Re: digital imaging

From:Philip Oshel <>

A good question, but not something to worry about, for several reasons.
First, CD-ROMs and CD players/burners are much cheaper to produce 
than DVDs and DVD players/burners. These prices can be expected to 
drop, however.
Second, while DVDs are great for massive storage, they are not 
getting much use other than in the consumer video market. Meaning 
that the computers being sold with DVDs are mostly being used to play 
CD-ROMs. Even the computer game market isn't using DVDs. The capacity 
isn't needed enough to justify the added expense. DVDs will find a 
place among imaging professionals and folks who need mass data 
backup, but that's likely it. But that means microscopists and the 
Third, CD-ROMs have a massive installed consumer base. Mostly in 
audio CDs, yes, but as long as those are around, then CD players that 
can read computer data will be around. There is no reason to believe 
that CD players are going away. Current MP3 standards might allow 
reasonable compression of music, but the music quality is noticeably 
degraded. This means that people will still prefer CDs for music, and 
this will maintain the user base. Also, people who use MP3 players 
also use CDs. All of this means CDs will be around for many years. 
MP3 players and chips and other solid-state data storage devices also 
require power (battery, etc.) to maintain the data. CDs (and DVDs) 
Fourth, CDs are better for sharing information than any other  media 
yet developed. Plenty of capacity for images and stuff, but not huge 
like DVDs. Most people don't mind burning a CD with only 10 or 30 or 
so MB of images to give to a colleague or journal, CDs being so 
cheap, but who wants to spend $9 (or even $5) to burn 30 MB or even 5 
or 600 MB of data and leave 4.5 or more GB blank?
Lastly, the physical medium of good quality CDs, while still cheap, 
has a reasonable lifetime of decades or more. (Cheap CDs don't, and 
CD-RWs don't.) The dye technology of DVDs isn't the same as for CDs, 
so the lifetime of DVDs is questionable for now. A storage medium 
with a long lifetime will encourage the continued existence of 
players and recorders for that medium. No storage medium other than 
CD-ROM has this kind of lifetime.

Mind, future developments in solid-state data storage could make all 
of this fatuous nonsense.


just sitting here pondering my navel and a thought occured to me. i was
thinking of the furure of the CD -rom with the advances in DVD tech. any

Philip Oshel
Supervisor, AMFSC and BBPIC microscopy facilities
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Wisconsin
1675 Observatory Drive
Madison,  WI  53706 - 1284
voice: (608) 263-4162
fax: (608) 262-5157 (dept. fax)

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