Your favorite songs may well live on for thousands of years to come, thanks to a new innovation in the world of musical storage.
First there was the CD. Then the MP3. Now the silica glass capsule, courtesy of Microsoft.
In case it seems curious that the next evolution in music storage is transitioning from a digital format back to analog, that's because these particular songs need to withstand whatever forces known and unknown the universe has at its disposal.
Last year, Elire Management Group announced the development of a Global Music Vault, also known as the "doomsday vault" due to its ability to withstand ice and snow at a depth of 1,000 feet. The vault is being developed on the Svalbard archipelago north of Norway and will safeguard timeless works from the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and many more.
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Microsoft's capsule proof-of-concept currently has the ability to store the equivalent of 150 GB of songs, but Luke Jenkinson, Managing Partner at Elire, believes the technology has the potential to scale quickly to the point where each capsule may store multiple terabytes of data. Sources say the tech has the ability to preserve its encoded data for several thousand years.
"In this Proof of Concept, Microsoft and Elire Group worked together to demonstrate how Project Silica can 2 help achieve the goal of preserving and safeguarding the world’s most valuable music for posterity, on a medium that will stand the test of time, using innovative archival storage in glass," said Jurgen Willis, Vice President of Program Management at Microsoft.
According to Billboard, the first contributions to the vault were originally scheduled to land in 2022, but were ultimately pushed to the fall of 2023 due to the pandemic.