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Best brand/type of CD or DVD for storing photos.

Hans Fisher , Sep 26, 2008; 12:46 p.m.

Hello, I am rather new to digital. I need to buy some cds or dvds to back-up photos and was wondering if there is a certain type or brand which lasts longer. I did a search on this but most all the results were at least a year or more old. I don't know, maybe things have changed since then. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Carl Stone , Sep 26, 2008; 01:01 p.m.

Taiyo Yuden.

Ronald Moravec , Sep 26, 2008; 01:04 p.m.

Gold CD. DVD are less permanent. Make two and store one in the bank which also serves as a back up if one goes bad

Keith B , Sep 26, 2008; 01:18 p.m.

As above, or MAM-A. If your photo files are small(JPEG), then CD's may be adequate. DVDs, whose manufacturers claim less archival life(100 vs. 200 years under ideal simulated test conditions)) hold almost 5 times the info as CDs, so if you have a lot of large files(RAW) then DVDs are nicer. If you shoot a lot(working pro, etc.) then even DVDs are impractical...they just don't hold enough data. Also Verbatim sells some DVDs as 'Photo Archive Gold' or some such. The Delkin gold ones appear to be repackaged MAM-A or Verbatims at an increased cost. Interestingly, the Sony CD-Rs for my car stereo, many of which were made in 2003, and stored IN THE CAR, still play fine. I figure they'll all be obsolete in 10 years, easily. AND...they'll all eventually be thrown away or [hopefully] recycled.

Roger Hein , Sep 26, 2008; 06:09 p.m.

I'll second Taiyo Yuden. In over 300 dvd burns I've not have one 'coaster'.

Edward Ingold , Sep 26, 2008; 08:21 p.m.

Between photography and studio recording, I go through thousands of CD's and DVD's a year. The discs I recommend work reliably. For security, my recordings are verified (file comparisons) subjected to routine error checks.

I use MAM discs for master music and data CDs (archived). It would take too many CD's to backup a typical photo shoot, so I use DVD's for archives. Taiyo Yuden DVDs are the best I've found. DVD+R have a significantly lower error rate than DVD-R, possibly because the timing marks are more accurate. Taiyo Yuden CD-R's (metallized cyanine dye) are also very good. They are not quite as robust as MAM (phthalocyanine dye) but hold up to high-speed duplication better. I use Blu-Ray discs for only archiving AVI video or producing HD video - they are too expensive for routine jobs, and I have no history of their long-term performance.

MAM CD-R's command a premium price and are often hard to find in quantity. In that case, Taiyo Yuden are perfectly satisfactory. Avoid no-name and house brands at all costs. Two layer discs are expensive and don't seem to be as robust or compatible with other disc readers.

William John Smith , Sep 26, 2008; 10:58 p.m.

MAM can be bought in most any quantity from their online store

Mendel Leisk , Sep 27, 2008; 10:41 a.m.

The burner is a factor too, imho, at least for the initial quality. I've used -R TY's excusively for my important burns, but needed to limit burn speed with my last burner, which was a highly recommended Plextor. Otherwise I had read errors.

When it crapped out and I replaced with an LG burner, I found I could burn at the rated speed with no problems.

Note, especially with important stuff, be sure to set your burn software to VERIFY the disc data at completion of burn. Also, go through the restore process at least once, copying back your files from the disc to a hard drive: making sure they still open properly, are not corrupt.

Mendel Leisk , Sep 27, 2008; 11:37 a.m.

Also, it's a good strategy to make 2 discs (at least). I keep one at home and one at the office. A lot of people recommend to keep the away from home copy in something like a bank safety deposit box. I think this is overkill. The discs are not "valuable" like gold. They're important to you, that's all. The object with the second copy stored away from home is to reduce the *odds* of loss of both, and I think a copy at the office will do that very well.

Carl Stone , Sep 27, 2008; 12:07 p.m.

Plextor has not made drives in years, but the brand is not dead. That brand name currently being offered by another manufacturer, but should not be confused with the old Plextor drives, or their quality.


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