Microsoft begins preserving music on quartz discs for future generations

Microsoft begins preserving music on quartz discs for future generations – in case of a global catastrophe

In the event of a global catastrophe, people have long since begun to create deposits with seeds of various species of plants, one of the largest is located in Norway – the so-called. The Global Seed Vault or “Doomsday Vault” today contains 1,145,693 “backup” copies of seeds from around the world. Microsoft decided to further develop the current idea with the help of other partners. In the event of a global apocalypse, a collection of world music works will also be created here, the Global Music Vault.

    Image source: Global Music Vault

Image source: Global Music Vault

In order to record huge amounts of music, Microsoft wants to use the technology developed as part of the Project Silica initiative, the company is beginning test recordings on quartz discs. According to a press release published on the project’s website, while magnetic film is still the preferred medium for archiving information, it is not as reliable as quartz media.

It is emphasized that such plates can be baked, boiled, scratched, soiled, exposed to electromagnetic radiation and other factors without losing the information recorded on the glass. In addition, the location in Norway is considered one of the safest in the world due to the geological features and moderate geopolitical activity of the country itself.

The size of each quartz plate is 75×75mm, the thickness is 2mm. It can store up to 100GB. The data is added using lasers that form a three-dimensional mini-relief in the plate. Polarized light must be used to obtain information, and a machine algorithm helps to decode the signal. According to the organizers of the project, the data can be stored for “many thousands of years”. Notably, Microsoft already successfully encoded and decoded the original Warner Brothers version of Superman in 2019.

According to Global Music Vault, music is being added to the vault from all over the world, from the UK to Sweden, Africa and New Zealand. As a result, the organizers intend to add tens of petabytes annually. The first “contribution” to the repository is to be made in 2023. More information released on the project website.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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