I once had a 600 CD library... I later found out only 1/3 of them work... I have been using ZFS raid as long term storage since.
My warcraft disks? corrupted (and not a single scratch on them), my starcraft disks? gone... my red alert disk? corrupted... etc...
16bit installers and incompatible DRM aside, the physical media itself has a limited shelf life
Sounds like your cd player or storage is too close to your speakers or other magnets. Even still cds and dvds are only rated to last so long. Of course having hard copies does help. For instance I just had a problem with LFD2 which STEAM couldnt find it.. Therefore it wouldn't re-download and fix digitally. They only way was to re-install from disk. Whoever can come up with removable digital media to distribute games that has at least a 50 year shelf life is gonna make some money. As a matter of fact I don't see why games aren't distributed on small flash cards. Of course they have a limit to how many times you can read/write to them too.
P.S. Impulse Rules.. I like the option of getting the digital and hard copy. They should offer this on all games.
I don't own a CD player, I only use disks in a computer. And magnets do not harm CDs, they are made out of lacquer and plastic.
My CDs were kept in cases, in the dark, in my living room, which is always climate controlled at 72 degrees.
Now I want to make a counter argument. And that is disk, as in CD/DVD, have an extremely long shelf life and that's kinda the point of having them.
Thats not a counter argument, thats a lie. Disks do not have extremely long shelf life, anyone who tells you they do is a liar or is ignorant and likely trying to sell you on the stuff... Now, DVDs have better longevity than VHS tapes, and CDs better longevity than audio cassettes... but that isn't "extremely" long.
CD-R recordings are designed to be permanent. Over time the dye's physical characteristics may change, however, causing read errors and data loss until the reading device cannot recover with error correction methods. The design life is from 20 to 100 years, depending on the quality of the discs, the quality of the writing drive, and storage conditions. However, testing has demonstrated such degradation of some discs in as little as 18 months under normal storage conditions.
This failure is known as CD rot
. CD-Rs follow the Orange Book
Also note that I was mostly storing data on them, so there were noticable data errors... aka, failed CRC check on extracting archives and the like. The most common case is with old game disks, there would be a few corrupt files that prevent a game from installing
CD/DVD are very durable but they are not indiscructable. First of they are not "easy to scratch" as in it happens during the course of everyday use. You have to mishandle them by doing things like leaving them out on the desk and not in their case, tossing them in piles, and etc. The vast majority of my CD/DVD collection, which is extensive, has zero scratches. Accedents to happens so things can get scratched but if your smart about handling them they won't get scratched.
The vast majority of mine has zero scratches too.. I lost many disks by letting my little brother handle them when I was younger, and besiides.. "vast majority" should be "Every single one"... Blu-ray disks actually have a hard coating that resists scratches. CDs and DVDs are extremely soft and easy to scratch. Even you who claim to handle them carefully have scratched disks...
Second the disk no longer works even though it "appears" in perfect condition. Again CD/DVDs are durable and don't simply "wear out" by sitting around
Yes they do, its called disk rot. You saying it "again" doesn't make it true... physics and chemistry are such that objects decay over time. Some things can decay so slowly that their effective life is much longer than that of a human... in reality this is not the case with CD/DVDs... it was meant to be the case (the design spec calls for 10 to 100 years longevity), but they don't actually meet the design requirements.
They are made of plastic which can warp if exposed to high tempetures.
Look, if you can't do real research, can't you at least rip off wikipedia? Even a shoddy source like wikipedia would tell you that CDs are not made out of plastic. The plastic is just to protect the actual storage layer, which is a dye, lacquer, or metallic substrate... there are a variety of ways of making them actually. As for the plastic layer... plastic is a common term for polymers, which are giant single molecules who are made from a series of small basic molecules (called monomer) which repeat across the chain to form one big structure. polymers come in a huge variety of strengths, some of which are ridiculously strong.
Sometimes it's not as obvious that it go hot enough or that any warping ocurred. I had a friend who left some VHS tapes and CDs in his car on a hot summer day. The VHS tapes were all warped looking but the CDs appeared fine yet when he tried to use them they wouldn't play. CD/DVD use very sensative and percise placement with the laser to work and if it's offset just slightly it won't work anymore.
Yea... this is exactly NOT what I was talking about... I never exposed my disks to that sort of heat.
I have no idea what kind of condition you guys store you CDs in over the many years or how you guys treat them but mine I've always taken care of and they still work even after 10+ years. When I have moved I always pack them up and move them myself. I don't trust some moving company that could leave them sitting in a hot truck for hours on end and potential ruin them like my friend did with his in the car. I put them back in a case when I'm done using them.
I also always move them myself. My guess is that your collection contained fewer games (pressed) and burned (CD-R) data disks and more store purchased (pressed) music disks... Degradation is much more common in CD-Rs, and it is very visisble in data (games are data), and not very noticeable in music.
I've never see a disc just go bad for no apparent reason
Then you don't won enough disks... mine were all kept in 72 degrees, in a case, not exposed to light or anything else... disks just go bad.