problems in reading)
For low quality media this disc would have been definitely in risk zone after receiving scratch but high quality media has resisted additional potentially destructive deteriorating for four years and quality of rest of the disc tells that it could well work much much longer if stored well.


Maybe I should select few discs and save scan results for comparing will amount of error increase annually... I just think that I would run faster out of patience for doing hassle than there would be bigger than marginal quality drop caused by aging.


But I have also kept discs in quite stable 20-25 C temperatures and away from humidity and direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight/hot temperatures and humidity are poison for longevity so always avoid exposing optical medias to those. (same for magnetic medias)
Now if you want I could check with some old CD-R containing useless/obsolete data what it would like half hour sauna trip with me. (+90C/195F, lot of humidity)


From easily available CD-Rs Plextors (made by Taiyo Yuden) have been clearly on top of others in few tests I've read, Verbatim DataLife Plus is also good.
Then gold-based MAM (Mitsui) CD-Rs should be extremely good considering longevity.

But when it comes to prices and amount of photos I myself take I don't consider CD-Rs anymore viable when DVDs have much larger capacity.
From DVD's Verbatims (media identifier MCC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation) are one of the best and should work well in almost all burners.
Also Taiyo Yuden has started making DVD blancks so those would be other good choise... Plextor discs have always been made by Taiyo Yuden so those would be safe choise. (most brands make different disc in different factories, factory can vary even between batches)


http://www.cdspeed2000.com/
http://www.cdr-zone.com/articles/rec...ty_page_1.html
http://www.videohelp.com/dvdmedia


But what ever you do, never store images only in PC's hard disk! Those are extremely fine tolerance mechanical devices and so quite fragile even without physical hits.
Even RAID won't help in case of overvoltage spike (lightning, or breaking of lousy power supply) frying whole system.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 9:00 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,230
Default

E.T. gives good advice. The technical reason that burned CDs have a limited life, is that the color layer, which the laser burns, is made of an organic dye. Exposure to light, especially will cause deterioration of the dye layer. Heat and humidity are also enemies.

That said, I will also say that I have CDs I burned going back to '97, which are still readable and playable. All data is still there and the music discs don't have any dropouts. These were unbranded CDs with green/blue dye. Of course, they have all been stored indoors, out of direct light. I also had some older datata backups which had been superseded, that I wanted to get rid of, and performed and experiment with. I hung some outside in direct sunlight. Within two weeks, which is the earliest I thought to check, they were all unreadable. After two months, the dye was completely bleached out, and at the end of the summer, the aluminum had peeled off almost completely, leaving just the plastic disc. They do make nice suncatchers, though.

An external hard drive can be a good, long-term backup, but do a rigorous quality test on it first. (not windows checkdisk) Even then, as E.T. says, it can fail unexpectedly. I lost 8 months of photos that way. Don't rely on any one solution, but hedge your bets with at lleast two. I am in the same boat re: slow online speed, so that is not an optin for me either. I keep copies on one internal hard drive. used only for backups,one external hard drive, and burn copiis to DVD, as well as having CDs with a week or month on each.

Paranoid? Maybe, but am I paranoid enough?

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:19 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
bernabeu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 990
Default

archival grade CDs:

http://mam-a.com/products/gold/archive.html
bernabeu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 3:15 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

I've been burning CDs since 2X was the latest and greatest. I have yet to have a CD that was readable when I burned it go bad. Since there is a layer sensitive to laser light you have to store them in the dark or they will go bad fairly quickly.

Environment doesn't seem to affect them as much as some people claim. I've had El-Cheapo CDs in my boat and truck changer for years without having them go bad. And the Florida sun isn't easy on anything.

I use archival quality CDs for storing important things. The common dye type is Cyanine. It is the easiest for the recorder to burn but has the shortest life. When Kodak stopped making CDs I got a large batch of their Gold CDs with Phthalocyanine and gold backing, which is the longest lasting combo. The best currently available with that combination are the Mitsui Gold CDs, but they are pricey and hard to find except online.

Probably the best commonly available CDs for archive are the Verbatim Data Life CDs. They use Azo dye, which is close to Phthalocyanine, and are all manufactured by their parent company, Mitsubishi Chemicals.

Most El-Cheapos are made by Ritek or CMC. Even some known brands don't make their own but sell Ritek or CMC under their brand name. Brands like Sony, Fuji and Plextor use mostly Taiyo Yuden CDs. TY holds the patent on Cyanine and all of their CDs are made with that. But they are usually of a higher quality and error rates are usually lower. A low initial error rate CD will take more deterioration than a CD with a high error rate. But for archive it is best to use Phthalocyanine with a gold backing or Azo from Verbatim.

I've read that DVDs don't have the error check system you find in CDs. DVD's have to transfer data faster and evidently the error check slows things down. I don't think there is enough of a track record to know whether that will cause long term problems with burned media compared to factory pressed DVDs. Some people say it will, but some people say CDs don't last and I know that is wrong.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 6:55 PM   #6
rey
Senior Member
 
rey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 949
Default

I've used cheap CDs that has gone bad after two years, even when stored in a dark place. The discoloration was obvious and when I try reading them, the reading failed. I've also had bad experience with TDK branded CDs from Costco, the side where the label would go (the side with the dye) started peeling off! I was surprised since it was a named brand CD. Oh well...

rey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 10:53 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 824
Default

Using gummed labels seems to be ar real no-no. Also if you mark with felt pen, they should be water-based. I recently read an online test that showed how the degradationof the signal layer created micro holes that appeared in commercial music CDs after a certain number of years, and you could actually see them by holding the CD against a strong light. One writer also discovered that two identical discs had massively different degrees of errors--one he had marked using a felt pen, and the other he had placed a gummed label on; the labeled disc was virtually gone after just a couple of years while the marked disc was still readable. w.

Here's a few sites discussing the issue:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/200...runc_sys.shtml
http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub121/contents.html
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byfor...1995/0653.html


__________________
Norm in Fujino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 11:56 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

At one time TDK made their own CDs. They made their own proprietary dark blue metal enhanced Cyanine dye and the CDs were highly regarded. It was around 5 or 6 years ago that they stopped making their own and started peddling whatever they could contract out the cheapest. Most TDKs have been Ritek or CMC since they stopped making their own and most haven't been very good.

I've never put a label on a CD or used a regular Sharpie. I did have a marker for a while that was made especially for marking CDs but haven't been able to find another. Even with El-Cheapos I try to find CDs with a thick paint layer with a marking area. I have used an ultra-fine Sharpie on those but it probably wasn't a good idea. So far they have held up.

My Kodak Gold CDs came with individual slim cases and I mark only the case and not the CD.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 4, 2006, 1:34 AM   #9
rey
Senior Member
 
rey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 949
Default

My TDK CDs that peeled off did NOT have labels on them. It happened only a couple of times, so maybe I just got bad CDs. I was really surprised, and I admit that was the first time I realized that that side is where the data are stored. The ones that discolored were Great Quality (yeah right!) brand from Fry's.

Honestly, I had more problems with burned DVDs. I've burned backups on DVDs that lasted no more than two years. Again it was TDK brand from Costco. When I first burn DVDs I always eject them, and then read them back to my HDD, I then do size comparison and open up images or files, so I know for sure that it was burned correctly. But somehow two years later I can no longer read the same DVD. This is really frustrating since it holds more data, so the whole process takes longer, and it stores more data. That's why I've been lazy to backup on DVDs on a regular basis.

I'm just glad I haven't had problems with my multiple HDD that has the original files. (knock on wood)

rey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 4, 2006, 5:41 AM   #10
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

rey wrote:
Quote:
When I first burn DVDs I always eject them, and then read them back to my HDD, I then do size comparison and open up images or files, so I know for sure that it was burned correctly.* But somehow two years later I can no longer read the same DVD.
Now that's because comparing files after burning doesn't tell much anything about quality of disc, you should check amount of low level errors with Nero CD-DVD Speed.
(or KProbe if you have Lite-on drive, also Plextor has own tool which can be used)

Also two years ago whole writable DVD technology was in "crawling age" and actualyl first lots of burners were'nt capable to really acceptable results.


slipe wrote:
Quote:
I've been burning CDs since 2X was the latest and greatest.
Ahh, that golden past when burning CD took over half hours... and when cheapest burners costed same as current top end graphic cards.
And doing anything else on PC while burning was sure way to get coaster. :lol:



slipe wrote:
Quote:
I've never put a label on a CD or used a regular Sharpie. I did have a marker for a while that was made especially for marking CDs but haven't been able to find another. Even with El-Cheapos I try to find CDs with a thick paint layer with a marking area.
Well, I managed to find TDK CD-R pens when I started buying blanks without jewel cases because of space question.
But unless disc has coated surface meant for writing I wouldn't write anything to it no matter what pen...
Because reflective and data layers are literally very close to top surface.


Actually I think that using pen is way better because marking is based to that solvent dissipates away while with stickers adhesives/solvents of them affect to disc's surface for very long time.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:46 PM.