How long will audio tapes and discs last?

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Category: Storage
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Posted by Conservation Answers(Questions:33:Answers28)
Answered On 28 January, 2014 4:02 am

The oldest tapes stored in archives are still playable after 40 or 50 years, and discs have survived for a century or more. This potential lifespan can be considerably reduced if recordings are not manufactured, handled and/or stored correctly. Some tapes and discs have failed in less than ten years as a result of chemical instability, inadequate storage or improper handling.

When tapes last this long other factors such as the life of the format (availability of working replay equipment) become as important as the life of the tape itself.

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