Longer lifespan, vinyl or Audio CD's?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Hankster, Apr 3, 2006.

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  1. Hankster

    Hankster New Member Thread Starter

    Comparison Of Vinyl And CD Audio

    Of particular note is the unclear life expectancy for CDs. Vinyl records are expected to last hundreds, even thousands of years (if properly stored). Indeed, records from the 1870's made of wax and shellac still play today! The concern over CDs lies not with the plastic outer layers, but with the inner layer of Aluminum. It is suggested that this layer may easily oxidize over time, rendering your CD collection useless! At present, there is no reliable "half-life" for CDs... perhaps as little as 20 years, perhaps more than 100 years?


    Vinyl doesn't oxidize to any measurable extent. It is suggested that vinyl records will have a life span comparable to fine parchment paper if cared for properly. Somewhere in the 100s to 1,000s of years.


    Various authorities suggest that, depending on the care taken during the manufacturing process, CDs will last between 20 and 100 years... perhaps longer.
  2. pbonniwe

    pbonniwe New Member

    The opaqueing tendency of clear plastics reasons against CD, certainly ones that bottom line materials quality. I believe the Library of Congress, or the Smithsonian ...., chose glass over gold as the best imperfect media for digital storage.
  3. DavidF

    DavidF Forum Resident

    Orange County, CA
    I hate to hear that as my CD collection grows. I probably won't care for Black Sabbath, Rammstein or The Sex Pistols in 20 years, but I should burn copies of my classical/new age CDs.

    I should enjoy them now. There will be no one to hand my collection off to, since my kids prefer mp3s :rolleyes:
  4. Luke M

    Luke M New Member

    CDs are over 20 years old already and doing fine (with some famous exceptions, e.g. the bronzing PDOs), so "as little as 20 years" is too pessimistic.

    That's pressed CDs. CD-Rs are more of a crap shoot.
  5. CraigVC

    CraigVC Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    What's frustrating is that the projected lifespan of CD-Rs is typically far less than the projected lifespan of CDs.

    So even if you're afraid your CDs are going to oxidize and be useless in 10-20 years, you can't rely on backups because many of them will go bad in 5-10 years (supposedly).

    Unless you make annual backups to CD-R of every CD in your collection, I suppose.... Which seems like insanity if you have a large collection.

  6. TimB

    TimB Pop, Rock and Blues for me!

    a lot will depend on the label.

    And by that I mean the label on the cd mainly. If the ink or paint is thin, and mostly aluminum shows, I would suspect that would have a potential for a higher anodizing rate for the aluminum substrat where the pits and lands are on a cd. Another factor will of course be the quality of the aluminum itself. Certain types of alloys are more susceptable to oxidation than others. Pure aluminum only lasts so long till it will begin to show a white oxide layer. Some alloys are very good at reducing oxidation. There were several reports in the late 80's of some cd's already showing signs of oxidation. Humidity and care also are other factors. If I remeber correctly some of the cd's that an articel was mentioning displayed dark brown spots, others white spots. I would guess that the brown spots are some kind of reaction to something besides Oxygen, maybe the ink used to print on the cd. Any way, the article went on to state that humidty and also salinity in the air, ie ocean/sea areas tend to increase the rate. A dry arid area may have a lesser impact on cd's. In the end, I would not be afraid to state that digital in general is a great high density storage, yet so far proven to be a poor archivial media. Many itiems stored in earlier systems are lost due to high density sotarge, but yet a minimal amount of deterioation causing an over all loss. :shake:
  7. vinyl anachronist

    vinyl anachronist Senior Member

    Tigard, Oregon
    Do a search on "CD rot." That should answer the question.
  8. Shakey

    Shakey New Member

    Chicago, Illinois

    CDRs have a lower lifer expectancy than commercial CDs.
  9. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I made a CD-R recently that only lasted about 6 weeks....that might be a record? All my CD-R's are under 5 years of age and several have failed already.

    Some of the CD from before 1984 have failed already for the same reason as LD's of that era, glue holding the two halves together oxidizing...releasing oxygen into the disc's interior. I got this from a Phiip's Magnavox employee that I met at a party in the 80's. He was part of a team testing CD's and LD's. He said they were the ones who pinpointed the glue as the problem.

    I had an ancient CD that turned grey and quit playing....
  10. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    Hi Rachael,

    What brand of CD-R were you using that failed? I am curious! I have had no trouble except for a few poorly burned discs on known poor quality CD-R media. The Apogee CD-R or MAM Gold CD-R or Taiyo Yuden CD-R is best for your Marantz recorder. Guitar Center carries Apogee, Taiyo Yuden, and Mobile Fidelity CD-R discs. They should last longer for you.
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    ...not enough time has passed to make a fair comparison...we'll see in a hundred years.:agree:
  12. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    The one that lasted six weeks is a Sony CD-R. Somebody gave me a box of 25 of them for Christmas. I've quit using them about 10 of them won't even read as blanks by the Marantz. I've been meaning to contact Sony and complain.

    Thanks for the tip on the Guitar Center! :righton: I have some Mofi CD-R's I bought from Music Direct. I didn't know the Center carried them. I'm gonna try some of those Taiyo Yudens. People speak so highly of them. What I'd really like are some of those blanks that look like little vinyls. Thanks again, Killer! :p :)
  13. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    United States
    Right! :righton:

    My twenty-one-year-old CDs play just fine, thank you.
  14. Metoo

    Metoo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Spain (EU)
    I just the hell do not plan to re-record all my CD-Rs and DVD-Rs in 150 year's time. They'd better last longer than that.
  15. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    ...just as perfect as they did since day one...show me the same for a well played LP...NOT played on a million dollar system! Godda have bucks to make 'em last after repeated playings...still, they'll get more noise after years of play...CD's don't wear out...ain't that special.:D
  16. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    I wouldn't wait that long myself. I have a lot of them, and figure on taking the time in a hundred years to re-copy them. Actually, some are a few years old already, so I have 2102 marked on my calendar to transfer them to new discs. :agree:
  17. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    United States
    That's right! One of the few things we can agree on here! :wave:
  18. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    When Michael's great-grandkids can't play his hand me down CD's 'cause they've wasted away (the CD's, not the kids), and my great-grandkids (God forbid) can't play my perfectly fine LP's 'cause they can't find anything to play them on. It's a good thing they won't care. :D
  19. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled me!

    United States
    Sounds like some people actually want CDs to deteriorate soon just so they can say "Hahah! I told you!".
  20. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    Hi Racheal,

    Those Vinyl CD-R discs from Verbatim you wish! I have many! I have 5 of them just waiting on you for next visit. Glad I could help! I have a Tascam CD-RW 750 myself and love it. Better sound quality than my PC and more convenient to boot for clean records. I needle dropped 2 LPs of my own this afternoon. Turned out nice.
  21. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    Only to you, Grant. :D And maybe, Michael, too. If we aren't too arthritic to type when the time comes, I'll let you know.

    P.S. Please take in the completely light-hearted manner in which this was intended. Vinyl rules! Peace out.
  22. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    Only problem I've ever had with either media has been damage. Damaged vinyl from severe mistracking / worn out needles or improper handling. Damaged CDs from damaged CD players or improper handling. Never ran into a disc of either technology which had deteriorated, no matter their age - although of course some vinly I've played far predates CD.

    CDR, though; some Sony and Imation CDRs I use for data have discolored (what they have in common are the same frosty type label side surfaces). Since the majors are swapping Taiwan / India sources anymore, if I need some bulk CDRs, I just buy Staples own brand (none of which have discolored thus far, some going on 3 years now). I've gone through CDRWs of course, but in the 6 years I've been using them, I've never had a CDR become unplayable.
  23. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    ...send a MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE... :righton:
  24. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    The ice caps are melting, aren't they . . .
  25. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    Just as the advertisments said in the early '80s. Too bad about the other part - "perfect sound".
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