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Comparative lifetimes of digital media

+2 votes

I'm looking for a collection of the most reputable sources on the lifetime of various types of media (hard drives, optical discs, magnetic tape, flash memory).

The ultimate question would be, what type of media is currently the best option for long-term storage?

(copied in from ZDPSE, along with some comments and an answer to see what it looks like)

asked Dec 1, 2013 by anjackson (2,930 points)
edited Dec 2, 2013 by anjackson
gmcgath: This is a difficult question, particularly with newer media that haven't had their lifetimes exercised. Manufacturers sometimes make wild claims that shouldn't be trusted. It's important not to confuse MTBF with longevity; shelf life expectancy is a different thing from expected life under constant use, extrapolated from brand-new media.
luser droog: For way too much information, take a look at the deadmedia project archives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Media_Project

1 Answer

+1 vote

Answer by Courtney C. Mumma: Here is a good source for CDs and DVDs: http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/publications/notes/19-1-eng.aspx (CCI Notes N19/1 Longevity of Recordable CDs and DVDs (2010) , Canadian Conservation Institute)re

answered Dec 2, 2013 by anjackson (2,930 points)