How To Choose CD/DVD Archival Media

(Last updated January 11th 2013)

Translations: Serbo-Croatian by Jovana Milutinovich

Ahh, I’ve been planning to write this one for awhile: an entire article on archival quality media. As I do professional software development as well as professional photography (what a weird combination), I need archival quality CD and DVD media to store my data on.

However, one of the hardest things to is actually find good media, or even understand why it is good media. This article focuses on the history of Compact Discs, writable CD/DVD media, and why DVD+R is superior to DVD-R. If you want to just know what media is worth buying, skip to the summary at the bottom.

Short history of the Compact Disc
The invention of the Compact Disc has had a large impact on both music and computing in the last 20 years. Invented in 1979 as a joint project between Sony and Philips to counter the self-destructive nature of consumer audio playback (such as tapes and records that could only be played so many times before the recording degraded significantly) by switching to a resilient digital format.

The CD was also designed to store standard computer data, as in 1985 the first CD drives for computers were released; massive, bulky, and expensive, it was not until the mid-90s that they really took off, driven almost solely by video games and large multimedia applications.

In 1990, Sony and Philips went back to the drawing table, and then came out with the CD-R, a record-once medium. Yet again, the first CD burners were large, expensive, and bulky, but by the late 90s having a CD burner was the new ‘in’.

The first few generations of CD media, designed by Taiyo Yuden (a company who I respect, and buy all my archival quality media from), actually kind of sucked; it wasn’t until around 2000 that companies started producing very high end media.

CDs and DVDs store individual bits (encoded in various ways depending on the media) with spots of reflective and non-reflective areas. This method is called ‘pits and lands’, where pits ‘absorb’ light (ie, are ‘off’ bits) and lands ‘reflect’ light (ie, are ‘on’ bits).

With pressed media, the pressing method causes pits to reflect the laser’s light away from the sensor, and the lands to reflect it back at the sensor. With burned media, a high energy laser causes spots of organic dye to go opaque and obscure the reflective surface for the pits, leaving the organic dye for lands alone.

Short history of the DVD
While burning was becoming popular in the late 90s, so was playing high quality video on DVDs. Storing almost 7 times the data of a 700MB CD (or almost 13 in the case of dual layer DVDs), allowed companies to store massive amounts of data on one disc, leading to the movie industry to drop VHS tapes and the video game industry to drop CDs.

In 1995, the first DVD specification was ratified by over a dozen companies including Sony and Philips, as well as Thompson, Pioneer, and Mitsubishi. By 2000, at least half the homes in the US and Japan had DVD players.

So, obviously, the next step was to produce burnable DVDs. Two separate, and incompatible, efforts took hold. The first one, Pioneer’s DVD-R (pronounced ‘DVD dash R’) was released in 1997, using different data storage methods than pressed DVDs (appearing to be more like CD-R than DVD), a poor error correction scheme, and the ‘wobble’ laser tracking system of DVD-R is inadequate for the job.

The second effort, lead by the DVD+RW Alliance (headed by Sony, Philips, Mitsubishi, and Thompson) was released in 2002, as an alternative to the poorly implemented DVD-R. DVD+R uses a superior ‘wobble’ laser tracking system, a far better error correction method, and the media quality itself is typically higher. (See the ‘Why DVD+R?’ section below for a more technical explanation)

Why archival media is hard to produce
Unlike pressed CDs/DVDs, ‘burnt’ CDs/DVDs can eventually ‘fade’, due to five things that effect the quality of CD media: Sealing method, reflective layer, organic dye makeup, where it was manufactured, and your storage practices (please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media).

The silver and aluminum alloys used in virtually all blank CD/DVD media has one major issue, requiring the manufacturer to lacquer a protective seal over the entire disc: silver and aluminum oxidize when they hit air, turning the normally reflective layer into silver or aluminum rust. Some (very expensive) media uses gold instead which doesn’t oxidize, however DVD media cannot use gold due to design issues (not true anymore, see update 1 below). Today, only the cheapest of the cheap media has severe issues with sealing practices (as such, avoid any media made outside of Japan and Taiwan; especially avoid media made in India).

Assuming that the protective seal and reflective layer are manufactured correctly, the next issue is the organic dye. The first organic dyes, designed by Taiyo Yuden, were Cyanine-based and, under normal conditions, had a shelf life of around ten years; simply, that was simply unacceptable for archive discs. Taiyo Yuden, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Mitsui Co., and Ciba Specialty Chemicals spent the next ten years trying to produce the best organic dyes, eventually reaching archive-quality CD media.

Taiyo Yuden produced ‘Super Cyanine’, a chemically stabilized version of the original Cyanine dye designs, while TDK offers media that uses ‘metal-stabilized Cyanine’ dye, leading to similar shelf lives as Taiyo Yuden’s media. Taiyo Yuden states their Super Cyanine dye is chemically stable for at least 70 years, and TDK states their metal-stabilized Cyanine is also stable for 70 years.

On the other hand, Mitsubishi went in a different direction and produced what is called a Metal Azo dye, that they claim is stable for around 100 years. Azo dyes are chemically stable, however, the shelf life of media using Azo dyes typically does not exceed that of Super Cyanine and metal-stabilized Cyanine.

The third dye produced for CD media is called Phthalocyanine dye, with the majority of such dyes produced by Mitsui and Ciba. Typically marketed as more resistant to heat and UV radiation than Cyanine and Azo, modern Cyanine and Azo dyes last just as long in extreme conditions.

DVDs also use similar dyes, however manufacturers have intentionally kept what dyes they use a secret (instead of a feature in their marketing of the media), and all blank DVDs are intentionally the same color (as different dyes on CDs make blanks different colors, however, it is not indicative of what dye is used due to some manufacturers using different colored silver alloys and non-reactive additives in the dye).

Why Taiyo Yuden media, and how to buy in the US
The best discs in circulation tend to be Taiyo Yuden media. In Japan, you find their media under the brand That’s, which are wholly owned by Taiyo Yuden.

As of late 2009, Taiyo Yuden announced they were buying the JVC Advanced Media brand, and making it a wholly owned and operated brand for TY products. They did this to put Taiyo Yuden products on store shelves worldwide. See update 4 at the bottom for a full explanation.

Simply put, I have never had problems with any kind of Taiyo Yuden media. Ever. I have bought CDs and DVDs under a dozen different brands (including non-Taiyo Yuden manufactured TDK and Verbatim), and the only ones that have had a 100% success rate is Taiyo Yuden.

If you cannot find any company selling media under the Taiyo Yuden/JVC Advanced Media brand, I suggest buying from the, who offer a wide range of Taiyo Yuden CD media, DVD-R media, and DVD+R media. I tend to buy just from them, as they are the only company that guarantees that their media is actually from Taiyo Yuden and not a fake (see the above linked FAQ on information about fake Taiyo Yuden media).

Why DVD+R?
This is the most technical section of the article. If you don’t understand the basics of how CD/DVD media works, or find such technical discussions boring, skip to the next section.

As I said earlier, DVD-R sucks for data preservation for three reasons: inferior error correction, inferior ‘wobble’ tracking, and the fact its data writing methods look like an un-needed halfway point between CD-R and DVD+R. The wobble tracking I shall explain first, then the error corrections method, then the specifics of ATIP/pre-pit/ADIP optimum power settings.

For a CD/DVD burner to track where it is on the disc, it uses three things: the ‘wobble’ of the data track (where it actually wobbles back and forth instead of in a straight line) to tell where it is in the track, the position of the track to tell where it is on the disc, and some additional information on the disc to tell where the track (singular, as CDs and DVDs only have one track, and it is written in a concentric spiral) begins and ends.

This additional information on a CD-R is called the ATIP (Absolute Time In Pregroove), which contains how long the track is, where it begins, what the maximum and minimum writing speeds are, what formula dye it uses, who actually made it, optimum power control settings, and error correction data. The ATIP is stored as a frequency modulation in the wobble itself.

However, since the wobble changes subtly to encode data, it is impossible to use with the small size of tracks DVD requires, as electric noise in the laser pickup and wobbles introduced by the electric motor spinning the disc, these could easily be read as frequency changes in the real track itself.

On DVD-R, they tried to solve the problem with something called ‘pre-pits’ where spikes in the amplitude of the wobble appear due to pits fully out of phase with the rest of the track (ie, between two spirals of the track, where there is no data). This can be viewed as a simple improvement over CD-R as it makes it easier to track the wobble (since the wobble is constant except for the easy to detect and remove spikes).

Unfortunately, this method as one flaw: due to electric noise in the laser pickup, it would be very easy to miss the pre-pit (or read one that wasn’t actually there) if the disc were damaged or spun at fast speeds. The time to read a pre-pit is 1T (roughly .0000000038th of a second), which even for a computer can be easy to miss. DVD-R traded hard to track frequency changes for hard to read wobble-encoded data.

On a DVD+R, however, they came up with a much better method. Instead of changing the frequency of the wobble, or causing amplitude spikes in the wobble, they use complete phase changes. Where CD-R’s and DVD-R’s methods make you choose between either easy wobble tracking or easy ATIP reading, DVD+R’s method makes it very easy to track the wobble, and also very easy to encode data into the wobble. DVD+R’s method is called ADIP (ADdress In Pre-groove), which uses a phase change method.

With ADIPs’ phase changes, the direction of the wobble changes and continues on going in the exact opposite direction (ie, counter-clockwise to clockwise, or the reverse). For example, if the wobble was ‘going up’, the phase change causes it to instantly reverse direction start ‘going down’ no matter where it in the wobble cycle. The phase change is very easy to detect, and also continues for a set period (in this case, one 32T section of the track, or 32 times longer than the pre-pit method of DVD-R).

The state of the phase change (clockwise or counter-clockwise) encodes the individual bits in each block In essence, with the phase change method, not only do you have an easy way of tracking the wobble, but you now have an easy way of reading wobble-encoded data.

As I mentioned earlier, this wobble-encoded data includes error correction of wobble-encoded data itself. Error correction is the most important part of media, because if it does not work, then you’ve lost your data, even if there is nothing seriously wrong with the disc.

The DVD-R specification states that for every 192 bits, 64 of them are not protected under any scheme, 24 of them are protected by 24 bits of parity, and the last 56 bits are protected by another 24 bits of parity. This weird (to put it mildly) scheme allows you to easily scramble or lose 25% of the data that is required to read your disk! This information is almost more important than the actual data burned on the disc itself.

The DVD+R specification, however, states that for every 204 bits of information, it is split into four blocks of 52 bits containing 1 sync bit to prevent misreading because of phase changes, 31 bits of data, and a 20 bit parity (that protects all 32 bits of data). The sync bit is always the same value in all four blocks, and exists only to prevent phase inversions.

Now, the third item on the list: how DVD+R discs burn better. As I said earlier, ATIP/pre-pit/ADIP stores information about optimum power control settings. This information is basically formulas stating how much output power is needed, what the laser startup power should be, and other pieces of information you require to properly burn a DVD.

Optimum power control output is dependent on three things: burning speed, laser wavelength, and information given to the drive about the media. DVD-R basically fails on all three accounts because DVD+R simply includes far more information about the media in the ADIP data than DVD-R does in it’s pre-pit data.

DVD+R includes four optimum profiles, one for four major burning speeds (usually 2x, 4x, 6x, and 8x, though this can change as speeds increase). Each of these profiles include optimum power output based on laser wavelength, more precise laser power settings, and other additional information. With this information, any DVD+R burner can far more optimize it’s burning strategy to fit the media than it can with DVD-R, consistently providing better burns.

For comparison, DVD-R includes one profile, optimum power output based for that one profile only and uncalibrated towards what wavelength it is for, less precise laser power settings, and no other additional information. Typically, DVD-R burners have to already know how to burn a certain piece of media (and include this information in their firmwares) before they can properly burn to it. New media often is not properly supported.

In addition to the optimum power control profiles, DVD+R also gives four times more scratch space for the drive to calibrate the laser on; more space can only improve the calibration quality. So, in short, DVD+R media exists to simply produce better burns and protect your data better.

And finally, the end of the article…
Finally, after roughly three pages of technical discussion, we arrive at the end of my dissertation on archival quality CD/DVD media. So, you’re probably now wondering, in simple terms, what media do I recommend?

To begin with, I do not recommend CD-RW, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW media in any form for permanent storage. This is mostly a no-brainer, but those discs are meant to be able to be changed after burning, and they are simply unsuitable for long-term archival storage. I also do not recommend DVD-R media due to DVD+R’s superior error correction and burning control.

That said, I recommend Taiyo Yuden media across the board. Taiyo Yuden currently manufactures 52x CD-R, 16x DVD-R, and 16x DVD+R media in normal shiney silver, inkjet printable, and thermal printable forms. Taiyo Yuden may be one of the most expensive (if not the most expensive), but their media quality is unsurpassed. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I recommended buying from as they are the only online US distributor that guarantees that their Taiyo Yuden media is certified as coming from Taiyo Yuden.

So, what am I using? Due to Taiyo Yuden’s superior media quality, and DVD+R’s superior design, I use only Taiyo Yuden DVD+R media. I recommend this media to everyone who wishes to keep their data for a long, long time.

Update 1: It seems MAM-A and Kodak actually has managed to make a gold DVD, though no one else seems to be manufacturing them (Taiyo Yuden/JVC Advanced Media now makes an archival gold disc, see update 6). However, MAM-A’s gold archival media still doesn’t seem to exceed TY quality (although Mr 60,000 in the comments below puts TY second best to MAM-A). Due to the extreme cost of gold archival media ($2+ a disc) with very little increased protection (if any), I’ll still say TY media is better. I want to see more independent tests on this before I change my recommendation.

In addition, I’d like to mention that Verbatim has been relabeling other brands of disc as their own. If the box/spindle/cakebox the discs come in don’t say they’re manufactured with Verbatim’s proprietary Azo dye (sometimes called Advanced Azo, sometimes not, depending on the product) then they aren’t Verbatim media at all and should be avoided as they may not meet typical home archival standards.

Update 2: (Sept. 19th 2007) Its almost been a year since I first wrote this article. My recommendations for media have not changed, my recommendations for DVD burners have.

Samsung: Samsung is currently producing two drives worth owning, the
Samsung SH-S222AB
(SATA). They’re not considered archival grade, but they’re not bad.

TEAC: TEAC makes an archival drive that is ISO/IEC10995 compliant, and is very expensive. Comes in two forms, external USB DV-W5000U and internal SATA DV-W5000S. I’ve seen DV-W5000U drives for sale for $500, and refurbished DV-W5000S drives for $150-200. This is the elite of drives, and recommended if you’re very serious about 30+ year archival storage.

Update 3: (July 26th 2009) Its been awhile since I updated this article. Pioneer is no longer manufacturing drives worth using. Just buy a Samsung or TEAC drive like I link to above. I’m using two Samsung drives now after my PX-716 finally died after years of service.

My recommendation on TY and Verbatim hasn’t changed, and I imagine it will never change; DVD media will not change significantly from here on out. Bluray in my opinion is not worth switching over to unless you’re storing data that can be measured in hundreds of gigabytes, and at that point you might want to look into archival tape storage.

When Bluray is worth switching over to, I’ll write a follow up article to this one. High quality single layer media will have to drop below 50 cents a piece and Bluray burners will have to become ubiquitous (much like DVD burners are now) before that happens. I’m thinking 2011 or later.

Update 4: (August 3rd 2010) Taiyo Yuden has bought the JVC Media brand and is now operating under the JVC Advanced Media brand. You can now buy TY inside JVC boxes and get your usual TY quality. This site has the conversion of part numbers.

JVC has not bought Taiyo Yuden, and Taiyo Yuden is in full control of this new venture. They merely bought they name so they can put TY products on store shelves worldwide. is selling almost all JVC Advanced Media branded TY products in place of the old TY branded ones.

Update 5: (September 27th 2011) A few people have asked about how PIE/PIF scans work.

DVD-R and DVD+R both employ two stage error correction.

PIE (Parity Inner Error) just means error correction was used, PIF (Parity Inner Failure) means the error was unrecoverable using the inner ECC block but still may be recovered using the outer ECC block . On tools that give avg/max/total, max PIE values above 140, or max PIF values above 4* means the disc needs to be replaced but the data most likely isn’t corrupted yet**.

For a burn to be considered still pristine you want max PIE below 20 and max PIF 3 or lower.

Discs will NOT be pristine after 5 years, but there is a fall off of PIF/PIE increasing after 6 months and doesn’t seem to start picking up again until 5-10 years depending on storage environment.

Totals for PIF can be as high as 100k yet have a max of 20, and total PIF can be as high as 1000 but have a max below 3. Max PIE is considered mostly fatal above 280 and can reach as high as 1664, and max PIF can reach as high as 208*.

DVD+R generally will maintain lower values for both due to superior error correction techniques.

* Some tools and/or drives won’t list above 4 for PIF.

** Some tools and/or drives also list PO (Parity Outer) uncorrectable errors. This is for any read that has a max PIF above 4. This indicates a mostly unrecoverable data corruption error, which would effect (if I’ve done my math right) 36k of data (although that doesn’t mean the whole 36k of data is corrupted, just that its corrupted inside of that 36k). This still does not indicate the disc is unreadable, some obsessive ripping tools will try multiple reads in an effort to get a valid read or different incorrect reads that can be merged into a valid read.

Update 6: (January 11th 2013) Taiyo Yuden announced last year that they are now producing an ISO/IEC10995 compliant archival grade gold alloy DVD-R. Sadly, its not DVD+R and I’m hoping they’ll consider making a DVD+R version as well. Not many vendors carry this disc yet.

Also, a few people have asked when I’m going to write that Bluray follow up article. I don’t think Bluray is viable for long term archival storage yet. I continue my recommendation that if you need to store hundreds of gigabytes of data or more, consider archival tape.

Written by
Open Source software architect and technologist. He's just this guy, you know? Follow him him on Google+.
Published in
Transmissions from the Little Blue Marble

Published October 30th, 2006


1,255 Responses

No offense Phil, but you must be extremely short sighted to blanket the entire Internet to not shop from.

what is the best archival dvd+r that I can buy at an office max/ compusa or any other store. (I don’t like buying things online)

I have only used 2 different models of dvds but I have learned a valuable lesson. DO NOT GET MEMOREX DVD+Rs!!!!!!!! They are the worst archival dvds on the market. 3 out of 3 data dvds that I wrote had a good amount of sectors that were unreadable. It caused me great pains including…data loss and completely destroying my computer (I had a recovery partition that let you write a boot dvd to format your hard drive and reinstall windows and all of the drivers my computer came with. When I booted the dvd, it erased my hard drive but failed to reinstall windows. I ended up buying a new copy of windows xp)

I have had no problems with writing home videos on memorex. It has wonderful dvd playback. But as for a data disc, I would choose another company.

Delkin’s DVDs in my opinion are no better than Taiyo Yuden’s discs, yet since they cost more people are duped into believing they are better. They cost a good 3x or 4x more than TY’s discs, yet no one can prove they have a lower rate of failure (for the few I personally tested, they failed just as quickly as TY’s when subjected to extreme conditions).

In addition, that new scratch resistant layer? It isn’t. The only ‘scratch proof’ technology I’ve seen work is TDK’s new method that they developed to deal with Bluray’s thinner data-side plastic layer, it actually takes a bit of doing to damage… but as far as I know, TDK is not selling it on DVD-R/+R discs yet.

So yeah, if you want to impress some film festival judges, use Taiyo Yuden.

Is the Taiyo Yuden Dvd+r media the best media to use for filmmakers? WE need to make burn copies to submit to film festivals and need the best quality possible.
We were just looking into a delkin dvd “Archival gold 100 year guarantee scratch resistant” dvd. Have you tried it? Thanks for your comments.

As long as they are Taiyo Yuden, they should last a long time. I only recommend DVD+R over DVD-R for technical reasons which can aid in data recovery if the discs do in fact start failing.

Wow – Thanks for this super speedy reply!
Will any one type of DVD be better or longer lasting than another type, not considering any labeling added to the DVD? (if they are not labeled – just label the case they are stored in)

Sorry, I meant to say three types.

Inkjet Clear and Silver are the same kind.

Thermal Silver, Shiny Silver, and Thermal Printable are all the same type: thermal printable disks only come in silver.

Thanks so much for your quick reply and all the advise! I want to make sure I understand you correctly on the Types.
You said there are 4 types of printing surfaces…are “Inkjet Clear” and “Inkjet Silver” 2 different types? Or is “Shiny Silver” a 4th type?

Are the discs labeled “Shiny Silver” the same as “Thermal Silver” and “Thermal Printable” discs? Am I correct in assuming that the 3 terms (Shiny Silver, Thermal Silver, and Thermal Printable) all refer to the same disc?

Thus, the “Thermal Printable” disc you recommend for hand writing labels is the same as a disc labeled “Shiny Silver”?

Thanks again so much for all your help!

Yes, it’ll work fine. DVDs have two plastic layers on them, one above the data layer, and one below. The inkjet coating is on top of the top layer, and designed to prevent any damage from any ink.

Hi, is it OK to print (with a CD/DVD inkjet printer like the epson stylus photo R200) on the Taiyo Yuden DVD+R inkjet printable DVD media if I want to use them to archive my backups ? Or will the ink (generic refill cartridge) alter the data over time ? Thanks

Speed: I think you’ve gotten confused along the way. The speed at which you burn a DVD does not effect the quality of the data you are burning. Video or picture stills do not magically change because you burned them at a different speed.

That said, you either burn at the maximum speed of the disc media, or you burn at the maximum speed of your DVD burner, which ever is slower. Example: Do not burn 8x discs at 16x, but 16x discs at 8x is fine.

Type: There are typically four types of printing surfaces: Inkjet ‘clear/silver’ (which requires a printer that can print white ink), Inkjet ‘white’ (which works on any inkjet printer that can print on CDs), and Thermal Silver (which requires a thermal printer to print on). Inkjet discs are usually available with and without printable hubs: this is up to your printer if it can print on hubs or not.

Note: Inkjet discs will not work in a thermal printer, and thermal discs will not work in an inkjet printer.

Labeling: Either real Sanford Sharpies or TDK, Verbatim, and Philips brand markers for DVD surfaces work. However, if you intend on hand writing labels, get Thermal Printable discs. Inkjet printable discs usually will not work properly with Sharpies (smears, or won’t adhere to the surface).

Storage: the standard black CD and DVD cases are fine. They do not seem to degrade discs as far as I can tell. Remember, DVDs do fit in standard CD jewel cases.

Thanks much for this great article! It is so very helful. I am a beginner learning how to best store digital photos and video. I want to store and preserve these as archival quality – for the longest time possible.

Thanks for being specific on your recommendation of using Taiyo Yuden DVD+R media. However, I still have even more specific questions. I hope these aren’t too elementary or basic.

Is there any difference in quality of pictures in using 8x or 16x speed? Does a slower speed (8x) produce better quality pictures?

I’m not sure which type would be best…shiny silver, inkjet printable, or thermal printable? Will one last longer / be better than the others? (I do not currently have a printer for this, but that could change in future.)

Somewhere I read not to use a Sharpie for labeling the DVD’s. Is this a concern for long term archival storage? Any other ideas?

I’ve been searching for acid-free DVD cases and can not find any. The book style storage system does not seem as appropriate for me. How detrimental would it be to store the discs in regular black DVD cases, even if they are not acid-free? Are there any DVD cases that are a better quality?

Thank you for all your help and advise! It is much appreciated!

I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Ad Terras Per Aspera, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

There are issues with all CDs, pressed, burned, or otherwise in high temperature: they degrade faster.

I can’t remember who said it (I think it was one of the big archival studies), that discs should be kept at temps below 20C during archival.

My own personal experience is anything above 30C will start aging CDs rather quickly if they are exposed to any realistic amount of sunlight, and above 45C (say, the area above a dashboard right at the bottom of a windshield of a car in full sunlight) will most likely ruin a CD.

If you intend on lending CDs, obviously you should be lending out copies, with the originals in a vault somewhere only to be taken out when you need more copies (assuming you just don’t keep an ISO image of the CD on a harddrive somewhere). If the copy is no longer usable, simply burn a new copy. Expensive, but worth it if borrowers don’t destroy CDs on a constant basis.

Also, I cannot recommend you anything on film or manuscript archival, but I will tell you its very extremely expensive. Try contacting someone at the Library of Congress, they’re fanatics for stuff like that.

Thank you for an extraordinary article and chain of correspondence.
We are about to set up an archive for a museum located in Oman. Do you know if there are any issues with CD use in high temperatures?(40+ degrees centigrade)?
The premises will be air-conditioned but we are considering setting up a lending-library.

Also, this may be outside your area of expertise, but as we will be buying all the equipment (recording and viewing) from scratch, can you recommend a website/organisation that could advise us on the best equipment available for establishing a film and manuscript archive?

Many thanks,

Thanks a lot!. I use not for archive.

For informative purposes: I have found this info.

Verbatim 8X +R Pearl White
Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:CMC MAG-E01-000]
Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] – [DVD-ROM]
Manufacturer Name : [CMC Magnetics Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [CMC MAG]
Media Type ID : [E01]
Product Revision : [Not Specified]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x]
[ DVD Identifier – ]

Verbatim 8X -R Pearl White
Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-R:RITEKG05]
Disc & Book Type : [DVD-R] – [DVD-R]
Manufacturer Name : [Ritek Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [RITEKG05]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,298,496 Sectors = 4.71 GB (4.38 GiB)]
[ DVD Identifier – ]

I wouldn’t use them, they aren’t Verbatim’s own discs.

Thanks for your excellent article.

Question: What about the Verbatim CD’s with the “Extra Protection Surface” label, manufactured by CMC Magnetics, acording to CDR-Identifier.

ATIP: 97m 26s 66f
Disc Manufacturer: CMC Magnetics Corp.
Reflective layer: Dye (Short strategy; e.g. Phthalocyanine)
Media type: CD-Recordable
Recording Speeds: min. unknown – max. unknown
nominal Capacity: 702.82MB (79m 59s 71f / LBA: 359846)


Thanks again so much! Brilliant article, much needed.

As far as I know, no TY come in TDK jewel cases, so YMMV.

Yes, the coating doesn’t protect the data at all outside of no scratching. It doesn’t make it encode better or protect the seal better or do anything but prevent scratching.

I’d only look into such tech if I was handling a disc often… and if you’re handling discs often you’re not archiving them.

Thanks for your quick reply! I bought a box with jewel cases, so I can’t see any “Made In…” notice on the box. I’ll go back to the store and look for a spindle.

And as for scratchproof, you seem to be saying that the coating helps me not to scratch my DVDs (which I don’t normally make a practice of anyway), but doesn’t contribute anything at all to the archiving life of the disk? doesn’t make the disk encode better, or protect data better, or preserve data longer?

TDK discs that come in a spindle that say “Made In Japan” are TY, made anywhere else and they aren’t.

Scratchproof are a gimmick in that you should carefully handle your discs to begin with. TDK’s tech for this was invented in partly for Bluray discs, which have a thinner than normal bottom layer and had to be very resistant to damage; DVDs with this tech is basically the same thing, but as I said, ultimately redundant: handle your discs with care.

Thanks for your article! I can buy TDK
DVD’s where I live, but how do I tell whether or not they were made by TY?

And, what’s the deal with the “scratchproof” DVD’s — is that just a marketing gimmick to sell DVDs which are slightly better than average, or are these truly of the archiving quality that your article is about?


Leave a Reply to Patrick McFarland