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CDs last forever you say? Not so fast...


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Another good reason to rip them to a hard drive early (and back that up)!

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As the article says, some CDs made in the late 80's, early 90's in a certain pressing plant in England have been affected by CD bronzing. But that's no reason to panic about old CDs in general.

 

I have hundreds of CDs from the 1980's, and the only ones that became partially unreadable were three discs from that plant, and none else so far. I received free replacement discs 10 years after the purchase, so no loss at all.

 

I also haven't heard from other long time CD collectors about widespread issues with old CDs.

Claude

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The CD's manufactured with a proper lacquer to protect the metal layer and not exposed to UV(stored in their boxes) will last over 200 years.

CD-Rs are lifetime limited because of the photosensitivity of the dye.

The disc they are referring to where manufactured in blackburn by a greedy company at that time which was not using any lacquer to save cost.

 


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I have had more than a handful of CDs with various manufacturing problems, including pin holes due to the printing ink eating into the reflective layer.

I have also had Hybrid discs from a US plant develop cracks at the edges, as well as dual discs developing issues.

All of these problems have been documented elsewhere.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

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I have had more than a handful of CDs with various manufacturing problems, including pin holes due to the printing ink eating into the reflective layer.

I have also had Hybrid discs from a US plant develop cracks at the edges, as well as dual discs developing issues.

All of these problems have been documented elsewhere.

 

We are talking about mass market product,30 billions discs are manufactured per year, more than thousand manufacturers so what do you expect?

 


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I have had this happen to a number of discs as well.

If you have a large collection, I would rip them to FLAC files as soon as possible, and back up your rips to multiple drives.

 

While formats like ALAC may be more convenient if you use Apple devices, they lack the integrity checking that FLAC has.

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I've been buying CDs since 1986 and have never had a problem. They are all ripped now, so perhaps bit-rot will set in. I wonder if the people who have problems dissolved the protective layer with green Sharpie ink?

 

I did manage to damage some CDs myself, but none to the point where I couldn't rip them accurately with XLD after some cleaning up and polishing.

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I would expect that all machines to play CDs will be gone before the CDs themselves disintegrate. Dedicated CD transports and players are becoming quite rare and many computers have no optical drive anymore. Laser diodes used in these drives have a limited lifespan. I am using my antique Meridian 208 as a digital source, mostly because I like its design much more than anything I saw recently and I am worried how long it will last (got its drive replaced already once). Philips stopped making drives 2013.

I also agree that XLD does an excellent job in ripping bad and damaged CDs which do not play anymore on my player.

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I would expect that all machines to play CDs will be gone before the CDs themselves disintegrate. Dedicated CD transports and players are becoming quite rare

 

 

I do not agree. There are many companies that offer CD drives. Now if you are looking at, say, 100 years or so, who knows.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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I have been buying CDs and DVDs et al since each format began. From 3,000 CDs I have had two failures, from 500 DVDs I have had 1 failure, and from 150 SACDs I have had one failure.

 

From machines, I have had one CD player fail at 10 years, 2 DVD players fail after 5 years, 1 universal player (SACD) reader fail at 5 years, and 2 CD/DVD writers in computer fail (DVD writer) section at about 3 years. I have had no failures of blu-ray universal players after 4 years.

 

Compared to hard drives my experience is they all fail around 5-6 years of heavy use plus they are obsolete in terms of capacity after 3-4 years. I replace all on a schedule of upgrades every 3 years.

 

Overall, I am pretty impressed with optical media until I compare to vinyl records. Of 1,500 albums I have had no failures in over 45 years of collecting.

 

I had much worse luck with R2R and cassettes. The machines I used (semi-pro) required maintenance every year, heads wore down, belts oxidized, and some tapes flaked unpredictably. I gave up 10 years ago and dumped all of it, tapes and machines.

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Eh- not so many as one might think. DVD drives, yes. Plain old CD drives? No so much.

 

The point is that there will always be drives to read CDs, since there are so many discs in circulation. CD players may become rarer after the format is abandonned, but there will be computer discs drives that read CDs, so that the CDs can be ripped and the music played.

 

You can even find new floppy discs drives today, although the format has no longer been in use for many years.

 

The situation risks being more problematic with SACD in the future (as far as the hi-rez layers go), because SACD has never been a mass market format.

Claude

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