Make your media — keep your media

I have a pretty large and growing archive of my own media output, such as all the interviews, features and airchecks of the mediageek radioshow. Most of this stuff is on CD-R or DVD-R, with the airchecks on minidisc. I want to hold onto all of it, and not see it degrade into unreadability.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology just released a 90-page report on the proper care and handling of CDs and DVDs which should serve as a guide to all mediageeks looking to hold onto the media they’ve made. Despite what the industry hype would have us believe, CD and DVD media are not indestructible, though certainly more hardy than, say, magnetic tape.

Luckily, they also released a one-page summary of tips so you don’t have to read the whole 90 pages just to figure out what you should and should not be doing.

Of course, one of the best practices to follow, no matter what type of storage media you use, is to make backups. If you have more than one copy, your chances of retaining your work is greatly increased.

Although the backup advice sounds like common sense, anyone whose worked in tech support or any other arena helping non-techies deal with technology will recognize how uncommon that sense can be.