In my last article titled "Don't get burned" I wanted to send out a warning about the cheap low-grade media flooding the markets from Asia and the media being highly susceptible to degradation. Today I would like to briefly touch up on the good archive grade media that is available on the market.
Currently one brand of optical media stands out above all the rest when it comes to quality archive grade media and that brand is Mitsui. Mitsui's MAM-A Archival CD-R and DVD-R discs are offered in standard Gold and Archive Gold. You might be wondering why Gold. MAM-A CD-R and DVD-R uses 24 karat Gold in the reflective layer for one big reason; gold never oxidizes. Since gold never oxidizes it won't degrade like the metal layer of regular media allowing for an extraordinary long storage life in excess of 300 years.
Now gold is very important in the storage life of a disc but so is the dye. All CD and DVD recordable discs use a thin layer of dye that is "burned" by the recording laser, which is how data is saved. The stability of the dye layer is very important to the quality of the disc. Mitsui has patented a photosensitive dye called Phthalocyanine, which is an extremely stable dye allowing for long-term storage life. The dye layer is also considered the single most important component for overall disc performance. When you're copying valuable data for the future, it's very important to use archive grade media. So if you're looking for media that will last a very long time don't be afraid to reach for the gold.