In this case, music created by commercial companies is not the problem. Instead, such things as digital recordings of events in U.S. history, early radio shows, news broadcasts, interviews, living history projects, and similar recordings made one at a time in small quantities are in danger.
The widely used CD-Recordable discs only last three to five years before files start to fade, said study co-author Sam Brylawski.
The first comprehensive study of the preservation of sound recordings in the U.S., released by the Library of Congress, also found many historical recordings already have been lost or can't be accessed by the public. That includes most of radio's first decade from 1925 to 1935. Shows by musicians Duke Ellington and Bing Crosby, as well as the earliest sports broadcasts, are already gone.
The problem is easily solved if someone takes the time to preserve the recordings. CD-Recordable disks must be constantly maintained and backed up periodically as technology changes. That requires active preservation, rather than simply placing files on a shelf.
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