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Re your last line, George, what problems should we be worrying about?

Steve Smolian

P.S.  Sticky shed was not measured for. The variations in error rates are 
being measured for.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "GeorgeBlood" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Clarifying the MAM-A gold comment


> As I understand, the "issues" (we won't call them "problems") trace the 
> recent history of the company, as the Gold product line has been sold 
> several times in the last five years.  I'm not clear enough about that 
> history to recount it, but my impression is that the underlying troubles 
> are not "greed" but distraction.  CD manufacturing and CD-R manufacturing 
> in particular, is extremely competitive.  Price vs. costs are driven more 
> by survival than by squeezing the last penny out of the customer. Whatever 
> the reason, our collective concerns are with the ends, not the means -- we 
> don't buy media because a company makes less money than another, we buy it 
> because it's "better."  "Better" to most consumers is "cheaper". And, 
> sorry for this dose of reality, there aren't enough folks in archives 
> demanding "higher quality" to show up as dither in the sales data for 
> CD-R.  Which is where developing relationships to a niche player (like 
> MAM-A) is potentially good.  Keeping in mind of course, my tiny media 
> supplier moves 500,000 blank CD-R every month.  Or probably more than 
> every CD-R used in preservation world-wide every year.
>
> We've had serious concerns about the "Mitsui Golds" for some time. We have 
> test equipment here and have been monitoring their media.  It varies very 
> widely from batch to batch, and have returned batches with poor results. 
> We also find best results vs. burn speed vary from batch to batch.  So we 
> lose a few dozen discs from each batch to find the best process window. 
> (Although the MAM-A Gold, according to the company, is rated to 52x, 
> lately we're finding the best results at 16x.  They generally have scored 
> badly at low speeds, 1x and 2x) A new shipment just came in, so we'll be 
> going through this again this week.)
>
> We have found MAM-A very responsive to our worries, have never hesitated 
> to replace media, and seem to appreciate the feedback and test results.
>
> I'm not here to be apologist for MAM-A.  Back in the day when they gained 
> their reputation they made exceptionally fine CD-Rs, better than anything 
> we tested (and we do testing ALL the time -- for some projects, every 
> single disc; and routinely on all our burners to monitor aging and process 
> window).
>
> For consistency and exceptionally low error rates (across the board, BLER, 
> E11, E12, E21, E22, E31 and E32), TY takes our prize.  They're 
> consistently so good I haven't bothered lately to bring in other cyanine 
> discs for comparison.  But they do stand in stark contrast to MAM-A. 
> Typical of CD-Rs, MAM-A Golds have high E12 errors.  Atypical of CD-Rs, 
> TY's have very low E12 errors (I'm told no one knows why CD-Rs have 
> characteristically high E12 errors).
>
> But does any of this matter?  Does the error rate increase?  Does it 
> increase perpetually or does it plateau?  Does it accelerate 
> exponentially?  Has entropy been repealed by polycarbonate?  By the time 
> the error rates get high enough to be un-correctable (whether the discs 
> last for 50, 100 or 300 years), will there be hardware to play them on? 
> What do accelerated aging tests tell us?  (Did accelerated aging tests 
> predict Sticky Shed Syndrome?)  Any good mathematicians out there who can 
> tell us, in relation to the available error correction power of the 
> format, how much is being spent correcting for these variations in 
> manufacturing?  Is all this a tempest in a tea pot?
>
> Are we worried about the right problem?
>
> G
>
>>Tom Fine writes:
>>>Not disputing your facts at all. However, I find it curious that Mitsui
>>>would see such a need for
>>>cost-cutting.
>>
>>
>>Of course, I am not privy to the corporate meetings that led to this
>>decision, but I'd love to go back in time and preempt it!
>>
>>It's probably all about market share and dwindling profits.  We
>>professionals aren't driving this market and will be marginalized
>>accordingly.
>>
>>When I get the chance to contact Mitsui directly about all of this, I'll
>>report to the list whatever I discover.
>>
>>Chas.
>>
>>--
>>Charles Lawson <[log in to unmask]>
>>Professional Audio for CD, DVD, Broadcast & Internet
>
>
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