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Protecting Your Software Collection Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 March 2005
Article Index
Protecting Your Software Collection
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CD Cases or Wallets
Over the years, many disc users have used disc cases or wallets to store and transport disc collections. There are a few very good case solutions available, but not all are created equal.

A few things to look out for when using a disc case or wallet:

(a) The case should be able to withstand normal wear and be made of a material you trust will protect the discs from cracks or scratches when the case is dropped. Most nylon cases do very little to protect your discs from drops and they have a tendency to “bulge” when completely filled.

(b) The pockets used in the case/wallet should be made of a very soft non-woven material to ensure that your discs are not scratched when inserting and removing them (the better cases will actually clean your discs when inserting and removing them from the soft pocket). If possible, you should also look for a pocket design that does not require you to seal and unseal a pocket each time, as these have a tendency to tear after extensive use.

(c) It is generally recommended that you stay away from cases that use plastic (specifically PVC) front panels for the disc pocket, because the chemicals from PVC can negatively affect the disc. It is a must that if any plastic is used for a front panel, it is not PVC but is instead polypropylene (orange peel polypropylene, to be exact). The difference is that PVC will stick to your discs (especially if left in the heat), which can cause damage by removing part of the protective layer when it is separated from the disc. Orange peel polypropylene will not do this. It’s also very important that you store your discs, in or out of your case, in a cool, dry place. Heat and moisture can warp your discs, making them impossible to read and possibly causing damage to your CD or DVD player. Ideally, you want to have a pocket system where the disc is stored in a pocket that has soft, non-woven material for both the front and rear panel of the pocket.

What To Do With Fingerprints?
Fingerprints are more than just smudges that need be wiped off of your discs. The oils on your hands can actually eat away at the coating on the disc, damaging the reflective layer and making those areas unreadable to your CD or DVD player. The best policy is to only grab your discs by the edge or hold on to the central plastic ring where data isn’t stored.

Never use a hard-tipped pen to label your discs and always write on the provided area or on the inside plastic ring. Felt-tip permanent markers are best and water-soluble inks prove to be the safest and most convenient, since they dry quickly. Even slightly etching anything on your discs on either side can make them no longer readable in your player.

How to Properly Clean Your Discs
CDs and DVDs should only be wiped off with a clean, dry or slightly moist super-soft cloth made especially for this purpose. Be sure to use a non-abrasive cleanser that is designed specifically for use on disc surfaces. Please note that certain cleansers that may be suitable for CDs may not be safe to use on CD-Rs, CD-RWs and DVDs. Another very important tip is that you should always wipe your discs off from the center toward the outer edge, never in a circular motion. In the event that you don’t have any CD cleaning liquid on hand, use a dry, lint-free rag.


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