Microsoft preserves music on glass and stores it in Doomsday Vault

Svalbard, Norway is home to the Global Seed Vault, also known as the Doomsday Vault, and “deep in the same arctic mountain” a Global Music Vault will keep piles of music stored on glass as part of the collaborative company Project Silica of Groupe Elire and Microsoft.

As stated in a press release, Elire Group “is a venture capital group, commercializing global concepts with our own businesses for mobility, infrastructure, electric aviation and the global music vault.” Together with Microsoft, they developed a proof-of-concept glass platter that can store up to 100 GB (gigabytes) of data in an incredibly tamper-proof manner.

These glass trays are ideal for doomsday/apocalyptic scenarios and are said to be “fully resistant to Electromagnetic Pulses (EMP) and the harshest environmental conditions” as well as other hazards such as cooking, boiling, stripping and/or flooding. “without degrading the data written on the glass.”

The project’s goal is to archive and store “tens of petabytes” (one petabyte equals approximately 1,000 terabytes and one terabyte equals approximately 1,000 gigabytes) each year, each glass slate the size of a coaster possessing a data life of “thousands of years” with music that can be encoded (encrypted or not) into any digital file format.

So how is it done?

The press release states that “a laser encodes data into glass by creating layers of three-dimensional nanoscale gratings and deformations.” He continues, “Machine learning algorithms read data by decoding the images and patterns that are created when polarized light shines through glass.”

Luke Jenkinson, Managing Director of Global Music Vault, says of the urgent need for this advanced storage technology: “With over four million music producers worldwide and over 60,000 songs streamed to Spotify alone every day, Today’s digital and physical data storage solutions are rapidly becoming obsolete, irrelevant and a risk to our future. We don’t just want to put this at the top of the music industry’s global agenda, we want to work with the best companies in the world to find solutions. As we want to provide the global music ecosystem with an everlasting solution, we believe Microsoft’s Silica is the exact solution for our storage needs.”

For more information on the Global Music Vault, visit their website.

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