Saturday, March 17, 2007

Physical media and bit rot

Last night, I played some of my old classical music CDs — good music to program to. The songs skipped every other second because of the scratches on the discs. It appeared that my careless handling of CDs over the years eventually caught up with me.

Tonight, I ripped some of these to Ogg Vorbis (an open and royalty-free file format similar to MP3) to see if I could listen to my songs without the skipping. Sure enough, they were all smooth!

Now, none of this is stuff that I'm terribly surprised about, but it just served as a reminder to me that relying only on physical media to store data is a little dangerous, especially when the medium goes bad or acts flaky. The lifetime of information on the network is short, but as long as it's out there, stored and accessed frequently, it's constantly being duplicated and refreshed.

Information that's alive and circulating is healthy information.


Steven Loi said...

The real source of the problem was your poor handling of the product. I'm sure it won't have skipped if you took better care of your CD. ;)

That said, good to hear about your weekend. It was more drama free from mine. I'll let you about it tomorrow.