Some of the readers mailed to me and asked, why do I digitalize my collections? The reason is as below.

I found at least one of my CD has a serious unrecoverable error. The outer circle has black stain on the inside layer. The track from #8 to end, definitely not readable, even with my laptop and Exact Audio Copy. The CD was “Carmen Meets Kharma”, STS SACD – The Essence of Music series (STS 611126). Was one of my really favorite collection 🙁

The surprising this was, this CD was not cheap. I’ve seen such phenomena on cheap-pirated-not so well manufactured CD. But rarely on fabricated one and with such rare usage (this CD condition was very good, almost no scratch and played less than 50 times in the 3 years period after I bought it).

More detail shot of the stain. Close up shot could tell us more.

The top appearance with the jewel case.


I decided to give a closer examination (after confirmed that this CD was no longer readable with different player so I couldn’t extract any data from track #8 to end – time for some experiment!). I gave an even closer look on the surface and finally I found the problem. The label layer on the top was no longer stuck to glass surface. So some external material could slip inside and make the data layer deformed and create some stain. After I gave a gentle rub, I could remove the label and all the data came into pieces 🙁

Another closer look. I didn’t really expect this thing to happen on such expensive audiophile grade CD (and also from STS, one of my favorite label who produced fantastic album like Ingram Washington).

The shoot from the back. The stain erupted from the outer circle, due to the label layer no longer stuck to the glass top surface.

The final appearance before this CD would go into the deeper parts of my shelves (or my bin). What a disappointing thing happens today. And finally, I started to check all of my collection and began to backup them with Exact Audio Copy, especially the important and collectible one.

Definitely, there is no such immortal thing. Even if you are talking about digital media that claimed will last forever. True – that the data will not change as long as the media remains still. But, you are saving those digital data on analog media (and some analog processes are still needed during the I/O operation). All of this processes are very vulnerable. Think it twice before it’s too late!