I’ve been using ‘M’ disks for some time and am highly satisfied with them for digital archival preservation.
The ‘M’ discs come in a variety of sizes from standard 4.7GB DVD’s to 100GB Blu-ray DVD. I’m still testing the larger size ‘M’ disks for archival qualities. But I can say, even with only partial tests complete, the large capacity Blu-ray ‘M’ disks far surpass standard AZO and Gold 4.7GB optical media for their archival abilities.
Here is a short rundown on some of the test results…
Silver AZO DVD’s failed after 24 days of sun. The MAM Gold DVD outlasts Silver AZO DVD’s about 25% with sun exposure. Although the amount of benefit you get from current gold media is not that remarkable.
As part of the test I was able to acquire one of Kodak’s 2007 original Preservation Gold DVD-R aka the 100 year DVD. It was very hard to come by, but I was able to buy a sealed, new Kodak Gold DVD from Australia. The Kodak Gold DVD has shown a marked difference from the MAM Gold media in resistance to sun exposure.
The Kodak Gold DVD has outlasted the MAM Gold DVD by 50%+ longer sun exposure. The MAM disc was useless after 30 days of sun exposure, the Kodak was still going strong with 45 days of sun, finally failing at about 50 days of sun exposure. (See footnote: a)
Whatever method Kodak used to make their Gold Archival DVD’s were far superior to anything on the market we have now for gold DVD’s. Surprisingly a silver CD lasted as long as the Kodak Gold before dying. But blue, dye based CD’s lasted only about 3 weeks in the sun.
For comparison, the 4.7GB ‘M’ disc has been in the sun 6.5 months with no ill effects. Test will close when it reaches 1 year of sun exposure.
Today I boiled a ‘M’ disc for 30 seconds. No ill effects. Disc is flat and reads perfectly. Does the ‘M’ disc last 1000 years as claimed? Who knows, but when it comes to “M’ discs, nothing can compare to them for toughness and they are your best bet for archival digital preservation using optical media.
4.7GB ‘M’ discs can be read on any DVD drive or DVD player. But, you cannot burn ‘M’ discs on a regular DVD drive. They must be burnt on a drive that supports ‘M’ discs.
Footnote (a) – I don’t have exact dates for failure with these tests. Sometimes I test media every few days, other times it is weekly or bi-monthly with ‘M’ discs. So I have a ‘range’ for pass and failure dates. Sun tests were done in the Rustbelt. If tests were conducted in California’s sun, results may differ. Once a disc fails to read any of the content I classify it as a fail. (Sometimes the test disc will read part of the data but not all.)