Teac \ Amstrad Cf2 drives available.

We’re having a clear out and have a number of Teac branded Cf2 disc drives FOC to a good home.

These are new and unused – drop us a line if you want them and would like to organise a collection from us.

 

 

Print CDs and DVDs on Demand.

Publishers of all sizes need to keep stocks to a minimum while being able to support their back catalogue of titles.

Physical CD and DVD titles provide an important revenue stream for publishers yet can be bulky to store when ordered in quantity and for low volume titles ordering in bulk is not realistic.

Our flexible, short run CD and DVD Duplication service give you the best of both worlds.  You can Print and copy CDs and DVDs in very low quantities. Consolidate them with Litho printed inserts or Card Wallets while standard plastic based CD and DVD packaging is available ‘off the shelf’ meaning that stocks can be kept to a minimum.

Our CD & DVD printing and copying service means that orders as few as 10 discs is a realistic proposition. Combine that with ‘Stock’ Litho printed inserts (1000 Litho printed inserts are about the same price as 100 digitally printed ones) and you have a production solution that’s flexible while minimising cash tied up in stock.

Digital inkjet CD and DVD printing gives a high quality result in full colour so presentation is not compromised.

Call or email us now for more information.

 

Printed, Duplicated DVD, Litho printed DVD Wrap, and DVD Case.

Printed, Duplicated DVD, Litho printed DVD Wrap, and DVD Case.

3.5″ Floppy Disk Duplication

We had a rare enquiry the other day for 3.5″ floppy disk copying.

The good news is that although equipment for copying and duplicating magnetic media is hard to come by, we still offer duplication and copying services for 3.5 inch diskettes.

3.5″ media used to come in two flavours, DS\DD 720k (Blue shell) and DS\HD 1.44Mb (Black Shell).

DS\DD media is no longer available which is a shame for those trying to produce disks for Atari ST or Commodore Amiga machines.

However DS\HD media is still available and can be formatted back to DS\DD and should work on many drives.  If you have a DS\DD master and wish to check we are happy to produce a pre production sample for testing.

 

3.5" Floppy Disks.

3.5″ Floppy Disks in coloured shells.

Retro formats for Bands. Mix the old & new !

In recent weeks we’ve been involved with some interesting ‘retro’ media projects, predominately bands and musicians publishing new releases on Audio Cassette.

What’s interesting is that the media is being used as way for bands to ‘add value’ and generate interest to the release, using the physical product as a promotional tool while supplying a digital download option for the actual tracks.

Recent projects have created a collectable physical product based on high quality artwork and old-skool media and have included stickers to get the word out.  Download codes have been included to facilitate distribution of the actual tracks to phones, computers and digital music players.

audio cassette pack

Audio Cassette pack, with download code and sticker.

Services like Dropcards are an elegant way of adding a controlled digital download option to your release while supplying collectable physical product. Each ‘dropcard’ is custom colour printed in a business card format and has a unique download code allowing you to control access to your digital content.

For quotes in Audio Cassettes, CDs, DVDs and USBs please contact us now. We can now quote on Vinyl record pressing.

Which type of DVD for short runs ? Single Layer or Dual Layer ?

DVDs come in a number of ‘flavours’ which depends on the amount of data you need to reproduce.

Most mass market DVDs which you can buy in the shops are manufactured using an injection moulding process and a single DVD actually consists of 2 discs which are bonded together, called ‘replication’. Depending on the amount of data on the the DVD one or both of the discs (or layers) will be used to store data giving either single layer or dual layer DVDs.

The ‘default’ and cheapest version to produce are DVD-5’s which use a single layer and hold about 4.7Gb of data.  Dual layer DVDs are known as DVD-9’s which use both layers and hold around 8.54Gb of data.

DVD Recordable media (DVD-R or DVD+R)  as typically used to produce short runs of DVDs are graded in the same way.  Single layer DVD-Rs are the default standard and hold 4.7Gb of data.   Dual layer DVD-Rs are also available and hold 8.5Gb of data.

The +R or -R designation refers to different types of the Recordable DVD format.  For the default single layer 4.7Gb DVD it’s the -R that is regarded as being the best option, giving the widest compatibility on destination DVD players.

Dual layer DVD Recordables are more complicated.  Generally we’ve found that +R media is the most reliable choice. However dual layer media does not seem to offer the same level of reliability as single layer media and is disproportionally more expensive.

At the time of writing we suggest that for short runs of DVDs with data in excess of 4.7Gb to split your content over two single layer DVD-Rs rather than a single dual layer DVD+R. If a single 8.5Gb DVD is a must then consider using our DVD pressing service which will give you a pressed dual layer disk which maximum compatibility.

DVD Printed Card Wallet

DVD-R single layer media is best for short runs of DVDs.

Audio Cassette on-body print artwork

We print directly on to our Audio Cassettes (Clear C-Zero’s) in white ink. The artwork template & dimensions for the printable area are shown below.

Please supply artwork in Hi-Res PDF or Jpeg format.

 

 

on-body spec

On-body artwork for audio cassettes

DVDs for Baby Scanners. Pre printed DVDs for Baby Scanning companies.

Baby scanning companies across the UK use our CD and DVD Printing services to produce custom printed & branded blank CDs and  DVDs which are recorded with scanned images and given to their clients.

Baby scanning services use Ultrasound technology to produce images of the unborn baby.  Several images can be combined to produce ‘3D’ images while a series of 3D images can be recorded to form a ‘4D’ record covering a period of time.

Clients of the scanning service receive a copy of the images on CD or DVD depending on the size of the images.

Baby scanning companies use our CD and DVD Printing service to produce their own branded media onto which they record images for their clients. Our Litho printed CDs and DVDs give a ‘Retail Quality’ reproduction of their brand and logo and add value to their service to their clients.

Screen and Litho printing is the technique used to print CDs and DVDs sold on the high street and our flexible production means that Baby Scanning companies can order as few as 50 CDs or DVDs at a time.

Litho printing gives our client full colour, colour accurate disks while screen printing gives a lower priced one or two colour option. For Ultra short runs we can digitally print blank media in batches of 20 plus.

Importantly we can advise on the type of DVDs needed for your scanning machine. We will provide sample discs for you to try, to ensure your printed order will work without a hitch.

Choosing the incorrect type of CDs or DVDs will mean they will not work on your machine.  This is a particular problem with DVD media but we will ensure you choose the best media for your machine.

For more information and prices please call or email now.

Why new bands should keep selling CDs.

The landscape of the music industry and music distribution is changing rapidly with the move to digital downloads and streaming.

For music lovers finding and accessing an incredible diversity of music from the world over has never been easier and digital files & mobile phones mean that they can keep a massive amount of music to hand wherever they are.

Yet for bands, especially new bands, digital music distribution is a double edged sword.

On the upside the internet gives the possibility of access to a huge number of listeners while the ease of ‘self publishing’ gives bands control and removes the need to get signed in order to release songs. With the advent of youtube, social media and websites It’s never been easier to publish your own material, build a fan base and start to generate revenue.

The downside is getting paid and making money to pay the bills.  Even listens to your music by hundreds of thousands of listeners via streamed music brings in relativly small sums. Zoe Keating, a cello player published a record of her digital streaming revenues and in return for her music being played 232,000 times she received just $906. A far cry* from the £50 a play allegedly paid by the BBC per song on Radio 1.

Setting up your own digital download store is an easy way to gain some revenue, although there are costs. I understand i-tunes take 30% commission, which is now seems to have been adopted as the industry standard. In a different business we sell mobile phone apps and use the ejunkie shopping cart for facilitating digital downloads. It’s worked very well in conjunction with  Paypal and the soon to be dead Google Checkout,  yet costs still came in at about 20% of sales.  So for every 99p single downloaded you get around 69p less any additional hosting or merchant costs.

Why CDs still matter for bands.

Selling physical CDs to fans is still a critical revenue for new bands. While digital download sales and music streaming services can get your music to a wide audience they are only part of the mix.

CDs give you the chance to get creative with your packaging and art and give your fans something real* which can be purchased at your performances and online. Better still you can give someone a CD where as you can’t make them download a music file.

Done well, CDs can enhance the ethos behind your music and contribute towards your image. High quality graphic art and design is key but offers the chance to get talented fans involved in the creative process. A well produced physical CD (or records or tape) is tactile and has value, something that can’t be said of a ethereal binary file.

CDs can also be produced in very small volumes making limited or special edition releases a reality. These keep the buzz around the band going, give you more PR opportunities and sell at a higher price.  Don’t forget that CDs can hold Music tracks and Data so it’s possible to include photo’s, video and imagery that’s not possible to distribute with a pure download.

Most of all selling your CDs is profitable and will contribute towards the cost of your next recording session !

For pricing and idea’s please get in touch. Our mediacopy web site has loads of information on producing CDs and CD artwork and feel free to email us for advice or a price.


* It’s worth noting that the streaming number is really about plays to individual listeners. 1 play = 1 listener.  When compared to Radio 1 with a listener numbers into the millions, the streaming fee is perhaps not so bad.

** Back in the day I recall stories suggesting that their early days the band James made more money selling Tee Shirts with their flower logo than in music sales. Physical merchandise counts.   #showingmyage  !

Low cost EPs and Albums for bands.

In this new world of digital downloads there is still a place for Physical CDs to help Bands and Musicians promote their work and make some cash.

The trick for Musicians is to choose a way of producing your CDs which is cost effective but at the same time does not saddle you with lots of stock you might not sell.

Printing CDs and the associated packaging works the same as any other print or manufacturing project – the more you make the cheaper the unit cost will be.  If you think there is any chance of selling\using 1000 copies of your EP or Album then ‘Pressing’ your CDs is the way to go.

But don’t despair. Our core business is producing EPs and Albums on CD for bands and musicians in qty’s of 20 and up which gives you the option of making just what you need.

Our Inkjet CD-R Printing gives good results and is ideal for producing CDs in small runs making ‘little and often’ orders a reality.

Standard CD packaging is available to you off the shelf including PVC Wallets, the classic CD Jewel Case and the Slimline CD Jewel Case, again reducing the need to order lots of stock.

Colour printed inserts for CD Packaging can be printed in small quantities with the minimum being 20.  At these quantities Front and Rear inserts for Jewel Cases are produced & priced separately. With this in mind here are some Top Tips !

  • Slimline 5.2mm CD Cases only need a Front Insert. This saves you £££’s when producing music CDs in quantities of less than 100.
  • Clear PVC wallets with a Front Inserts are a low cost way of producing very presentable Promo CDs. They are slim too, so not only do you save on the packaging & print, but also on postage if you are sending them out.
  • If you do 100 or more CD Inserts and Tray liners ask for 1000 Litho printed sets. The cost is about the same, so you effectively get 900 free pairs to use on any re-runs.

Finally, Colour printed CD Card Wallets are a popular choice for musicians producing EPs and Albums. They look very nice and are easy to mail out.

For quotes or advice feel free to give us a call or drop us an email.

 

 

Copy protection options for USBs

Copy protection schemes have been around almost since the invention of magnetic media back in the 80’s.

In fact one of my first business ventures was writing copy protection code to protect software distributed on floppy disks for the early PCs.

It’s fair to say that media based copy protection has become less fashionable over the years with the perception that the hindrance to paying users outweighs the extra business generated from converting ‘lost sales’ from copying.

However there are still circumstances where content publishers need to restrict a users ability to copy and distribute their content.

When distributing content on USB flash drive media there are number of options for protection.

1. Password protect the document.

For documents created in most popular software there is usually a password protect option when saving. This allows you to set a password which the users then need to enter when opening the document. The password is the same for all users. This option adds no extra cost to duplication as it’s part of the original file.

The user can copy and distribute the file but still needs the password for it to open.

2. Password protect the USB drive.

It’s possible to implement a system where the user needs to enter a password to access any of the content of a USB. However this is prone difficulties for the user where they do not have admin rights on their PC as is often the case in business environments and may cause the USB to be unacceptable to a portion of the intended user base. Not recommended. 

3. Copy Protect the file and link it to the USB stick.

The most advanced option is to implement a copy protection scheme where the content is linked via a software check to the USB it’s distributed on, using the USB as a ‘dongle’.

Each USB has a unique reference. When the content is opened the copy protection software checks to see if the USB is plugged into the machine. If the original USB can’t be found then the content can not be accessed.

The user can still copy the content from the USB but the content will not work unless the USB is plugged into the machine.

4. Write Protect the USB or “Data Locking”.

Not ‘copy protection’ as such rather a way of ensuring your content can not be deleted or modified on the USB. The user can still copy the content off the USB and access it.

Some clients use this option to create a write protected volume on their USB to ensure the longevity of their content while giving the user a normal read\write volume to use as they wish. The practical upshot is that the user keeps using the USB stick for their work along side the original content from the USB sticks company.

This process is also known as data-locking.

USB Printing and Copying services.

We’ve offer a full range of USB Printing and Copying services to clients, giving you flexible order quantities and fast turnaround.