Are you finished with physical media? Tired of all those pieces of plastic cluttering up the house? Then make a contribution to science by offering to destroy all your old CDs!
Fenella France is chief of preservation and testing at the Library of Congress. She and her colleagues are fascinated by how compact discs age. How long will a disc last?
The answer is trickier than you might think. Formulations and manufacturing methods have changed over the decades and the people who make CDs aren’t too keen on explaining their secrets. This is why France and her people are having such a hard time prediction the physical death of a typical CD.
Why would they care? Because the Library of Congress is the largest repository of sound recordings in the known universe. It’s their job to preserve these recordings, no matter what the format. And if they don’t know how CDs age, they can’t take care of them properly. And don’t even get them started on CD-Rs.
Bottom line is that Fenella and her peeps could use as much input as they can possible get–and that’s where we come in.
The Atlantic has a great story on the issue. Go here.