THE NEXT BIG DISC THING
Hard to know if we should get too excited about this one. Sony and Panasonic have put their collective heads together and come up with the Archival Disc optical disc storage system. The name says it all, these are marketed towards professional storage with the double-sided, three layer discs currently capable of holding 300GB with plans afoot for 500GB and 1TB in the future. There are mutterings about AD being the “next” Blu-ray and maybe a delivery media for computer games, which are getting enormous (sample library developers take note), but at this point it’s all about archiving huge amounts of data. If you’re thinking there are better things to do than risk burning a 1TB drink coaster (who knows how fast the burners might be), the appeal of Archival Disc is supposed to be the longevity of the media – this stuff will last 50 years, long after hard drives, flash drives and everything else will be in the landfill. But it’s also easy to imagine someone in fifty years time looking at an Archival Disc and asking, “What the hell do we playing this thing on?” A Mini-Disc player maybe?