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For a multitude of reasons, printing to paper is still the best option for long term preservation of archival records. However, this is not possible for all records. Audiovisual recordings obviously need to remain in a machine-readable format that can be played using current technology. Many users of digital cameras prefer not to print large numbers of photographs. "Optical media" are usually glass or plastic discs that store digital data and use polarized light to record and retrieve that data. The most common in use today are Compact Discs (CDs) and Digital Video (or Versatile) Discs (DVDs). They can be used to store computer files, audiovisual recordings, photographs and other images.
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