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New disc keeps your lolcats collection safe for a millennia

One of the things that most people don’t consider when they are pouring all of their digital photos and video onto a CD or DVD to save for the future is that optical media has a finite lifespan. In as little as three to five years all those photos safely tucked away on a DVD may be unreadable.

For those needing an optical media to store data or photos for archival purposes that will last much (much, much) longer than the lifespan of conventional DVDs and CDs a new startup company called Cranberry LLC has a new DVD that promises to be usable for 1,000 years called DiamonDisc. The disc uses standard DVD format, which means any old DVD player can read the data on the disc.

The DiamonDisc stores the standard 4.7GB of data that a single layer DVD can store. What allows the new disc media to last so long is that the discs don't use dyes, adhesive layers, or reflective materials that can deteriorate over time. The discs can also stand up to temperatures as high as 176 degrees.

Cranberry gets its claims of 1,000 years of viability from lab tests using the ECMA-379 temperature and humidity testing standards. Whereas the standard DVD has a silver or gold reflective surface, the DiamonDisc is transparent with no reflective layer.

The real catch with these discs is that you need a special DVD burner to be able to author them. The DVD burner needed for writing the special DVDs sells for $4,995 and includes 150 DiamonDiscs. The burner connects to any computer via a USB port. The company will also burn the discs for you for $34.95 for a single disc, $29.95 for two or more, or $149.75 for five discs.

With that price, the DiamonDiscs aren’t going to be that appealing to consumers. However, enterprise and government users may be intrigued in the medium for archival purposes. Cranberry reports that it is in talks with the U.S. Government to use the format for archival purposes.

Joe Beaulaurier, Cranberry's chief marketing officer said, "For the military, there's no heat, light, magnetic waves, or environmental abuse that will have an impact on these discs."

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RE: penny stock
By Drag0nFire on 11/13/2009 11:59:07 AM , Rating: 2
Worthless company, but I'm now thinking of re-evaluating my archival strategies. 3-5 years with current DVDs isn't much. I keep a second backup of critical data (family photos, documents) on DVD. Maybe I need to re-burn the DVDs every few years...

RE: penny stock
By Dorkyman on 11/13/2009 12:21:10 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree with the 5-year lifetime claim. I personally have burned thousands of CD and DVD-R blanks, with many burned CDs now over ten years old. With all those disks I have had a few failures:

--many of the "GQ" CD disks burned over a decade ago failed within 6 months, with the surface aluminum flaking off in large chunks. No other CD vendor has demonstrated a similar defect. Moral: buy cheap junk, get poor results.

--Some of my DVD-R documentary videos burned onto Ritek media have shown a tendency to increase their read-error rate over the span of a few years when run with a test routine such as Nero's CD-DVD Speed utility. I have NOT seen a similar degradation when using premium disks such as Taiyo Yuden DVD-R blanks, available in quantity for about $.30 each. Moral: buy cheap junk, get poor results.

Ultimately I believe my disks will become unreadable over time simply because reading mechanisms will become extinct. Suppose you have a treasure trove of 8" floppies. How are you going to read them today?

RE: penny stock
By Mitch101 on 11/13/2009 12:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree there what good is saving $3.00 on a 100 pack if you cant live without the data. I also avoid Ritek like the plague that stuff is severely over rated. Verbatims for me. The CD's I have from ages ago (verbatim mainly) that weren't carried around with me everywhere I go and stuck in every 10th pc still seem to work when I try them.

I'm all hard drives now. Recycling older ones like floppies/tape backups.

Pictures copied on my MC are cloned to my Wife's PC.
I sync pictures on my pc with my Zune.
My wifes pc syncs pictures with her iPod.
I have a 2x120 gig hard drives that I mount every now and then which have ghost images of both PC's and copies all our important cant live without files and pictures to them.

The odds of 6 copies going bad next to impossible. I should move one of the drives to my wifes parents house in case of fire. My wife also uploads pictures to Walgreens I think The need to burn to DVD is literally not necessary.

RE: penny stock
By Oregonian2 on 11/15/2009 3:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Taiyo Yuden DVD-R

I second the recommendation for those. They're also liked heavily among the folk on video production software yahoo groups I belong to (for burning customer DVDs reliably).

I use those, and burn them using a very slow mode on my burner for data as well as the few videos I've produced.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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