One of the things that I suspect many folks don't realize is that CDs and DVDs that you burn on your PC are not permanent media, particularly depending on what brand or type of media you use. Burnable CDs/DVDs (as opposed to professionally pressed media) use a dye layer that is "burned" by the laser to store data. That dye layer can degrade over time, resulting in data errors.
At present, I have nearly 20GB worth of digital photos, most of which are of my family, and very few of which have been printed. It would be devastating to lose those photos, so I've been thinking for a while about purchasing archival quality DVD media for storing digital photos, as well as data backups and digital video.
I did a bit of digging, and came up with this blog post that discusses some of the technical aspects of storing data on recordable CDs and DVDs, and which also makes some recommendations as to format and brand. Having not used the brand in question, I can't make any recommendation or endorsement, but figured it was worth sharing nonetheless. I may pick up a stack of the recommended brand and format and see how they work out. The good news for me is that I've already been using the format recommended (DVD+R) for most of my DVD burning. Having top-quality blank media will hopefully give me a little more peace of mind when it comes to precious memories and important data.
Do you have recommendations? Share them in the comments.