The New M-Disc Is a CD That Can Be Dipped in Liquid Nitrogen and Still Work

Illustration for article titled The New M-Disc Is a CD That Can Be Dipped in Liquid Nitrogen and Still Work

Millenniata and LG have teamed up to save the CD. Okay, maybe not exactly. They want to save your data by making a new disc that's super tough but also readable with any current DVD or Blu-ray drive.

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Even though they're pretty much obsolete, I think DVDs and Blu-rays are scrappy enough to last a lot longer than we think. But the problem with discs like that is the inevitable degradation. Ideally, they can last 50-100 years but in reality the discs will de-laminate and have read problems. Weather, temperature, it can all mess with the CD's fickle die layer (CDs store their data by burning the die layer and changing it from transparent to opaque).

Enter M-Disc, the "stone-like" CD that's made of a "natural" substance. Like other CDs, its constructed with multiple layers but unlike the other CDs there's no reflective or die layer in the M-Disc. What you etch onto the M-Disc is actually burned onto that stone-like substance so even if you dip it into scalding hot water or liquid nitrogen the marks of data are still there. It'll stay there forever, basically. The M-Disc stores 4.7GB (same as DVD), works with any DVD or Blu-Ray player and expects to be available in October for $3 a pop. [ComputerWorld]

DISCUSSION

"Even though they're pretty much obsolete"

DVDs are not obsolete. Not even close. Maybe in ten years they won't be in general use any more, but calling them obsolete now is ridiculous at best. Just walk through any software store/department and you will see that everything is available on disc.

Honestly, we don't need to keep trying to push DVDs into the dustbin of history like this. It'll happen on its own soon enough.