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