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UglyTruckling said:
At the risk of sounding like a dunce, I'm curious -- I've always just written with a Sharpie marker the artist/CD information on the top of each CD I've burned. Is there anything bad about this practice?
There have been reports of issues with the alcohol eating through the CD plastic and then affecting the dye that is what is changed when "burned." I've had CD's and DVD's become "bad" from too much exposure to light (the dyes used are photo sensitive). There are CD "safe" markers available that are water based ink.


-ridgeln
 

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ridgeln said:
There have been reports of issues with the alcohol eating through the CD plastic and then affecting the dye that is what is changed when "burned." I've had CD's and DVD's become "bad" from too much exposure to light (the dyes used are photo sensitive). There are CD "safe" markers available that are water based ink.


-ridgeln
Interesting, I never knew that. Sometimes I go the lazy route and use a Sharpie, but I'll keep my eye out for the CD-safe markers to use instead. (I also have a printer that can print onto CDs -- an Epson R300, excellent ink jet IMHO -- but I'm too lazy to use it for every CD.)
 

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ridgeln said:
There have been reports of issues with the alcohol eating through the CD plastic and then affecting the dye that is what is changed when "burned." I've had CD's and DVD's become "bad" from too much exposure to light (the dyes used are photo sensitive). There are CD "safe" markers available that are water based ink.


-ridgeln
Thanks for the tip -- I'll pick up a CD marker.
 

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Personally, I'm glad this post is here. I often make my own CD's and get some from family members. I never would have given it a second thought about the labels being a problem. Then again, never had a multi-disc CD changer either.

I will be taking those CD's out of my truck today so I don't forget.

Thanks for the post and heads up.
 

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ridgeln said:
There have been reports of issues with the alcohol eating through the CD plastic and then affecting the dye that is what is changed when "burned." I've had CD's and DVD's become "bad" from too much exposure to light (the dyes used are photo sensitive). There are CD "safe" markers available that are water based ink.


-ridgeln
I've been a big live-music trader for a long time and have CDRs with Sharpie-type marker writing on them that are 8 or 10 years old, and they still work fine (also negating the continuing stories on how CDRs will only last a few years - I just saw a new report today, in fact.) The alcohol in the markers dissipates within minutes leaving only the pigment behind. The likelihood of whatever caustic element is left actually hurting the disc is pretty low. I've also tried those water-based markers and they're pretty bad - they smear very easily. Not worth the trouble.
 

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tcj -

I agree that the alcohol will dissipate very quickly (having a low vapor pressure does this). However, I think it is probably on there long enough to dissolve a little of the face, and depending on the CD quality, it may be enough to destroy the integrity of the CD.

To back up my assertion, I did try looking at the Sanford site (Sanford makes Sharpie markers) and could not readily find any info there. However, doing a further search on this topic really brings to light that this is a highly discussed topic. This media supply company has a specific recommendation to not use Sharpie (or other solvent based markers) on CD/DVD's.

http://services.mediasupply.com/cd_dvd_duplication/faq.html#q6

I think this is something for the Mythbusters!

-ridgeln
 

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At the risk of sounding overly anal,:D from the viewpoint of someone that tends to stand just outside a discussion most of the time so as to get a better view of the big picture, I think this discussion underscores a common theme. I am one of those people that loves science and math, and is schooled in economics. While there have been several excellent technical points raised here relative to the most effective and safest means of marking on disks, I wonder if the issue, or better yet, the impression that these "warnings" are intended to leave us with, is more economic based than scientific.

It seems that more and more these days, we are faced with reports publicized (not necessarily published) that suggest a certain position or action on our part in favor of, or against, a certain product. This is where common sense must rule! For example, the company making special markers for CD/DVD labeling wants you to believe that a standard Sharpie will damage the disk somehow. Whether or not that is a fact may be overshadowed by their desire to sell as many markers as they can (economics)! :eek: We as the consumer must show some common sense in dealing with this potential misinformation. I think the beauty of forums like this is that we get the benefit of the experiences of our piers. Their actual experiences are the real value, such as TCJ's with 8 to 10 year old CDRs.

Make no mistake, I am not supporting the use of stick-on labels. Common sense should tell you that they present a real danger to players, etc. But I have also used Sharpies a great deal with no issues.

Years ago there was a report that VHS tapes would degrade over a few years if not used regularly. Well, I have tapes that were recorded over 20 years ago, and get played about once every 5 to 10 years. They're fine. I think we were being asked to unnecessarily buy more tapes.:p

Here I am writing a book again. Someone stop me please!! Hey Ladyridge, do I get credit for multiple posts if mine go over a certain length?:D lol

Todd
 

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Hi Todd -

gee - how do you really feel about this? No - no extra credit for long posts. :D You may be TOTALLY right about the economic line of thought. But I could not find anywhere on the Sharpie site that specifically stated that it was OK to use their markers on CD's. Wouldn't it make economic sense to them to come out and state it is ok? (Unless they have a "CD Safe" marker?)

Ok - I guess we are all agreed:

Labels on Ridgeline CD's = Bad
Sharpie markers on CD's = Do what you want. :D

And Todd, they made video tape that long ago? You're really that old? I thought LadyRidge robbed the cradle w/ you! Di you lug around the camera on your shoulder and the recorder an a dolly? Do you still have your reel-to-reel tapes? How about 8-track? :D

-ridgeln
 

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Ok - I did take a quick look at the US Govt Doc (one of the publishing groups for it being NIST - my father-in-law used to work for them).

"Numerous CD vendors have noted that the thin protective lacquer coating can deteriorate from contact with certain solvents in markers. To eliminate the risk, water-based markers are recommended for CD labeling. As a solvent, alcohol is generally less damaging than xylene and toluene, which are common in aromatic solvent-based markers. According to anecdotal reports, alcohol-based markers can be used to label CDs without causing performance problems. However, there are no explicit lab test results to show what effect solvents in markers have on different CDs or DVDs, particularly over the long term."

and:

"Many vendors sell CD-safe markers, and they vary in ink solution. They should not contain any solvents harmful to CDs or DVDs but should have a permanent quality. For risk-free labeling of any disc, it is best to mark the clear inner hub or the so-called mirror band of the disc, where there are no data."

-ridgeln
 

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ridgeln said:
Ok - I did take a quick look at the US Govt Doc (one of the publishing groups for it being NIST - my father-in-law used to work for them).

"Numerous CD vendors have noted that the thin protective lacquer coating can deteriorate from contact with certain solvents in markers. To eliminate the risk, water-based markers are recommended for CD labeling. As a solvent, alcohol is generally less damaging than xylene and toluene, which are common in aromatic solvent-based markers. According to anecdotal reports, alcohol-based markers can be used to label CDs without causing performance problems. However, there are no explicit lab test results to show what effect solvents in markers have on different CDs or DVDs, particularly over the long term."

and:

"Many vendors sell CD-safe markers, and they vary in ink solution. They should not contain any solvents harmful to CDs or DVDs but should have a permanent quality. For risk-free labeling of any disc, it is best to mark the clear inner hub or the so-called mirror band of the disc, where there are no data."

-ridgeln
Awesome. I'm glad someone was able to get through that thing!
 

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Ridgeln,

Yeah, I'm an old fart. LOL As for my Lady robbing the cradle, If she did, she was still in diapers.

Don't laugh, I remember all those "pieces of technology." Never had reel to reel, but I sure wanted one. 8-track tapes were "cool." I especially loved it when a long song would cross tracks. LOL. Still have an old receiver with a built-in 8-track "deck" as they used to be called, but no tapes left. Mom got rid of them years ago.

Bought my first VHS VCR in about 1983. Taped a lot of movies from TV broadcasts, and a few from "video disks." Do you remember those? never got very popular, but they were the forerunner to the DVD. About the size of an old vinyl LP. Oh, and what about "Beta?" The Betamax! OMG, when VHS really hit the market, having Beta was like having the plague.

Ah, those were the days. LOL

Todd
 

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Hey Ridgester,

From a previous post on this thread from TCJ:
tcj said:
I've been a big live-music trader for a long time and have CDRs with Sharpie-type marker writing on them that are 8 or 10 years old, and they still work fine (also negating the continuing stories on how CDRs will only last a few years - I just saw a new report today, in fact.).......
Also, I personally have music CDs from a few years ago that are fine, and one or two data CDs at work that are about 6 or 7 years old. No problems. In my opinion, we are dealing with an industry that prides itself on snookering the public into believing they need things they really don't just to increase sales (see my previous post RE: VHS tapes). They're taking advantage of our ignorance to the technical side of their industry. Call me cynical, but hey, experience has taught me.

Can anyone else add some personal experience to mine and TCJ's?

Todd
 

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Aibikr,

I think you're right, the video disks I was thinking of were called Laserdisks. I never owned any, but a friend of mine did, when we were in high school. Both of us worked for Radio Shack.

Todd
 

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I also have data and audio cds that are well past the 2 year mark. Many bordering on 5 years.

Some of the degredation may come from the storage environment as well. If you leave your cds on your visor in 100+ degree temps the cds are going to fail sooner than a cd kept at 70 degrees.
 

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Mayfielh,

I think you have assaulted the steel fastener on the cranium. :D I think the longevity has everything to do with care and maintenance. I see no reason why, with proper care, they shouldn't last indefinitely.

Todd
 

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Lady's Buck said:
Mayfielh,
I think you have assaulted the steel fastener on the cranium. :D
Todd
Confused :confused: and Complimented :D (I think)
 

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Discussion Starter #40
He meant you hit the nail on the head, Mayfielh. :D
 
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