How long does a digital file last?

Project Silica

How long does a digital file last? It depends how and where you save it. On a hard drive? It will last longer than 5 years, but less than 30 years. On a commercial CD, maybe 100 years, no one really knows. On a recordable CD or DVD? Less than 10 years for sure. On magnetic tape? More than 10 years, less than 100 depending upon how the tapes are stored. Sit with 100 digital archivists and you will get 100 different opinions about how to save digital files for future generations.

“Microsoft and Warner Bros. have collaborated to successfully store and retrieve the entire 1978 iconic “Superman” movie on a piece of glass roughly the size of a drink coaster, 75 by 75 by 2 millimeters thick.” It’s called Project Silica and it’s really awesome!

We just finished a massive digital archiving project and now that everything is stored and backed-up in four different places, the discussion has turned to long-term maintenance of the archive. Have you thought about keeping your most important videos, pictures and documents?

 

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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the co-host of "Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin" on the Westwood One Podcast Network. He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com

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