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Time Capsule - Media Type - Last for 20 Years

Posted on 2011-04-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

I need to submit something for my Neices 1st birthday, as a time capsule she will likely open in 20 years. I want to include some video, music, and pictures. So that brings up two main questions for me.
1. What files types will stand the test of time? Although I can always include some codecs, etc, whatever I can find.
2. Most importanly, what Media Type should I use? I am thinking maybe DVD would be the best, and put everything in the format of a slideshow with DVD Maker. Currently I can still buy a VHS, which is 30 year old tech, so i assume in 20 years one could find, at least at a collectible store, a dvd player.

What you are thoughts? reasoning?
Question by:markterry
  • 3

Assisted Solution

bill30 earned 1800 total points
ID: 35428134
Gold label DVD's have a lab-rated life-span of 100 years, if handled properly. MAM-A silver label CDs and DVD's can start to degrade after 20-30 years.  Stay away from VHS or anything magnetic.

Accepted Solution

bill30 earned 1800 total points
ID: 35428186
I realized I could have been more helpful.  Make sure to put it in a jewel case, and store it on its side (i.e. not face down on the data).

Here is a link for archivists and librarians and what they do to preserve data.


Here is a link so you have an idea of what the "gold label DVD-Rs" are (stay away from DVD-RW):


There is also some talk of cd/dvd rot, or bacteria that eat the aluminum in cd/dvd's, but is generally not found in a cd/dvd that was burned, maybe due to the process of burning the cd/dvd instead of stamping it.
LVL 50

Assisted Solution

dbrunton earned 200 total points
ID: 35428199
mp3 and ogg and wav file formats for sound

jpeg for graphics

avi and mpeg for video.

Assisted Solution

bill30 earned 1800 total points
ID: 35428257
Also try to use raw data when possible.  .tif for images, .wav for music, and .avi or a .mpg for video are the least compressed formats and likely to be easy to read by future hardware.  You might include a cd copy of Windows XP for some sort of emulation, but will likely be freeware like DOS 5.0 is today.  Those formats come readily viewable from a standard windows install and have already been around for 20 years.  (with the exception of upgrades to the containers .avi and .mpg)

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35428648
Thanks guys

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