You probably know that scratches on a CD or DVD can make them un-playable. If you have young children or work in a public library, you know this only too well. I’ve safely cleaned smudges off of pre-recorded DVDs using a soft cloth dampened with a little water, but I’ve never attempted to remove scratches. […]

Yesterday — August 17, 2007 — was the CD’s 25th birthday. Who could have predicted that this little piece of plastic would become a common storage medium for digital documents and photographs? (Extra credit question: When was the last time you saw a floppy disk?) Who imagined back in the 80s that we’d be able […]

. Readers comment on JPEG, The Practical Archivist responds. One of the reasons why I keep harping on JPEG is that I want you to realize that the format used by digital cameras might disappear someday. Obsolescence ain’t pretty, and if you’re like most people you probably never think about it. Anyhoo. I started to […]

Just days after I wrote about how Microsoft is making a concerted effort to render JPEG obsolete, I learned that folks in the library/archives world have been discussing the possibility of JPEG 2000 as an acceptable format for long term digital preservation. Instead of, or in addition to, TIFF. I learned about this from Jill […]

CDs are cheap and plentiful, which is great for sharing digital files and making extra backup copies. But it also means there are (literally) tons of junk CDs lying around. Instead of adding them to a landfill, why not get crafty and recycle them instead? In addition to funky sculptures like the one you see […]

Folks, I know I promised the next post would be about naming your digital files so you can find them later, but I just got word of an important* new test standard for DVDs. [*Originally, I used the word “exciting” to describe the test. Then I realized I’m probably the only one to actually get […]

I’m not sure whether this counts as steampunk or not, but any way you slice it, that’s a beautiful anachronism. And, yes — it actually plays CDs. The speakers are in the trumpet. By bringing back a familiar nostalgic form of a phonograph, the design seeks transport the user back to the golden age of […]

A while back, I took a first stab at answering a reader’s question about flash drives. He wanted to know if they were safe for long term storage. Here’s what I said (cue time machine music):——————————– I got an email from a new subscriber to my newsletter. He was asking me to update my free-with-subscription […]

.Variety has an interesting article about how to preserve movies that were captured digitally. The news is not so good. Sony’s Vice President of asset management and film restoration says Sony’s archiving program includes migrating every two to three years. Great idea, but keep in mind that the amount of data to be migrated is […]

.Remember how I was complaining just a few minutes ago about links that download PDFs automatically? Well, I just started reading one of them and it’s great. Yeah, life can be funny that way. Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Information by Jeff RothenbergRevision: February 22, 1999Click here to download the PDF. Here’s his great opener: […]