CD-eating fungus?
June 18, 2001 7:53 AM   Subscribe

CD-eating fungus? I don't live in Central America, but I'm sure that someone that does might move to the USA at some point. Will we need to start watching how we share CDs? Time to rip everything I own and store it on CompactFlash memory.
posted by dwivian (13 comments total)
Other than the CD decaying on its own and scratches, a major destroyer of CDs is and will be the ink printed on the CD itself. The ink actually ate through the CD after about a a couple of months on a Maria Callas box set -- Sony (I think) issued a recall for exchange. Expect that to happen much more often as time elapses, especially those older CDs...
posted by panopticon at 8:09 AM on June 18, 2001

Sounds like something out of The Andromeda Strain, save it eats through aluminum, rather than synthetic rubber.
posted by Cavatica at 8:15 AM on June 18, 2001

Cool. Maybe the world won't end in fire or ice, but rather fungus.

I read about 10 years ago that it wasn't clear how long the aluminum oxide, or whatever a CD-* is made of would last and that at some point, the coating would suddenly disappear.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:17 AM on June 18, 2001

While this speaks little to specific instances with respect to types of inks, and such, I can say with confidence that my oldest CD, purchased in mid october of 1983 is just fine. Held up to the light, there is a little evidence of pinholing, but the disc plays beautifully.

But that's just one disc's story over an 17.5 year lifetime. I shudder at the thought of a fungus invading my CD collection.
posted by jburka at 8:56 AM on June 18, 2001

This is exactly why DeCSS is necessary. The beauty of digital media is that perfect copies can be made (but I don't need to lecture you savvy metafilterers on that) before the originals are destroyed by something like a fungal outbreak.
posted by Eamon at 9:39 AM on June 18, 2001

I wonder what the record companies will be readying when the next big format upgrade comes around....

"wow, so all your cd's just dissolved? why not take this occasion to upgrade your entire collection to super-hyper-mega-micro-disc format, for only $34.99/album?"
posted by andrewraff at 9:45 AM on June 18, 2001

When I lived in sticky Singapore a few years ago, mold flourished on my floppy disks, rendering them not only useless but also lethal -- they clogged up any drive I put them in. Something strange also grew on my CDs, but they still worked. I don't think any of these creatures would survive if removed from a hot and ultrahumid environment, so the chance of, say, a foreign fungus wiping out the CD collections of New Yorkers seems unlikely.
posted by davidfg at 10:42 AM on June 18, 2001

Great. Something else to make the vinyl crowd even more smug.

Anyone want to sell me a turntable? I've got about 400 albums that might just start being a whole lot more relevant soon.
posted by Skot at 10:44 AM on June 18, 2001

My *sniff* David Lee Roth Eat`Em And Smile disc developed something like this. A big hole oxidized right in the middle of *uncontrolled sobbing* Bump And Grind.


Seriously, it's a bummmer.
posted by dong_resin at 10:49 AM on June 18, 2001

I knew Eddie Van Halen had something to do with this...
posted by machaus at 10:57 AM on June 18, 2001

Perhaps someone will develop a CD prophylactic so that our cd burners will be safe?? hurry please!!!
posted by danger at 12:40 PM on June 18, 2001

I'm sure that this virus was created by scientists employed by the Big Five record labels... And this one is even worse than the Brittney Spears virus they unleashed... Unless of course the CD-eating virus only eats Brittney Spears CDs in which case it's coverup and one I can fully support...
posted by fooljay at 12:44 PM on June 18, 2001

I live in a particular sticky humid part of Hawaii and I've borrowed a few cds from people that have lived here a long time and some of the disks looked like that had bubbles in them --sort of transparent, I don't know if that's what the article was talking about but...geez, freaky.
posted by Craig at 8:25 PM on June 18, 2001

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