Steven C. Barr and List Members:

There is information on the Internet that indicates that almost any kind of
material applied to a DVD can lead to degradation of the disc. Therefore
even applying a unique serial number is problematical.

Some discs are sold with embossed unique serial numbers. These could be used
to do an a, b, c documentation of every disc that Steven envisions. (a is
the serial number, b is the insert put in the Jewel case with the disc and c
would be a database record. I suggest adding d, a permanent log book of
every disc by serial number of data base entry. This would be an archival
book, acid free and archival quality journal recorded in using archival
approved non-acid pens. As for e, place the serial number into the disc as
the volume label as applicable.

Have any had experience using discs with manufacturer applied serial

If one is going to "take a chance" and write a serial number on the disc
using an acid free archival approved pen marker and write the serial number
very near the hub of the disc on the non-media side. (Just my own idea
applying what I think I understand.) Marking pens have solvent and solvent
induced stress crazing introducing the opportunity for moisture and
atmospheric infiltration is probably the biggest risk with applying a number
with such a pen. Graphite pencils might be able to write a legible label on
a "printable" type disc. These would not necessarily be permanent but might
avoid the problem of solvents. I have heard of using china markers. These
may also not use solvents but I am not familiar with them.

Applying a serial number with a vibrating engraving pen would have the
advantage of not chemically stressing the plastic of the disc but there
would be mechanical stress. Does anyone have any information on whether the
stress induced by a limited small writing with an engraving pen might cause
long term degradation of a disc. If the only difficulty is a short term
chance of disc damage, this can be dealt with by writing the numbers on the
disc before they are used (recorded to).

As to printing on a label, has anyone seen any claims that (1) such label to
the disc printers use inks that are not in any way harmful to survivability
of the disc and (2) for the durability and long term readability of such
labels. Aside from manufacturers claims I would not trust such labels unless
some analysis and longer term and accelerated studies had been performed
with them. Such studies would be specific to a particular printer and
particular ink media so I would not expect that much information would be
available. We face the same difficulty with the discs themselves.

The minimalist approach suggests that whatever way one applies the mark that
the mere addition of a unique serial number to the disc on the obverse side
near the hub is going to be the least likely to cause data loss of archived
discs. I would prefer using the manufacturer applied serial numbers.

Ralph Bradley

Steven wrote the ARCLIST:

From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2003 12:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Labeling Software

Also, could you not assign each CD-R or cassette a number, which could be
put on any label or even written with a marker on the recording medium, and
then make sure the insert, or even the plastic case, or both, also has the
same number? Data on the recording could then be put both on the appropriate
insert and in a catalog database (and if the inserts are printed in MS Word,
the database could be kept in MS Access, making data import simple!)
Steven C. Barr