Lam1969 writes "Computerworld has interviewed Kurt Gerecke, an IBM storage expert and physicist who claims burned CDs only have a two to five-year lifespan, depending on the quality of the CD. From the article: "The problem is material degradation. Optical discs commonly used for burning, such as CD-R and CD-RW, have a recording surface consisting of a layer of dye that can be modified by heat to store data. The degradation process can result in the data 'shifting' on the surface and thus becoming unreadable to the laser beam." Gerecke recommends magnetic tapes to store pictures, videos and songs."