Lifespan for CD-Rs Around Two Years

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

Jan 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.