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Monday, June 12, 2006

T.O.P. Endorses: MAM-A Blank Media

As I’ve detailed at length elsewhere, I think it’s worthwhile to seek out the best CD-R and DVD-R media available. That would be MAM-A (U.S.) and MAM-E (Europe), née Mitsui. These use phthalocyanine dyes, are physically robust, and always identifiable (unlike the generic product almost universally sold by the usual suspects). I don’t think you necessarily need to spring for the gold disks over the silver, or the Archival Gold over the regular Gold. Take your pick.



Blogger DonovanCO said...

Mike; What is the difference, if any, between the MAM-A media and those sold under the Delkin label? Does MAM-A make the disks for the latter company?

9:22 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

It looks like they might be the same. I've contacted Delkin and asked them to confirm or deny. I'll post the answer when/if it comes.



9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting DVD longevity thread...

9:39 AM  
Blogger Dave New said...

If I recall, MAM-A bought out the Mitsumi patents, or vice versa (and then the Mitsumi folks adopted the MAM-A marketing name?)

In any event, these folks have been my choice of archival media since my source of Kodak Ultima Gold branded CDs dried up (I think they were done by Mitsumi, as well).

I've wondered about the Delkin connection, as well. It would be nice to be able to pick up some, if need be, at the local photo emporium or big-box electronics store, instead of having to mail-order them all the time.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Mike Sisk said...

Years ago I worked in the build department of a large software company. My task was to build the software from source and create master CDs which would be sent out for duplication.

For years we had been using Sony gold CDs. But once someone in purchasing decided that for the same money as the thousand-count lot I usually ordered we could get a whole pallet of cheaper ones. So this pallet arrives unannounced with thousands of cheap no-name blank CDs. I pulled some out and tried to use them -- no go, i/o errors during the burn. Pulled a few more out, still the same.

Apparently this whole lot was defective. Shortly thereafter the pallet disappeared and my normal Sony gold CDs reappeared.

This was my first lesson that not all blank CDs are created equally.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Dean Tomasula said...

Now that Kodak Gold CDs are no longer available, I find the MAM-As are the best out there (the gold ones).

6:14 PM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

Mike, any idea what type of DVD is better for archival, +R or -R?

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do they compare to the Taiyo Yuden discs? I've used those for years after reading many audiophiles endorse them.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

The problem with Taiyo Yuden is not the discs themselves, but that they can be difficult to identify reliably. Not only are they not consistently marked, but there are cases where they are actually counterfeited. It is for this reason that I don't recommend them. The discs themselves are of excellent quality if you know for sure what you are getting.


3:52 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

Albano, recordable or "read" (R) discs are generally better than "read-write," re-write," or multi-recordable (RW) discs.

In other words, for archiving, you want the ones that can only be recorded all in one go.


3:54 PM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

Thanks Mike, I was asking because I know that the two formats, (plus and minus), are different, and maybe one was better or imposing over the other one (alla vhs over beta). I wasn't talking about re-writable (I know the "RW" logo of +R dvds can be confusing).

6:48 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

It doesn't appear that permanence is affected either way. It's more a matter of compatibility with the two types of write engines.

Here's a link that explains the difference:


6:53 PM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

Thanks again Mike. I asked because Iive just bought a Sony writer, and it's compatible with both types, so I wanted to pick the "better" format for my back-ups (I also use CDs for this). It's a shame golden media is not available here in third world, only regular stuff from most manufacturers. Do you have a personal preference for plus or minus dvds?

7:17 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"Do you have a personal preference for plus or minus dvds?"

No. Neither one of them work in my CD burner! :-\



7:27 PM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

This is a good article on CDs and DVDs for archival purposes. They talk about MAM-A too.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I beg to differ; DVD-R are less endowed :) regarding error correction, and the laser itself uses a less stable modulation during the recording phase. DVD+R are a direct translation of CD-Rs, using the same recording scheme for the beam and (more important) the same type of subchannel data, making recovery of scratched (or otherwise damaged) discs much more safe.

For the ones that need a detailed explanation and the whole technical reason for choosing DVD+R, here's an article:

10:52 AM  
Blogger Mike Sisk said...

For anyone that really wants to know more about the care and feeding of CDs and DVDs the government is here to help.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has several documents available that folks might find useful:

12:29 PM  

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