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Do burned CDs have a short life span?


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Good points there.

We always recommend that customers copy there photo- cd's when they are 4-5 years old.

Just to put this in perspective, this afternoon I printed some 10x8's for a customer from glass plate negs, taken around 1882. The prints were superb, with great detail.

How long will our digital images last ?


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well, If you read Epson's blurb on their new ink technology, we may all be better just printing everything up. Might take care of the remaining rainforest though.

  Archiving allways has been (and allways will be) a headache. I like solid state memory, but that has its own problems (as well as price!).

CD's are cheap enough now to be disposable, and burning them takes little time, in 2/5 years, even quicker. I feel that for less than

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Will they simply not read and therefore be totally useless?

Basically yes

Tony is spot on, film is capable of lasting hundreds of years if stored correctly, the same can't be said for any kind of digital media at present.

I wonder what will be left in 100 years time for our descendents to find?

May be a new digital storage medium will be invented by then, who knows...

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We have recently had three customers with cracked CD's.  All three had had their holiday pics transferred to CD whilst abroad and all three had packed the CD's in their suitcases for the return flight where, presumably, baggage handling took it's toll.  None of the CD's would read.  Sadly these cases illustrate just how delicate CD's can be and the importance of additional back-up.

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So we need some formalisation of advice (& disclaimer) to customers.

Who's got a label or sticker already on their CDs with text we can all adopt?

How about:


Compact Discs have a limited life & are a temporary storage of your files.

You should copy this disc to your PC.

This disc should be copied & replaced within 3 years.

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