TIFF storage - is it true it can degrade if not swapped around or moved?

I'm putting my question in Storage and not Digital Cameras because I feel it might be more relevant and technically suited to here.

I know that through repeated opening and closing, Jpeg files degrade over time.

However, I have also been led to believe that TIFF files, if they are left untouched in storage, can also degrade. For this reason, apparently, files in Cloud storage, for example, are not kept stationery, but accessed or moved to keep them from degrading.

Is this true?

Would the same thing happen to TIFF files kept on, for example, a standard USB drive?

Finally, how future-proof is the TIFF format?


Reply to Dinarius
3 answers Last reply
More about tiff storage true degrade swapped moved
  1. Unlike JPEG files, TIFF image files are not compressed so their original quality is preserved indefinitley.

    Simply opening and closing JPEGs does not degrade them anyway, they only degrade each time you re-save them (eg after editing them).

    As I never use Cloud storage I cannot help you with that.
    Reply to Phillip Corcoran
  2. they are digital files, not old paper and ink files. the only way a digital file can degrade, is by opening them up, and saving them again in the same file format or another file format. if you just open up the file and just close without saving, the data stays the same.
    Reply to boggen
  3. Thanks for the replies.

    I guess that any issues that arise regarding permanence probably relate more to the means and quality of storage, rather than what (in this case TIFFs) is being stored.

    There is quite a lot out there on what is termed "bit rot", this being but one example. https://madfileformatscience.garymcgath.com/2016/05/19/uncompressed/

    I'm wondering if there are some types of file that are less susceptible to bit rot than others? e.g. For a photographer, should one be storing RAW or DNG files rather than TIFFs? (This approach would have two added advantages - 1. Space: a RAW file is about 1/6 the size of a 16bit TIFF. 2. Software: A RAW file captured in, say, 2011, is still that RAW file. But, a TIFF produced from it on 2017 RAW processing software is almost invariably an improvement.)

    Food for thought.

    Thanks again.

    Reply to Dinarius
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