A DVD is a DVD is a DVD... isn't it?

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Is data forever? Good question! If ever you have researched the durability of DVD discs you may have been disappointed to learn that their "lifetime" durability may in fact be quite limited. So, have any of you seen or even heard of a drive with this "M-Disc" logo on it?
M-DISC compatible DVD burner
The logo refers to compatibility with a new type of DVD disc. The drive you see here is made by Hitachi-LG, and is different from typical DVD burners in that it has a higher intensity laser. While the drive can also burn other DVDs, this laser is required to effectively engrave the mineral layer in M-DISC DVDs, which differentiates them from the dye layer in more conventional DVDs.

The technology is the property of a company called Millenniata (www.millenniata.com), which claims that these disks could last 1000 years. Of course, none of us are going to be around long enough to find out if that really is the case, but it's an interesting development and perhaps worthy of consideration if you, like us, are always on the lookout for novel ways to preserve your digital memories. The discs can reportedly be played back on any conventional DVD player, but our testing did uncover one otherwise good DVD drive which had difficulty reading the discs, while others read them as easily as the more common silver backed variety. (The M-disks neither need nor have a reflective layer as they don't contain dye.)

A final word - the drive itself is not significantly more expensive than any other regular DVD burner but the M-DISC discs themselves are relatively pricey compared to stacks of conventional DVD discs.