Media longevity standard debated

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking comments on ways to develop a standard for labeling CDs and DVDs that will stand the test of time
Author:
Publish date:

Would you like your digital-storage media to last 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years or 40 years? If you belong to an organization or government agency, the U.S. government and an optical-disc industry group would like you to answer that question in a quick survey, CNET News reported.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Government Information Preservation Working Group, or GIPWoG, is trying to develop a standard way of labeling CDs and DVDs for longevity. The optical disc has become the storage “medium of choice” for many government agencies and private-sector groups, GIPWoG notes, and users ought to have a clue as to how long information stored on such media might last.

The practice of “lowest-bid procurement” could wind up exacerbating the quality problem, GIPWoG said.

GIPWoG is working with the DVD Association, an industry group, to nail down “a long-term, or archival, standard measurement for recordable CD and DVD media.” The idea isn’t to test how long discs will last, but to be able to establish whether or not a disc will last at least a certain number of years.

The survey urges respondents to be reasonable in naming their ideal optical-disc lifespan.

Responses to the survey will be accepted through May 31.

For more information and to take the survey, go to www.itl.nist.gov/div895/gipwog//.

Back to the top