Monday, January 24, 2011

It's About that Time: Backup Your Digital Mixtapes

Related to Elements: Underground Hip Hop, Crate Digging, Mixtape

"Backup? They're digital CDs, they'll last forever, right?"
When it comes to mixtapes burnt to CD-R, that's a misconception. They degrade quicker then you might expect, depending on the quality of the media, but eventually they will lose their ability to reflect the laser. Inevitably they will stop playing and be nothing more then coasters.

Ever look at an older CD-R and notice it's starting to become transparent? You better copy it to your hard-drive now (if it's not too late) or at least another CD-R else the music on that disc could be lost forever.

Think about that! How many mixtapes do you have that are very dope, and irreplaceable that showcases your favorite DJ's skills, and represent a specific moment in Hip Hop? You'll never get that music back, so back it up before it's too late! I would recommend saving it in .wav format, and storing it on a hard drive that gets backed up as well. With the ever growing size of inexpensive hard drives nowadays, that's not a big deal. There is no sound quality loss with .wav files opposed to mp3 ripping. Of course, you could always copy it to another CD-R but then you are just buying a bit more time, soon you'll have to replace the replacement.

"How long do they last?" There is mixed data on this if you look around, but some sources say 8-15 years depending on the quality of the CD-R product. I've had some mixes that didn't last that long, especially when I accidentally left them in the sun of a hot car. If you think about it, that's not very long at all. Records last indefinitely if stored properly, so maybe mixtapes on wax isn't such a bad idea after all.

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