An anonymous reader writes "Patrick McFarland, the well-known Free Software Magazine author, goes into great detail on CD/DVD media over at the Ad Terras Per Aspera site. McFarland covers the history of the media, from CDs through recordable DVDs, explaining the various formats and their strengths and drawbacks. The heart of the article is an essay on the DVD-R vs. DVD+R recording standards, leading to McFarland's recommendation for which media he buys for archival storage. Spoiler: it's Taiyo Yuden DVD+R all the way. From the article: 'Unlike pressed CDs/DVDs, burnt CDs/DVDs can eventually fade, due to five things that affect the quality of CD media: sealing method, reflective layer, organic dye makeup, where it was manufactured, and your storage practices (please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media).'"