M-Disc holds your data 'forever,' we go hands-on for a few minutes (video)

It was two years ago when we last wrote about Millenniata and its Millenial Disc for ultra long-term data storage of somewhere between "1,000 years" and "forever." If you'll recall, it works using a "synthetic, rock-like" layer that your data is "etched" into, rather than burned onto like other writeable discs so files don't corrupt over time. Since then, the disc's been given DoD certification for data retention in extreme conditions and redubbed M-Disc, while Hitachi-LG has signed on to produce drives. We recently got the chance to check out a few of these discs and see whether this tech will fly like a Frisbee or sink like a stone. %Gallery-130389%

The disks look and feel nearly identical to any CD-R or DVD-R you've used except that they're transparent, lacking reflection and dye layers, and they have an oddly pungent odor similar to film developer. The current iteration reads like a single-layer DVD-R with 4.7GB of space, and in the works are dual-layer as well as Blu-ray versions. While any DVD drive can read them, an M-Disc type is required for "burning" as the laser is calibrated differently. This is where LG's drives come in. The company was showing off a variant of an existing external Blu-ray and DVD burner that could also etch M-Discs, though internal versions are planned. The samples used were loaded with text and video files, and our laptops read them like any normal DVD-R.

We're told the discs have a stronger bond between layers and won't split like normal DVD-Rs in heat, humidity or light (hence the DoD part), but the most intriguing claim is that they can survive on-edge impacts. We did our own little tests and found that hitting the face on a table would cause damage, which is to be expected, but we also found them to be just as easy to split as our blank Maxwell DVD-Rs. A few edge-on hits to a table or concrete was enough to let us easily pull apart the discs, rendering them unreadable. While we can't exactly say data on the discs will last forever -- especially if you're prone to chucking them against stuff -- there's DoD evidence and and a LG's support backing up Millenniata. Although 4.7GB isn't much these days and physical media is on its way out, some of you may see it fit for worry-free archiving of important files and precious memories. If that's you, come October you'll be able to buy one, five or ten packs priced at about $3, $14 and $27 respectively. Sure, that seems like a lot now, but imagine how how cheap that'll be in 1,000 years.

New M-DISC to Provide Up To 1,000 Years of Permanent Data Storage

Millenniata Partners with Hitachi-LG Data Storage

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 15, 2011-Millenniata™ (, a new optical disc company, ushered in a new era of information storage with the release of its M-DISC™ and M-READY™ disc storage technology-technology that permanently etches data onto the write layer of the disc for use anytime and for generations to come without any data loss.

The company also announced a manufacturing and marketing partnership with Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. to manufacture Millenniata compatible (M-DISC compatible) DVD drives and market them through its sales channels.

Whether for music, photos, videos, genealogical records, business records, data loss prevention, permanent file backup, medical imaging, government or archive, M-DISC provides long-lasting storage by literally etching data into a rock-like material. The M-DISC will not degrade over time and is usable on a daily basis.

Under the partnership, Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. will manufacture M-READY DVD drives and market and sell them to its U.S. and international retail channels under its DVD brands. All M-DISC compatible aftermarket drives will include the M-DISC logo indicating compatibility to write to M-DISCs. Any DVD drive will read the M-DISC.

Millenniata will manufacture and market the M-DISC to the same LG U.S. and international retail channels as well as to its global value-added reseller channels. The drives and discs will be available on Millenniata's website in September. They will be available at some popular retail outlets in October. They will be available at an additional growing number of retailers at different time periods thereafter.

"We are very excited to partner with such a strong global presence as Hitachi-LG Data Storage as we introduce M-DISC permanent storage to the world," said Scott Shumway, Millenniata CEO. "Millenniata discs capture the essence of how people use their data and information-literally for a thousand years."

"Millenniata's technology has been tested and proven to provide long-lasting data storage," said - Sang Hun Kim, Deputy CMO, Sales and Marketing Division at Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. "We are pleased to partner with Millenniata to provide true permanent storage DVD technology that can stand the test of time."

With a growing need for durable, long-lasting information storage, the M-DISC provides data loss prevention by laser etching data into an inorganic rock-like material that is not available from any other recordable DVD. Other recordable DVDs use organic dyes to hold data, a material that is known to fade and degrade over time.

A recent study proves 'data rot' or data loss will occur on all discs, but not with the M-DISC. An accelerated life test performed by the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, Calif. tested five brands of archival-quality DVD discs including the Millenniata M-DISC for data longevity and reliability. The test found that the M-DISC was the only solution that suffered no degradation or data loss. All other discs tested failed.

The Millenniata M-DISC will have the following manufacturers suggested retail pricing (MSRP):

One M-DISC: $2.99 MSRP
M-DISC five pack: $13.89 MSRP
M-DISC 10 pack: $26.59 MSRP

One M-DISC has a traditional DVD disc capacity of 4.7GB of space with comparable performance. Millenniata is currently working on a Blu-Ray version of M-DISC that will be announced at a later date.

About Millenniata

Millenniata, Inc. is a permanent data storage technology company based in Salt Lake City. The company's patented Write Once, Read Forever™ technology is the world's first stable permanent digital storage solution and is composed of the M-DISC™ and M-DISC compatible drives. The M-DISC is the first backward compatible non-dye based DVD optical technology constructed of inorganic materials that are known to last centuries. M-DISC compatible drives are a high quality optical drive specifically designed to laser-etch digital information onto the M-DISC. This combination allows information to be written once and read over time and offers the best permanent data storage solution in the industry.

About Hitachi-LG Data Storage

Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. (HLDS), a joint venture of Hitachi Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc., has been maintaining Global No.1 position in the world optical storage market since its establishment in 2001. Based on the source technology from Hitachi Ltd. and the application technology from LG Electronics, Inc., creating a technical synergy effect between each other, HLDS has been able to become the world's leading company in the optical storage industry.
Also, due to its powerful market leadership, HLDS was able to maintain No.1 global market share for 9 consecutive years since its establishment.
HLDS is still in its challenge to become the new "Total Storage Solution Provider" in the market by extending its business area to new storage devices such as NAS (Network Attached Storage) while also strengthening the existing optical storage leadership through cutting edge technology, strong marketing power and enhanced service structure for DVD-Rewriter, Blu-Ray/DVD-W Combination Drive, Blu-Ray Rewriter etc.