I’ve heard that CD-roms that you write photos to will lose them in about 7 years. How is this possible? Will music CDs lose their music? I’ve never noticed that. What happens that CDs go bad? I don’t think they meant the technology would become obsolete, although that is a storage issue, and I don’t think they meant wear and tear.
It’s not that they lose data, but with normal use wear-and-tear, exposure to light, and other envirnmental factors, eventually the disk will simply become unreadable due to scratches, abrasions, or clouding of the polycarbonate coating.
They won’t “lose” the photos, per se (like paper photos fading or something), but there’s a very real possibility that CDs (home-burned CDRs, esp.) will one day physically degrade and therefore the data will be destroyed. Many think that the dye used as the recording base in CDRs will break down over time, IIRC, and there is some concern that various inks (or sharpie marker inks, if hand-applied) used to print pictures/song titles/etc. on music CDs may one day eat through the plastic of the disc, eventually exposing the aluminum recording base to corrosion, etc.
So there is not a home-based way of making a CD as opposed to a CD-R? I don’t get how a CD is made if it didn’t start as a CD-R…
CD’s are mechanically stamped from a thin disk of aluminum foil using a master die that was created using a laser, then encased in polycarbonate. No, really. It’s aluminum foil.
Look up How Stuff Works for more information on how CDs work and what the differences are between a pre-recorded CD and a CD-R made on a home computer.