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  #51  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:34 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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In the 1980s and 90s it was a lot of fun buying and listening to CDs. In the 2000s and 2010s it considerably less fun finding out that half your music collection had degraded and rotted away (cf. Disk Rot)--and not necessarily only the ones you left in your car. The old LPs I'd gotten rid of would have played better than degraded compact discs. To this day I resent how we were sold this bill of goods. "No needle! No contact with the optical storage medium! Hence imperishability provided you don't play Frisbee with it!"

This has become a serious issue for many libearies and archives that were likewise taken in, and they're scrambling to resolve it.

We should have known, this was developed by Sony, the same people who brought you Betamax.

So yeah, I miss looking at my shelf of CDs when I believed they all played.

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Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 09-19-2019 at 10:35 PM.
  #52  
Old 09-20-2019, 07:20 AM
Musicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
In the 1980s and 90s it was a lot of fun buying and listening to CDs. In the 2000s and 2010s it considerably less fun finding out that half your music collection had degraded and rotted away (cf. Disk Rot)--and not necessarily only the ones you left in your car. The old LPs I'd gotten rid of would have played better than degraded compact discs...
I think you may be confusing commercially produced CDs, which are stamped into plastic, with home-made CDs which are burned with a laser.

My CD collection goes back to the 1980's, and AFAIK, all are playable. The oldest, of course, are commercial productions. Both LPs and CDs are stamped, and not affected much by exposure to light, except as a heat source.

For laser-burned media, it's logical that something produced with intense light would be degraded by extreme light. This is not disk rot, but a consequence of poor storage and handling. Leave one of these CDs out in the bright sunlight for weeks, and it's probably not going to be playable. Even indirect sunlight from an open sky will affect these over time.

Disk rot refers to the CD data coatings that degrade with or without light exposure, become too thin or spotty to read, or actually flake off. IMHO this is not a universal phenomena due to age, but a combination of age and poor chemical formulas that created a short-lived coating. Some brands and batches were of good quality, some not so much, and the only way a consumer could determine was to wait 20 years to find out.
  #53  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:59 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
I think you may be confusing commercially produced CDs, which are stamped into plastic, with home-made CDs which are burned with a laser.



My CD collection goes back to the 1980's, and AFAIK, all are playable. The oldest, of course, are commercial productions. Both LPs and CDs are stamped, and not affected much by exposure to light, except as a heat source.



For laser-burned media, it's logical that something produced with intense light would be degraded by extreme light. This is not disk rot, but a consequence of poor storage and handling. Leave one of these CDs out in the bright sunlight for weeks, and it's probably not going to be playable. Even indirect sunlight from an open sky will affect these over time.



Disk rot refers to the CD data coatings that degrade with or without light exposure, become too thin or spotty to read, or actually flake off. IMHO this is not a universal phenomena due to age, but a combination of age and poor chemical formulas that created a short-lived coating. Some brands and batches were of good quality, some not so much, and the only way a consumer could determine was to wait 20 years to find out.
A lot of my commercially produced CDs did degrade, though.

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  #54  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:04 PM
Musicat is offline
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
A lot of my commercially produced CDs did degrade, though.
That's interesting. I wonder why. Could there be other factors involved, like the player(s) you are using? In what way did they degrade? Is it physically detectable? Were they stored in non-optimal environments?
  #55  
Old 09-20-2019, 05:04 PM
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People who complain about the sound quality of digital music are hilarious to me.

The number of intermediaries between the original musician and your ears is pretty large and whether you receive those soundwaves via a record/tape/CD/MP3 is really a very small part of it.

The age and quality of your individual ears is a huge factor. The immediate environment around you while you listen is important. The quality of the speakers you use to create the soundwaves is very important. And then, on the recording side of things, the quality of the recording equipment and the abilities/desires of the sound engineer are critical.

Of all these factors, the kind of storage used to capture those soundwaves is really minimal. Only a small population of listeners will be able to discern the differences in any meaningful manner. If you're one of those people, certainly, stay away from digital music, but I'll happily listen to the thousands of songs I currently have stored in a device that fits in my pocket.

I burned all my CDs onto my computer years ago and sold them to the used music store. I don't miss them a bit. And I have ZERO worries about all my music disappearing from the cloud. If that happens, I have to think my music collection will be the least of my worries.
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  #56  
Old 09-20-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
A lot of my commercially produced CDs did degrade, though.

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Hmmm. I've got maybe 3K-4K (I really don't know, need to catalogue/inventory them one of these years) commercial, glass-master-stamped CDs, and I know of exactly one album (a 2-CD set) that's visibly degraded. Looks like some sort of clear barrier layer under the printed label text never got applied, because the data layer is visibly, horrifyingly absent in a bunch of places directly below the ink on the label side. Like, under the word "The," there's holes in the data layer shaped like the word "The," and so on for most of the text on both discs. They were fine for 10 or 15 years, and then they weren't. All the rest of my storebought CDs are fine AFAICT.

CD-Rs .... well, TBH, even though I've got a few K of those, it's rare that I pull them out for listening more than a year or two after acquisition, so I can't really speak to that with much confidence. No issues after 20ish years AFAIK, though.

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  #57  
Old 09-20-2019, 07:02 PM
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I don't have tons, but of the few dozen commercial CDs I purchased in the late 80s / early 90s, none have degraded in any perceptible way. That's a solid 30 years so far showing no signs of imminent failure.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 09-20-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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