Re: A writeable CD left on window sill
That sounds about right. I did a similar migration out of books of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. The inks and other substrates used in recordable discs simply degrade over time, until they eventually become unreadable. Inks can fade and phase-changing media can suffer unwanted changes. Depending on the quality of the manufacture, this can take anywhere from months to maybe 5 or 10 years, but that's gonna be true of any consumer-level archival medium today. After several years, a refresh definitely needs to be considered. The only reason archival quality opticals can last is because they're essentially laser-etching a stone-based medium. Thing is, they're NOT cheap. I do have a BD-XL burner capable of using something of the like, but the price/GB (not to mention it tops out at 100GB when hard drives regularly go 4-5TB these days) meant it was simpler and more affordable to just get a pair of hard drives and mirror them and keep parity archives within to deal with bit rot. Since I have to cycle my drives every several years anyway, this provided the greatest balance of affordability and risk mitigation.