I always assumed that CDs and DVDs would last forever. But research shows that is not always the case. They might deteriorate in less than three to five years. So what can you do?
Remember that quality counts. Since you are going to trust these little round discs to hold your precious images, don’t skimp on quality. Buying the cheapest blank CDs and DVDs you can find may be the worst decision you make during your photographic career. These cheap discs can cause problems.
In my experience, I’ve found that the gold discs give the best performance. I am now using the Delkin Deviced Archival Gold products.
Why gold? Gold foil layers don’t oxidize. Oxidation is one of the downfalls of the cheap discs. They can become unreadable. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Gold discs offer better quality control, are properly balanced and usually havean extra layer of scratch protection.
But backups shouldn’t stop at CDs or DVDs. Drive space is cheaper than ever. Consider using disk drives to hold your backups. Also consider online or tape.
I use a combination of Drobo for local backup, tape drive for remote backup (in this case in another state) and DVDs as well as redundant online storage for my really special images. I also have several copies of my photo library on another Drobo stored at my office.
What do you do?