T Nation

Attention Long-Time CD Burners


I recently read an article where a guy (he was a "scientist") was claiming that burned CDs did not have the same longevity as manufactured ones. His life expentancy for burned disks (CDs, DVDs) was 3-5 years.

I was wondering if any long-time CD burners had any feedback on this claim?


The reading surfaces appear to be different. All of my burned CD's eventually skip. I also take very good care of my cd's (as in, there are no scratches on them unless someone else has handled them) and they still skip eventually. I have had a couple of mix cd's for about 4-5 years now and they still work fine. I was under the impression that cd's and dvd's had a much longer life expectancy. I can also tell you that the more times a burned DVD is viewed, the great the chance of it getting read errors eventually. Maybe newer DVD recorders are getting better. I got mine when they first started getting popular so it is nearly 3 years old now.


The dyes used in consumer writwable cds/dvds have a much lower life expectancy than the ones used for commercial production. I used to have a chart that explained how long each one is supposed to last. The commercial ones are easily 15+ years without degrading. You'll scratch it to unusable condition before it fails.

3-5 years for some of the earlier cdrs may be spot on but the technology has gotten better and you should easily surpass 5+ years. I have some writeable cds here at work that I did 10-11 years ago. They still work. You really get what you pay for in this respect. But as I said the newer ones are almost an equal playing field but there are still some "premium" cd/dvd writables out there and they obviously will give you more longevity.


I have some mix CDs that are about 6 years old that still work. They skip a little, but I don't take great care of my CDs (i.e. they often get thrown in my glove compartment with no covers).


I used to consider Sony "premium", but I think TDK is surpassing them in quality. My TDK recorded DVD's haven't skipped yet...not to say they never will.


Interesting I noticed the same thing. The last pack of Sony CDs I had sucked. There were recording errors and most CDs didn't last more than 3-6 months before skipping. My latest TDK pack seems to be of much higher quality.


I primarily use Fuji. I've never had a problem with them. They are a darker blue dye and should resist "fading" better than a lighter tone of dye.


Almost... commercial CDs and DVDs are "cut". That is, they have a solid substance that is etched out and given pits to represent the digital data.

CDRs and DVDRs are not cut, they are burned. They have a special dye that reacts to lasers during the burning process. Dyes are much more susceptible to degradation and other processes.

Also: take a cheap, blank CDR disc and scratch along the top of it with a key (the label side). Now turn it over. You will be able to see through the CD. Why? Because unlike commercial CDs that protect the medium on top and on the bottom, the dye used in CDRs is just put directly on top of the CDRs.

You shouldn't fear scratching the bottom of the CDR (what we usually worry about with CDs) as much as scratching the top. Also, whatever binders they use to keep the dye on top of the CDs can get loose over time, causing the dye to flake off.

Higher priced CDs and DVDs tend to be made of better stuff and to last longer.


Sony's PS1 & PS2 games are dyed correct?


Funny you mention that, a while ago i formatted my MP3 drive as it was giving me read errors and I had all the contents on CD, when I put the content of the CDs back on, half of them were blank or had 80% of the data missing! I was well pissed! Lessons learnt: Check the CDs before formatting.

I have managed to recover most of the data though which is good and am getting back all the ones I couldn't recover.. Luckily I didn't lose my Herbie Hancock or my Curtis Mayfield!


Did you lose any of your Brittney?


Are you insulting Herbie Hancock and Curtis Mayfield?

By the way, Brittney has been saved! I thought I had lost all her albums! Now I have some REAL music to workout too, reminds me I have some ball exercises tonight!


So, what is the best brand on the market? What should I be buying if I were to burn some DVD's? I am actually going to do about 60-dvd's very soon. Let me know. thanks.


TDK and Maxell have worked well for me. Both manufacturers used to make cassettes of good quality, too. Some of my cassettes are over 20 years old and are still playing fine.


I have never had a problem with Memorex CD-Rs or DVD-Rs. Don't worry about the life expectancy, just rip the music to your harddrive and you can make another copy in case yours stops working.


What happens when your hard drive gets full?


F@$% you Prof X! What do you know about technology. What have you got against the CD/DVD burning industry?! Are the CD's too skinny...do they need to bulk more? You don't know S&*^!!

Just kidding, I had do this in honor of the Prof X groupies.


I don't have a PS1 or PS2, but they have black discs, correct? I believe Sony presses their CDs/DVDs just like every other game vendor.

Keep in mind, it's not very economical to burn a DVD in a commercial setting... burning takes a lot of time, and is more error prone than pressing.


You buy another one!