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Topic: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good? (Read 3201 times) previous topic - next topic
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CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

I read multiple times that paper sleeves are not good to preserve CDs as the paper will progressively cause tiny scratches.

I know that jewel crystal cases are probably good.

Now, I'm wondering about slim boxes. I though they were a good option, checking one closely now, it looks like the CD is touching the back of the case, but I'm not even sure... I expect the CD to be more stable in slimboxes than in paper sleeves.

So are slim boxes good to store and preserve CDs over a long time?

Note: Suggestions for other solutions are welcomes but keep in mind the main question here is about slimboxes being good or not.
Note2: The level of preservation I want to reach is not that the CD are still "playable", I want EAC or similar software be able to rip "accurately" (provided that the CD was accurate when stored)..

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #1
Slim cases should be fine.

I don't think paper causes any damage. 

Note that the data-layer is on the top (label side).   There is some kind of protective layer, plus ink sometimes, but the top is more vulnerable than the bottom.    Also, scratches on the bottom can be polished-out, whereas polishing the top can only cause more damage.

The data-layer on a DVD is in the middle of a polycarbonate sandwich, and on a Blu-Ray it's on the bottom (and there is a thin protective layer).

Quote
Note2: The level of preservation I want to reach is not that the CD are still "playable", I want EAC or similar software be able to rip "accurately" (provided that the CD was accurate when stored)..
The safest solution is to rip-to a lossless format, and keep multiple copies in multiple locations.  ;)

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #2
Thank you. Right I'm hesitating between slim boxes, or plastic sleeves (which would take less space.

The safest solution is to rip-to a lossless format, and keep multiple copies in multiple locations.  ;)

True. that is the first thing I do whenever I get a CD... With a somewhat serious archiving process/infrastructure (likely more paranoid than 99% people.)
But I still keep the original CDs and hope to do so in pristine state... (Though sometimes I wonder if that's reasonable nowadays, considering the space they take and weight...)

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #3
Note that the data-layer is on the top (label side).   There is some kind of protective layer, plus ink sometimes, but the top is more vulnerable than the bottom.    Also, scratches on the bottom can be polished-out, whereas polishing the top can only cause more damage.

Having this in mind, I think slim case seem like a good option.
I was still thinking about plastic sleeves, but regarding any soft plastic sleeves, a risk I think of is they start sticking to the surface of the items they're supposed to protect.

And just a few minutes ago, I open an old box containing CD-R boxes, a few of them still containing blank media. And here I have a blank CD-R in a slim box, and the top surface of the CD-R is literally sticking to the slim box hard plastic "front door" ... not exctaly something I would have expected ... and hope it doesn't happen too often...

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #4
Are you thinking about something like this...

XX
EZ CD Audio Converter

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #5
Are you thinking about something like this...
[attach type=thumb]27361[/attach][attach type=thumb]27363[/attach]

Not exactly, I'm not sure if I trust this kind of tissues (note: I'm not sure anymore if I actually trust  anything...)
Also I wouldn't store the covers this way, I don't want squeeze/bend/crumple them on long term.
I have mainly 2 ways to store my CD collection currently:
  • Those that came in standard jewel cases: I just keep them in their original jewel case, including cover, in solid CD flightcases.
  • Those that came in non-standard cases: any packaging that cannot simply be replaced with standard jewel case (which go from digipaks to all kind of boxes, any fragile cardboard CDs entangled in book-shaped packagings that scratch them already the first time you pull them out etc, also 1 or 2 CDs that came in weirdly shaped jewel cases). I'm not sure what % of my collection that is, but more than I wished ... I think non-standard packagings are a nightmare in and ordered collection), I store these CDs and their packagings separately --> Packaging gets some protection if possible; CDs currently go to slim boxes then the slim boxes got in similar CD flightcases as the standard jewel cases.


So, my current thoughts are rather between this kind of items (not necessarily exactly those on the pictures) :
and

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #6
I would prefer slim boxes over any paper/plastic sleeve. If you can prevent either surface of the CD from coming in direct contact with anything, that is the best way to go.

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #7
I would prefer slim boxes over any paper/plastic sleeve. If you can prevent either surface of the CD from coming in direct contact with anything, that is the best way to go.

One thing I mentioned earlier is that in slim boxes, to lower surface of the CD is in contact with the box... and consider the CD-R incident I'm mentioning in my previous reply, the top surface may as well.

I think the actually "best" container for preservation is the standard jewel case... Its issue is it take twice the space.

(Yet, even jewel cases are not perfect... Out of approx. 2.200 CDs, I happened to have 2 or 3 that we generally safely stores but grew moistures... and also few boxes that grew moistures.)


Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #8
May be a use case for mass storage: Some empty CD/DVD-Cakeboxes (50-100 discs in a box)

.halverhahn

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #9
No, I really don't trust cakeboxes, with all CDs "turning" so close to each other. Though in terms of space that's the most efficient option I think.)

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #10
I have them (CDs and DVDs) in cakeboxes for over ten years now. Nothing will happen to them if you're archiving them there, not constantly using them.
TAPE LOADING ERROR

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #11
I think you're being overly precious. As long as they're not stored in direct sunlight or subject to extreme temperature/humidity/temperature-change, and you don't do things like put the cakebox in a paint mixer or use pliers to extract a CD from a jewel case, they'll outlive you. If you're talking burnt CDs, they last 10 years if that before the dye gives out regardless of what you do.

I've seen hideously scratched videogames that work just fine, discs with not a single speck of unscratched surface. These things are made to be resilient to even the abuse of kids, as long as you don't try to play the CD on a record player you'll be fine.

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #12
If you're talking burnt CDs, they last 10 years if that before the dye gives out regardless of what you do.

FWIW, this is not my experience at all.

Anecdata: I have literally hundreds of burnt CD-R and DVD+/-R discs from the mid to late 00's and early 10's and the failure rate is comically low.

When I dumped all of them to disk with the intent of permanently getting rid of them a few years ago, I ended up keeping the whole lot as an extra backup because out of more than 500 discs, less than 10 required any re-read attempts and only a single disc had an unrecoverable sector that lead to file corruption; everything else was just copy to HDD and done.

These were (and still are) all stored in their original cakeboxes, inside cardboard boxes to block sunlight.

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #13
I've seen hideously scratched videogames that work just fine, discs with not a single speck of unscratched surface. These things are made to be resilient to even the abuse of kids, as long as you don't try to play the CD on a record player you'll be fine.

I have seen audio CDs (manufactured CDs) full of scratches rip like a charm (1000 accurate rip), but also MANY pristine looking CDs with damaged tracks, even one or two of them that could be ripped at all.
I've also seen many data CD/DVD-R being unrecoverable, and usually audio CD-Rs didn't rip well (but regarding audio CD-Rs I'm talking about CD-Rs written around 1998-2000 and for some reason ripped 5 to 10 years later. It sounds weird nowadays, but I wasn't as well organised back then, FLAC didn't exist and WAV was still a relatively huge thing to store on hard drives, so audio CD-Rs were sometimes the only copy I kept of some things.)

If may be wrong on this one but also, if I understood right I think that there is a difference in the way data CDs and audio CDs are read... in the sense that audio CD must generate a data flow that is constant in time and therefore have some tolerance to errors... Which is the reason why some software likes EAC or CueRipper make multiple reads to assess data, while with data CDs, pace doesn't matter as much so more like 100% accurate read or no read at all. And for some reasons, it seems to me that data CDs were more resilient to errors.

I now have nearly zero written CD-Rs  or DVD-Rs. I still have some blank media that I kept "in case" I would need to write something for someone (in example: my mother still listens to music from CDs, though I managed to make her discover USB recently).

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #14
Data is more resilient because it had to be, and alignment is imperative for data so they put mechanisms in place for that too. A sector is 2352 bytes, all of which is used for audio but only 2048 bytes (typically) is used for data. The rest normally has reed solomon codes (also used in qr codes so that a perfect scan isn't required) that do error correction, and a checksum for error detection. There's levels of error detection/correction above that for both audio/data but nowhere near as strong as I understand it.

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #15
but also MANY pristine looking CDs with damaged tracks, even one or two of them that could be ripped at all.
Once every now and then, there could be an error in the glass master, in such a way that certain bits are genuinely unrecoverable without any definitively "correct" way to rip them.
I guess that is what a bootlegger would get for unchecking the quality control items in the order form to get it for cheap.

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #16
Once every now and then, there could be an error in the glass master, in such a way that certain bits are genuinely unrecoverable without any definitively "correct" way to rip them.
I guess that is what a bootlegger would get for unchecking the quality control items in the order form to get it for cheap.

The CDs I think about are not bootlegs (I really don't have many bootlegs but I think that luckily, they're in good state). By the way this doesn't mean you're wrong, just that my observations in my own collection are different.)
And I think it happens rather often that apparently well preserved CDs have some tracks cannot be ripped inaccurately anymore... Though I think I see it more often on "use CDs" I purchase on the Internet (mostly because I try to avoid remasters from the 2000s and so on, when older masters exist) that on those I preserved myself.

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #17
This is a video about vinyl records, but the "clouds" he get on his vinyl records ("plastic migration") make me think of what I got and thought it was "moisture" on very approximately 5 of my CD (out of 2.000+ now, collected over approximately 25 years) that were stored in standard jewel cases. That's also one of the reasons why I'm suspicious about the CDs being very close/touching the slim boxes...
Still not sure if it was a different thing and if what he show applies to CD, but it looked similar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_z5oa24cd4

Re: CD storage and preservation? Are slim boxes good?

Reply #18
This is a video about vinyl records, but the "clouds" he get on his vinyl records ("plastic migration") make me think of what I got and thought it was "moisture" on very approximately 5 of my CD (out of 2.000+ now, collected over approximately 25 years) that were stored in standard jewel cases. That's also one of the reasons why I'm suspicious about the CDs being very close/touching the slim boxes...
Still not sure if it was a different thing and if what he show applies to CD, but it looked similar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_z5oa24cd4

CDs are made from polycarbonate for the plastic part.  The metal part is usually the part that is most vulnerable to degradation if improperly stored.  Storing a disc in it's original packaging or case should be perfectly fine for the 99.9% of discs manufactured or made when not in use.  High humidity and anything too far out of room temperature can result in problems as well as exposure to UV light.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_disc_bronzing