If you like to burn data disks and are concerned about their longevity, check out this great idea posted on LifeHacker. The example here uses a Windows freeware tool called QuickPar, and for recovery you will need another tool (such as ISOBUSTER) to read surviving data from bad disks so you can use this method.
Burn More Reliable Discs with QuickPar http://tinyurl.com/9j7hyb
The tip is about using that lump of extra space you usually end up with on your data disks to hold parity files for your data. Parity files have extra information that lets you recover your files if they are later found to be corrupted. I've had a number of cases where old disks started to have a few corrupted files before the entire disk became unreadable, and this tip would have saved a lot of anguish. Of course if you want to protect everything on the disk, you'll need to leave more space on your disks for the parity files.
This takes just a touch of tech savvy, but it's a beginner tip as "hacks" go. Anyone comfortable with using disk burners and disk reading tools like ISOBUSTER will find this an easy thing to use to make the most precious data on their CDs and DVDs much more reliable.
So why don't they build this functionality into all disk burning tools?