Want a DVD that will last 1000 years? Apparently that is what the makers of “M-Disc” are claiming. Remarkable as it seems these disks are quite different in their construction to standard dye based writable currently on the market and these disks are available for $29.99 for a pack of 10.
In the pdf “M-DISC™: YOUR LIFE. ENGRAVED IN STONE” they make a number of analogies with rock and go on to say:
It includes multiple layers of dissimilar materials, like common sedimentary and some igneous rocks. The comparison even makes sense on the microscopic scale, where the written M-DISC™ can be described as an aggregate of ordered, polycrystalline regions and amorphous or glassy regions. The engraved “pits” in the M-DISC™ that hold the digital data are also like the void structures that can be found in many igneous rocks such as pumice or scoria.
I came across a PDF from the library of Congress “NIST/Library of Congress (LC) Optical Disc Longevity Study.” which contains quite a bit of detail, though it doesn’t seems to talk about the MDisc.
There was also an interesting review of MDisc by Milenniata in which they try out the MDisc in various DVD writers and compare results. From their testing it would appear that it is very important to use only writers that are supported by MDisc.
There was also a long and interesting article at Information Week about the M-Disc
Department of defense testing
The PDF on the M-Disc site entitled “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE LONGEVITY TEST SUMMERY” says of the U.S. Department of Defense Naval Air Warfare Weapon’s Division facility at China Lake concluded that:
“None of the M-DISC™ media suffered any data degradation at all. Every other brand tested showed large increases in data errors after the stress period. Many of the discs were so damaged that they could not be recognized as DVDs by the disc analyzer” (p.i.)
I tried to contact M-Disc to confirm this report from the department of defense but only got a confirmation that my question had been received. I have not other reason to believe the report is not as described but quite a lot of Googling could not find any mention of it anywhere other than the M-Disc site. Lots of sites talk about the results but all seem to be based on data on the M-Disc site.