DVD-R and CD-R "write-once" last longer than their respective -RW format write-many".
This is from an artical about archival for librarians (which may be more than you need), but to quote "RW [...] discs are generally not considered for long-term or
http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub121/sec4.html – Here's the full article which discusses the alloys and such used on the various disks.
Here's an article from PCWorld stating that burned CDs may only have a lifespan of 2 to 5 years. I couldn't find a date on it though: http://www.pcworld.com/article/124312/do_burned_cds_have_a_short_life_span.html
But here is another forum posts (seems knowledgeable) that suggests that high-quality, properly stored (temp, humidity, and no exposure to sunlight) media will last much longer: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/708817
Google "DVD longevity" if you want to find more links.
I probably should have posted my comment from another forum in here (How does one copy .exe insallers….)
I more or less said the same thing you did about storage.
Another point about RW's (I haven't read the articles yet so forgive me if this is mentioned in them) is that the more you rewrite to them the higher the chance of the wearing out. Another point is that when deleting, what is deleted still stays on the disk until eventually the disk is showing full, even if you know that the data stored on them doesn't fill the disk.
Apparently the best ones (CD or DVD) are the the ones that have a gold alloy. You can't tell by looking at the color of the disk, though it should be on the label and you'll pay more for them. The gold alloy resists corrosion much better than the alloys used in the cheaper disks.
And there apparently is a difference between CD/DVDs you buy (which are stamped/prints, I didn't quite understand) and CD/DVDs you burn, in which the laser is burning the surface which causes some sort of chemical reaction which is how the data is saved. I definitely didn't understand everything in those articles I posted.
Here is the link to the table of contents for the first link I posted above: http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub121/contents.html. It is titled "Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs: A Guide for Librarians and Archivists".
And here is some valuable advice from the archiving link above:
CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW. DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM
discs can become unusable in a matter of days. If such a
disc is left in an environment that allows direct
and extreme heat buildup (e.g., on the dashboard of a
in summertime, or next to a heater by a window), the
dye or phase-changing film that holds the data will
quickly, causing the disc to become unreadable. A disc
not protected from the effects of heat buildup if left
a case that is exposed to direct sunlight or other
of heat. Extreme heat buildup can also cause warping of
IMHonestO, re-writable DVDs are entirely obsolete and will probably die out soon, just like the HDDVD. USB drives, while a little more expensive in the short run, are far more reusable, portable, durable, and reliable, in addition to all the things you said.
I didn't know the DVD+RW or DVD-RW made a difference, I thought it was just the manufacturer's preference. Whats the difference?
DVD-R- is compatible with about 93% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
DVD-RW – is compatible with about 80% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
These formats are supported by DVDForum.
DVD+R – is compatible with about 89% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
DVD+RW – is compatible with about 79% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
These formats are supported by the DVD+RW Alliance.
The painful part is that one needs to know beforehand which player plays which one. Ugh!
Fortunately http://www.videohelp.com/dvdpl…..it2=Search tells which player plays which.
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