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A View from Brad King

Lifespan for CD-Rs Around Two Years

You know all those music CDs you burned? They may not last as long as you think.

  • January 11, 2006

For anyone who’s spent an inordinate amount of time burning music and photos CDs, here is a disturbing story from the IDG News Service. Turns out those CD-Rs and CD-RW that were supposed to last a lifetime…may only accomplish that if you live for two years.

“Unlike pressed original CDs, burned CDs have a relatively short life span of between two to five years, depending on the quality of the CD,” [Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland] says. “There are a few things you can do to extend the life of a burned CD, like keeping the disc in a cool, dark space, but not a whole lot more.”

That magnetic tape – the kind I used on my Commodore Pet – is probably the best alternative, according to Gerecke.

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