What is the best way to store all your precious music?
With so many media to choose from there's no simple answer ....... Or is there?
I think nearly everyone here would agree the best sound comes from vinyl records played on a decent hi-fi, but vinyl is a very fragile media that picks up clicks and pops from the first needle drop and is susceptible to heat, dust, clumsiness and poor storage.
Before our time, recorded word and/or music was first made available using Phonautogramons, then wax cylinders and other low quality methods [Google Wiki audio formats].
As a youth, I'd always buy vinyl records and play once to record to tape [cassettes were the common and reasonably priced tape media then], then carefully store the album, E.P. or single with my other ones in an upright position in a dark dry cool cupboard. Then I'd listen to the 2nd best available format, the cassette, for future plays. Hardly ideal. I took up a lot of space as my collection grew, but it was the best I could do. There were also 8-track and reel-to-reel options available, both superior to your average cassettes but pricier.
About fifty years later, the cassettes would sound hissy from tape particle dropout and the vinyl was to be, mostly, unfortunately long gone.
Then along came CDs with the [false] promise of lasting a lifetime yet sounding somehow rather cold compared to vinyl. To follow were many forms of CD/DVD.
Did you know standard CDs are of such poor quality that they start to degrade in 3-5 years? I only read that today and was shocked!
The good news is if you'd like your precious digital recordings to last much longer, there's been improvements, up to the king of them all - M-DISCS.
These muthas - Millenniata claims that properly stored M-DISC DVD recordings will last 1000 years. You might not realistically last that long [ ], but if you want your goodies to be here for future generations benefit, they aren't that expensive, eg. Verbatim M-DISC BD-R 25GB 4X with Branded Surface - 25 on a spindle for about £50 plus P&P.
If 1000 years sounds a bit excessive, there's KODAK or equivalent CD-R discs, 200 years archival grade for about £1.20 each [standard 700MB capacity]. Not as good value as the M-DISC DVDs, though.
Hardly a comprehensive treaty on storage media, but I hope that was of interest to some of you. Search around the web for your preferred stuff!
Vinyl last pretty well in my opinion and 60s UK pressings still sound amazing despite lots of use.
It would of course be in Millenniata's interest to claim all other digital storage formats are inferior to theirs. In 100 years let alone 1,000 years who will be around from now to challenge their claim! How do they know already? Within twenty years the hardware / players on which their discs can be used will be antiques so even if the discs last 1000 years, the players won't be around to use them on!! I very much doubt the physical integrity of the discs would be up for a 1000 years of non-degradable stability anyway just through the natural process of entropy (The effect of time on material objects). The claims sounds like a boastful American travelling quack from the 19th Century with their cure-all potions.I don't doubt the discs are high quality (blu-ray technology I think) but similar claims were being made for standard CDRs 25 years ago.
I think the best music storage system is whichever one gives you the satisfaction and enjoyment from the music. For instance I have both a Japanese SHM stereo cd edition of The Hollies 'Butterfly' and an original 1967 mono LP in used but good condition. Both have a different and attractive sound. The old LP as was mentioned in the previous post though fifty years old sounds assertive and vital with that vinyl warmth you get from old records. The CD has a cleaner and more separated sound which is equally attractive in a different way so I enjoy both versions. I get different sonic dimensions from the two formats.
In the same way that the digital revolution has enabled old music to find new audiences and keep itself vital and relevant and above all available, and known about, I am sure future innovations will ensure the new music of today will be the next generation's rediscovery via ever evolving media. I do hope so anyway.
I find the best storage media to be a large garderobe used as a receptible for all my musical accoutrements.
All my mechanical phonograph cylinders remain in mint condition.
Yeah! Thanks to those who commented. I'm pleased to hear [and not surprised]that many of us still appreciate listening to music on vinyl, regardless of the toil time may have taken on the disc.
I remember my very worn copy of Electric Ladyland, with all it's pops and scratches sounding wonderful on every play on many trips, but eventually it started to skip so i got a new copy and it took a while for me to adjust to it without the added sounds from it's wear.
Some great wisdom and wit in your comments, folks and - mr b - i needed your humour. Your scepticism is refreshing, Paul and thanks mr P P for your cool reply.
Keep on trucking and grooving to the sounds.
Love, Peace and Music,
For me vinyl rules hands down on warmth of sound longevity[if handled and played correctly and also stored correctly]