Ongoing History Daily: Laser Rot

Last time, we talked about a weird, white dust; a mold that contaminated and destroyed magnetic audio and videotapes across the UK about a dozen years ago.  Obviously, magnetic tape isn’t as durable as we once thought. 

Well, what about CDs?  Not a good choice, either. 

We’ve known for years about something called “laser rot,” which happens when air gets at the aluminum layer sandwiched in between the plastic that makes up a CD.  Once it starts going brown, it’s game over.

So what is the best way to store music over long periods of time?  Well, if we could chisel it into rock, that would be best.  But until something better than vinyl comes along, that’s pretty much it.  Storing music in plastic grooves is the most stable way we’ve discovered of preserving music.

Yesterday’s Ongoing History Daily post was about tape rot.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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