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Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:37 pm

ef37a wrote:Actually I really like Mini Disk...

It was an elegant design, intended to serve as a more compact and practical 'walkman' format than the 'CD Discman'.

And they learned from the mistakes of the CD, in so far as the main cause its replay problems was surface damage and contamination, so encasing the disc in a sealed cassette made it far more reliable and immune to 'rough' handling. And the user-recordable discs used a magneto-optical principle that makes them far more robust than CD-Rs.

Although I was never bothered by the compression used for MD I would gladly trade the 90 minutes run time for say 60mins (or less, got a SHED load of discs!) of linear .wav.

It would have been a lot less. Sony's ATRAC was a 5:1 data-reduction system.

Amusingly, After Sony had launched the MD with ATRAC, some legal representatives of Dolby Labs went knocking on Mr Sony's door with copies of Dolby AC3 (Dolby Digital) worldwide patents pointing out where Sony had accidentally and unknowingly infringed upon them... A settlement was eventually reached and I believe Sony pays royalties to Dolby on its ATRAC-based systems. :lol:
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby CS70 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:33 pm

desmond wrote:The bottom line is, regardless of what media you used, or how well you stored them, there's no way to know* they've gone bad until you try to read them.

Schrodinger would have had a laugh :bouncy:
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:08 pm

...as would his cat (if it was alive)
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:10 pm

Martin Walker wrote:...as would his cat (if it was alive)

Hang on a minute, I'll go and have a look to see....

Oh... Wait... :lol:
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby ef37a » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:14 pm

Waaay ago son was building tracks, part on PC and part Tascam A 3440 and would burn stuff to disc....after disc....after disc playing them on my hi fi system. Got a bit expensive so dad had the bright idea of buying 10 CDRW so he could check it on the hi fi, scrub and do again.

Unless you handled the discs with cotton gloves and in dust free conditions we were lucky to get 4 cycles from each disc and after a month they were all buggered. Cheaper to buy 100 CDR and stand the coasters!

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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:32 pm

ef37a wrote:Put it on Music cassette!
I have recently played some I made over 40 years ago and they are still fine.

Dave.
I believe that for critical data, digital magnetic tape backup is still very much used in government and industry. Its just that most of us don't see it, and nowadays tape as a storage medium is often regarded as not sexy enough.
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby CS70 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:01 am

Tim Gillett wrote:
ef37a wrote:Dave.
I believe that for critical data, digital magnetic tape backup is still very much used in government and industry. Its just that most of us don't see it, and nowadays tape as a storage medium is often regarded as not sexy enough.

Well it depends on what government (and branch) and industry of course but western governments at least for new data, nowadays usually store permanent data in replicated clusters of hard disks in physically separate locations. The key to longevity is automatic periodic replication, existing concurrently in separate media.

There are sure vaults of old tapes somewhere - given the procurement cycles typical of governments, many different technologies coexist for a very long time.
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:21 am

CS70 wrote:There are sure vaults of old tapes somewhere - given the procurement cycles typical of governments, many different technologies coexist for a very long time.

Indeed. Vaults of tapes like, oh those record companies, that kept single unbackedup master tapes of all their artists' recordings in a single warehouse... that went up in flames...
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Tim Gillett » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:58 pm

CS70 wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:
ef37a wrote:Dave.
I believe that for critical data, digital magnetic tape backup is still very much used in government and industry. Its just that most of us don't see it, and nowadays tape as a storage medium is often regarded as not sexy enough.

Well it depends on what government (and branch) and industry of course but western governments at least for new data, nowadays usually store permanent data in replicated clusters of hard disks in physically separate locations. The key to longevity is automatic periodic replication, existing concurrently in separate media.

There are sure vaults of old tapes somewhere - given the procurement cycles typical of governments, many different technologies coexist for a very long time.
Tape continues to hold advantages in terms of cost per terabyte, much longer than hard drive reliability, air gap protection, and especially for massive amounts of data where access is infrequent.
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Tim Gillett » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:11 pm

desmond wrote:
CS70 wrote:There are sure vaults of old tapes somewhere - given the procurement cycles typical of governments, many different technologies coexist for a very long time.

Indeed. Vaults of tapes like, oh those record companies, that kept single unbackedup master tapes of all their artists' recordings in a single warehouse... that went up in flames...
Well yes but in the same fire would HDDs have fared any better? And these days tape's lower cost per terabyte also makes duplicate copies in different locations more viable. In addition the cost of now storing say the contents of one 10.5" 2" reel of multi track audio on modern digital data tape compared to the original analog format is miniscule. We're talking around 200 terabytes per tape unit.
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:18 pm

The problem wasn't really HDD vs tape's ability to cope with fire, it was the fact that there were no backup copies stored elsewhere...

...but then it was never standard practice to make routine archive backup copies of analogue multitrack tapes because of the duplication losses and high stock costs.

Whatever else may be 'wrong' with digital audio, at least backups are easy to do now! ;-)
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:21 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:Well yes but in the same fire would HDDs have fared any better? And tape's lower cost per terabyte also makes duplicate copies in different locations more viable.

If it was digitised, they'd still have high resolution masters, and audio data isn't that big, so it could easily and quickly be copied and stored both in multiple physical locations, *and* on cloud storage or other data centres.

And they'd still have it.

I don't buy that tape is cheaper. You're looking at, what a reel or two per song? What's that at 24/96KHz? A gigabyte tops? Would take a few seconds to upload to the cloud into multiple places once it had been digitised. You could probably store an artists' lifetime output on a single HD, and duplicate them to other physical copies easily enough.

Yes, digitisation requires a real-time playback, but then so do tape copies, and they'd incur generation losses, and it would only be a single copy each time...
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Tim Gillett » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:28 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The problem wasn't really HDD vs tape's ability to cope with fire, it was the fact that there were no backup copies stored elsewhere...

...but then it was never standard practice to make routine archive backup copies of analogue multitrack tapes because of the duplication losses and high stock costs.

Whatever else may be 'wrong' with digital audio, at least backups are easy to do now! ;-)
Yes and on digital disc, flash or tape, whichever is the best fit for purpose.
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:42 pm

desmond wrote:I don't buy that tape is cheaper.

From the admittedly limited research I've done in the past, it would appear that long term -- as in not needed for instant access -- data archiving really is significantly cheaper on tape drive systems rather than hard-drive systems, even today with our currently low cost of large HDDs. As an example:

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/theres-one-crucial-way-tape-still-trounces-ssds-and-hard-drives-when-it-comes-to-storage
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Re: Heads Up on CDR Degradation - New Results

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:01 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:From the admittedly limited research I've done in the past, it would appear that long term -- as in not needed for instant access -- data archiving really is significantly cheaper on tape drive systems rather than hard-drive systems, even today with our currently low cost of large HDDs.

I was mainly talking about analog tape copies, as opposed to digital data stored to digital tape.

You'd still have to do the digitisation process, and therefore you can easily have multiple copies on whatever media/infrastructure you like, including a long term digital tape archive if you wanted to. Multiple copies on different media is really the key element in looking after this stuff and making sure it's available in the future.
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