|February 15, 2004
I don't know if it's because
I grew up in the analog era where copies of copies were always of poor
quality, but I'm squeamish when I make copies of copies. I remember
the good ol' days when I would hook up 2 VCR's together and make copies
of home movies or tv shows. The copies were always really fuzzy and
washed out, even when using premium quality tapes and good machines.
Today, with digital formats, I still get nervous about making copies of
copies. For example, when I get files from friends on CD-R's, I always
ask if it's a 1st generation CD or if it's a copy of a copy. (My
friends have since learned to tell me that it's always a 1st generation
copy even when it's not!)
The premise of this article
is simple: To burn 100 generations of a CD and then compare the 100th generation
copy with the original CD to see if the data is the same or if there are
any differences. Now, I don't mean making 100 copies of the same
CD; that would be pointless. I'm talking about making a copy of a
copy of a copy, 100 times. In other words, take a CD (original) then
copy it making "gen 1". Then copy "gen 1" which gives you "gen
2". Then copy "gen 2" which gives you "gen 3". Do this
until you get to "gen 100". So you see, "gen 100" is a copy of "gen
99" which is a copy of "gen 98"...... all the way back to the original
CD. You get the point.
I know, I know, a copy of
a CD with data on it should be exactly the same as the original.
But I can't help but feel nervous about the integrity of the data.
That's where I got the idea for this article. Actually, I did this
for my own peace of mind but thought that others might have the same concerns
and would be interested in the results of some CD-R testing.