Written by John Moeller
It is important that you know that digital media is not permanent. Many of us may think that converting video tapes, film, photos, slides and negatives to digital automatically makes them more secure or even permanent. That is simply not true.
While it is true that digital files are all 1’s and 0’s and inherently do not change or degrade, the media which you store your files, pictures, videos and audio will degrade. It is the degradation of the media that eventually brings rise to the loss of the images and data that is stored on it. As the media decays, eventually some of the data is lost and after enough data is lost or just the wrong parts of the data is lost, entire files and in some cases all of the files can be lost.
(It is important to convert your old video tapes, films, photos, slides, negatives and audio to digital because they are degrading. In fact, many of your memories are likely to be in various states of distress. Some of them may even be close to their end of life and at risk of being permanently lost. This is especially true of many video cassettes and 8mm or Super8 film)
The various media which we store our digital files each degrade at different rates and it is important to use a digital medium that will reliably last long enough that you don’t lose your memories before you or your descendents are ready to convert to whatever bill be the next good storage medium.
In the reminder of this article, I will try to provide an overview of the current media you might be considering and my opinions and suggestion for how to best store your digital memories for now and into the future.