[buug] "record" mp3/ogg?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Dec 22 20:22:48 PST 2004

Quoting Darlene Wallach (wallachd at earthlink.net):

> By LPs am I correct in assuming vinyl records?
> How long does the quality of the LPs last in
> regards to quality of sound?

(Observation:  This isn't really a computer/software question.  You're
probably not asking this in quite the right forum.)

This sort of divides into two cases:

1.  How long does an _unplayed_ LP's sound quality last?
2.  How long does an LP's sound quality last with ordinary usage?

As to the first case:  Not really sure.  If not exposed to sunshine,
heat, and other abuse, it might well last centures, depending on the
material used for the media.  Early 78 RPM records (which are not LPs,
but I thought I'd mention them) were on shellac, and have held up
extremely well.  So have lightly used (and unused) LPs on polyvinyl
chloride, which is was used for all such recordings from the late 1940s

I have a number of good-condition Mercury Living Presence and RCA
classical LPs from those years (1940s-50s), and, but for clicks and pops
resulting from dirt and the grooves and a certain amount of stylus wear,
they're exceptionally good.  Sensational, in fact, and famously so.

As to the second case:  In ordinary usage, most LPs tended to get badly
damaged by worn styluses and really crummy players, not to mention dirty
and sometimes warped by heat.  

> Is there any statistics or information on digital storage and how long
> that lasts in regards to quality of sound?

Digital storage _can_ in theory be essentially perfect indefinitely.
In practice, there can be lossage during transfers of various sorts.
Of course, also media can deteriorate.  

The information on media that I know best related to CDRs used for data
storage.  The best advice seems to be that most such discs are believed
reliable (if properly stored, not significantly scratched or dirtied,
etc.) for at least a couple of decades.  Commercially pressed CDs, which
use different media, are expected to have much longer lives than that.

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