Preserve Your Data with Archival CD/DVD Media

By · Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Archival CD-DVD MediaNot so long ago, people wrote letters when they wanted to communicate a message. Today we use e-mail because it can transmit messages around the world in seconds. In the past, people balanced checkbooks and kept ledgers to track their finances. Today we use accounting software and online banking to manage our money. Historically, people kept their most important files in a file cabinet. So what do we use today?

Meet the archival CD-R – the modern-day equivalent of the file cabinet. If a traditional metal filing cabinet is where people store their important paper files – titles, deeds, loans, and certificates, then a digital filing cabinet is a place where people store their most important computer files.

These may include tax records, legal documents, financial information, and even things like family photos and videos. These precious digital files must be carefully preserved, but how? An average CD-R or DVD-R disc has a lifespan of between 5 and 30 years, according to experts in the data storage industry. But what if there were a better way to store information for the long term? There is, and it’s the archival disc.

Mitsui archival CD and DVD discs are a special type of blank recordable media which is designed to hold valuable information for a very long time. By using Accelerated Life Testing (ALT), manufacturers of media such as MAM-A have developed optical discs with an estimated lifespan of greater than 100 years!

So what is it that makes archival CDs so special? It all comes down to how the discs are produced. Traditional blank CD-R and DVD-R discs use a cyanine or Azo-based dye material that crystallizes at a known rate when exposed to the drive’s recording laser. This material can break down if exposed to ultraviolet light (sunlight) for prolonged periods of time, causing the data to become unreadable by the drive.

This is not the case with archival DVD and CD discs, as they use a layer of 24-karat gold in place of organic dye. The gold foil layer is very stable, which makes it perfect for storing critical data. Better yet, it is sandwiched between two layers of clear polycarbonate plastic for extra protection (for a DVD disc).

One of the leading manufacturers of archival DVD and CD media is MAM-A. The Colorado-based company is the only company still producing media in the United States, at their ISO 9001:2000 certified facility. They produce some of the best archival discs in the world, which you can depend on to store your critical information.

To learn more about archival discs or to purchase some MAM-A archive grade media for yourself, please call us at 877-992-3766 or visit us online at today!


Nice coverage of the topic. Archiving video on optical is a fast growing market, from my perspective. We’ve seen a lot of surveillance applications because of the infrequency of recall. It’s a very affordable solution.

“they use a layer of 24-karat gold in place of organic dye” is not a true statement. MAM-A discs replace the silver reflective layer with gold. They use Phthalocyanine for the dye layer.

Good catch! Thanks for letting us know.