A Stable Medium

Chris Sommovigo sent out a message this morning:

Interesting article today in The Globe and Mail about the impermanence of archival formats... Except vinyl.

Got me curious. Calling upon the author to explain, we learn:

In Britain, media have been reporting a strange mould affecting audiotape and videotape. Thousands of kilometres of magnetic tape have already been destroyed by the dust-like substance...

It seems, dear music lovers, that nature is rebelling against our inferior audio and video formats! It's almost like some summer blockbuster with that wonder-eyed Zooey Deschanel and what's his name.

selfdivider's picture

He f&*^ing threw away his Caruso 78s b/c he didn't think people still listened to vinyl!! ARgghghghg!!!

Stephen Mejias's picture

Horrifying, isn't it?

michaelavorgna's picture

a book printed using 16th-century technology can still be easily read by any user. We don't have to find a 16th-century viewing-machine to see it through.Oh crap! I just upgraded to paper 2.0. Will that be a problem?

AlexO's picture

The reason that Vinyl is archival is because it's not bio-degradable, thus very earth unfriendly. :D

john devore's picture

Actually professor AlexO, it's very earth friendly. What's truly unfriendly, hostile even, is a format that becomes obsolete in a decade or two and is unceremoniously swept into landfills. A vinyl LP in a paper sleeve that stays in use for 30-60 years is a whole lot more friendly than an aluminum and polycarbonate CD in a PVC jewelbox that someone chucks in a landfill in 7-8 years when it skips, or is ripped to their iPod.

Jerry's picture

Actually john devore...they're ALL earth unfriendly, EXCEPT music downloaded online from the digital ether. You can't pollute the world with 1's and 0's. (well, thats debatable on another level, I suppose.)

michaelavorgna's picture

Actually Jerry...What do think the average life span is of the PC or hard drive you download that music onto? 2 - 5 years? Then a huge % of PCs are off to the landfill. Figure tens of millions of PCs in landfills already...and of course PCs are filled with lots of nice toxic stuff. (not to mention monitors)

AlexO's picture

Just call me Al Goresky. :D

Buddha's picture

I wonder if the strange Mould is Bob.

Sorry, obscure Husker Du joke.

Maybe when we go fully non-volatile with our digital music storage things will keep better. What's the life span of a flash drive thing? Glass CD's?