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07-22-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
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cd or dvd

is it better to burn photos on cd or dvd?
thanks,
charlie

07-22-2013, 04:40 PM   #2
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Just the image files? If so, I think the decision should be based on how you shoot and wish to store them. What size SD card(s) are you using? Keep in mind a CD holds only 700MB and a DVD holds only 4.7GB. Personally, I think it makes more sense to use flash drives. You can keep adding files until they are full, whereas CDs & DVDs are a write-once media (unless you create a multi-session disk, which a lot of devices have trouble reading).
07-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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For what purpose? To send to relatives in the mail either is fine depending on the space needed. For archival storage, neither really. Unless you purchase archival quality DVD's the shelf life is limited and not recommended for long term storage. DVD's can be part of your backup strategy but I would not rely on them alone. Here is an article from the National Archives. They state that in testing the actual life span of recorded CD/DVDs is 2 to 5 years despite manufacturer claims for much longer.
07-22-2013, 11:22 PM   #4
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So if DVD shelf life is so short any movies I have bought will not be watchable in fact some already, and software unusable? Interesting, so what do you store movies on ? Or rather what do you copy them to?

07-22-2013, 11:35 PM   #5
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I don't believe that either. I have movies I've had for more than 10 years that are still playable. Plus I have stored photos on CDs and DVDs that are still readable that I made in 1998, all readable. It depends on how you store them, same as how you store your negatives, out of sun light, and in some, the case/s used.
07-23-2013, 03:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
So if DVD shelf life is so short any movies I have bought will not be watchable in fact some already, and software unusable? Interesting, so what do you store movies on ? Or rather what do you copy them to?
Apples and oranges comparison here.

Factory manufactured CD & DVDs use a layer of pressed aluminum sandwiched between the surface layers we can touch. There are actual pits in the aluminum. The type of CD or DVD that you can burn at home uses a thermal sensitive dye in place of the aluminum. The heat of the laser beam darkens the dye so that it looks like a pit to the laser that reads the disk. Like most dyes, the dye layer is subject to fading over time to the point the false pits are no longer readable. Light and can accelerate this process. And additional heat will reduce the contrast between the false pits.

The length of life of a home burned CD and DVD depends greatly on the quality of the dye layer and the storage conditions. But no matter how you look at it, most off the shelf home-burned CDs and DVDs are not considered archival quality.
07-23-2013, 04:35 AM   #7
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As a software developer and photographer I've always had large amounts of data that had to be backed up. I started with CD's and DVD's (long ago) but the disadvantage is that the write speeds are low (data is less reliable when written at high speeds), they cannot contain large amounts of data, they have a limited life time (max 5 years), and last but not least they require much room because they are stored in boxes.

So, now I'm using small removable USB disk drives (500 GB or more). I have three of them. One is always connected to my PC to sync files at the end of each day. The other two are identical and contain a complete copy of all my data directories. They are updated once a week alternately. One of them is located at my home, the other is stored at a remote location. They are swapped once a week after the update.

Because USB disk drives are mechanical devices you must be careful not to drop them. Each of my drives is stored in a lunch-box, wrapped in bubble-plastic. In the box is also the USB cable and a piece of paper on which I note the dates of the updates.

I have already done this for several years and I'm still happy with it because you can store a lot of data in a small space in a reliable way.
07-23-2013, 07:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
So if DVD shelf life is so short any movies I have bought will not be watchable in fact some already, and software unusable? Interesting, so what do you store movies on ? Or rather what do you copy them to?
As Jim already noted the article discusses recordable media, not factory 'pressed' media which is completely different. The dyes in recordable media are organic based and have a life span. Some 'archival' quality media has dyes that are supposed to last longer, with claims of up 50 years. But as noted in the article actual testing has not born that out. I'm sure that archival quality is better but keep in mind that proper storage is also important, a dark location, with even cool temperature.

One media to look at is the 'M-disc' which claims 100 plus year life span, can be read on DVD drive but is written with special drive.

A good backup system never relies on one system, media or location. Best available at this time is a rotating set of external hard drives kept off site along with a robust on site system such as a NAS in RAID configuration or a local storage server with multiple redundant drives. That combined with a 'cloud' based backup such as Carbonite is the best we can do until a better system is developed. Maybe it will be the M-disc, which has potential but is limited in size (4.7gb) and in speed as it reads at DVD speeds.

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