Mark Irons holds out a damaged music CD.
CDs and DVDs might not be as long lasting we you thought. To protect them CNN writes Rewriteable CDs and DVDs, as opposed to write-once discs, should not be used for long-term storage because they contain a heat-sensitive layer that decays much faster than the metal layers of other discs.
For maximum longevity, discs should be stored vertically and only be handled by the edges. Don’t stick labels on them, and in the case of write-once CDs, don’t write on them with anything but soft water-based or alcohol-based markers.
Also, like wine, discs should be stored in a cool, dry place. Koster’s friend Mark Irons, of Corvallis, Ore., stored his CD collection in a cabin heated by a wood-burning stove. The temperature would range between 40 degrees and 70 degrees in the space of a few hours. Now, the data layer of some of his CDs looks as if it’s being eaten from the outside.