Back in the day we started out copying 5.25″ floppies moving through 2 versions of 3.5″ floppy to CD and DVD. Our experience in data duplication goes even further back with our Managing Directors summer job spent copying 8″ floppies in CP/M for a local accountancy firm.
Our latest format is Blu-Ray.
Blu-Ray is an optical media format which follows on from DVD. As it’s name suggests it uses a ‘Blue’ laser which helps give over 5 times the storage capacity of a similar DVD. The format was initially driven by the Hollywood Film and Games industry but with the advent of HD digital video cameras and burgeoning ‘head cam’ action sports technology we’re seeing orders from smaller business and niche publishers.
We’ve targeted our Blu-Ray services at those producing smaller orders and short runs of printed & copied Blu-Ray discs and offer our full range of printing and duplication options on the new format.
These include blank, printed Blu Ray discs for you to copy ‘in house’ through to a short run copying service through to a Blu-Ray Pressing & glass mastering for longer runs.
For pricing and more information please call or email.
We’ve completed several CD & DVD printing orders where the client has included a QR code on their disc artwork.
All our current CD and DVD printing processes will reproduce working QR codes. The inkjet printing process used on our Short run CD & DVD printing service is high resolution and prints on to White media as a default.
Screen printing in spot colour and Litho Printing your CDs and DVDs both give good results as in both cases artwork can be set up to print the ‘Black’ as a separate plate to give a sharp print.
Ideally your artwork should be set up to print QR Codes Black on White for maximum contrast.
Mediacopy full contact details. More information = More dots.
Your other consideration will be the size of your QR Code. A physically smaller printed QR code will be harder to read and may mean some lower specification camera phones will not be able to decode it.
The amount of information in the QR code also makes a difference. A QR Code containing a short URL is easier to read than one containing lots of characters, say full contact information in a V Card. The minimum printed size for your QR Code will depend on the amount of data it contains & the camera trying to read it.
We’d recommend testing your preferred size of QR Code with as many camera-phones as possible to ensure it works reliably.
Some more information on QR code sizing here:
When you place and order for CD or DVD Duplication we’ll ask you to send in a physical master you have created. At a push, if time is short we can accept an ISO file, but a physical CD or DVD is best.
When creating your CD or DVD it’s best to use CD-R or DVD-R media. Please do not use CD-RW (rewritable) media.
It’s best to use your computers CD or DVD recording software to create the master.Typically this might be software like Nero, Roxio or other CD\DVD recording tools. We have some additional notes here which cover the settings for CD Mastering software and will look at this again in a blog post soon.
Avoid using ‘Drag & Drop’ where you drag the file from a folder to the media. It’s likely that your computer will produce a master that is not suitable for copying.
Be sure to test your master in a range of computers and make sure it functions as you expect. Make sure that there is no unwanted content (or artwork files). We strive to make identical copies of the whole CD or DVD, so our copies will be exactly the same as your master.
Finally, try and keep the master clean and free of scratches and identify it with a soft tip permanent marker. Include your contact details and our quote reference so that we know who’s sent it.
We’ve a blog post here covering the creation of Audio CD Masters.
The need for bleed on CD and DVD artwork probably causes the most confusion for clients who are setting up print artwork for the first time.
Simply put, ‘Bleed’ is an area of your artwork which extends beyond the finished edge of the printed item, and is lost when the item is trimmed to size after printing.
‘Bleeding’ the artwork beyond the finished size allows for the inaccuracies that creep into the printing process so that when trimmed the print will extend to the edge of the item with no unintentional unprinted white areas.
‘Bleed’ is required for printed paper and card based CD and DVD packaging artwork as these are trimmed to size. CDs and DVDs are not trimmed so their artwork needs to be to the finished size.
A simple example would be a single sheet front insert for a CD Jewel Case. The finished size ready for consolidation with a Jewel Case is 120.5mm (w) x 119.5mm (h). Our artwork guide asks for 3mm bleed all round. This means that the artwork will need to extend to 126.5mm x 125.5mm by adding 3mm to each edge. The usual way of doing this is to extend a colour block or use a larger photo but mindful that 3mm will be lost.
Below is another example:
Example CD Booklet artwork with bleed, the area outside of the magenta keyline.
The artwork above shows the centre pages for a CD Booklet. The magenta key line shows the finished size of the booklet once it’s been trimmed to the correct size.
‘Bleed’ is the area of colour and photo’s to the outside of the magenta line, and this area will be lost once trimming is complete.
When producing your artwork do not add any key lines unless you are able to define them as separate layers which can be removed. If you are producing High Res jpeg artwork this will not be possible, so supply your artwork without any key lines or guides. We will position it on the page and send you a visual showing the trimming line and bleed for your OK.
For a multi page CD booklet (above) the finished size is 241mm x 119.5mm (to be folded). Once we’ve added at least 3mm bleed to each edge of the actual artwork the size becomes 247mm x 125.5mm or more. There is no problem using more than 3mm bleed as we can remove what’s not required.
Links to our CD and DVD artwork guidelines are here
We produce lots of CD orders for bands and musicians putting their music to CD for the first time. Recently we’ve noticed growing confusion between the formats needed for digital music distribution and that needed for ‘physical’ Audio CDs.
The advent of digital music players and downloads has made music file formats such as .MP3 and .WAV ever more popular. Music tracks are encoded and compressed and stored as a series of 1’s and 0’s in much the same was as a photo or a spreadsheet.
These files are stored on servers, music players and are easy to email and move around. You can even write them to a CD 😉
When you write .WAV files or .MP3 files onto a CD they are just data files, and depend on the device reading the CD to recognise them for what they are and select the right software to play them. Your computer does this automatically as do modern CD & DVD players.
For older CD players this is a problem as they do not recognise MP3s or other digital music files so CDs with digital music files will not play, leaving the listener unable to hear your music.
The solution is to create an Audio-CD ( CD-Digital Audio or CD-DA ) master using the CD recording software on your computer. This will help ensure that your master will play on all CD Players and will generally give the best quality reproduction of your music.
It’s pretty straight forward to write Audio CDs from your computer using the software included. Click here for instructions for Windows and Mac.
We’ve recently completed a CD Printing and copying order for a creative agency who were producing CDs for a conference.
In this case the CDs contained the presentations, speakers notes and assorted sales literature which are to be given to delegates at the end of the conference.
The CDs were printed using our ‘retail quality’ CD Litho printing option so the company branding is reproduced to the highest quality, reinforcing their branding and brand values.
While distributing this type of information is possible using email and the web, a branded, physical CD offers conference organisers the chance to give delegates a physical reminder of their event which delegates will reference back to in the future. An ideal opportunity to help keep the brand ‘front of mind’ for the client.
The best way to supply a CD or DVD for duplication is send a physical Master disc. Create a Master disc, test it to ensure it works as expected and send it to us by post or carrier.
We can then make direct copies from your Master which will function exactly as per the original..
However, when time is short, clients ask about emailing files for us to create a master from. The problem is that it’s easy to accidentally introduce problems or issues because we don’t know exactly how the disc should work. Worse, you the client will not have an opportunity to OK it before the production run.
The solution is an ISO File.
An ISO file is an exact digital representation of your CD or DVD which means that it can be emailed for speed, but enable us to produce an exact version of your master CD or DVD. The process is like this:
- Create and test a physical CD or DVD Master disc using your computer CD burner.
- Create an ISO file from your Master using a software utility.
- Using the ISO file you have just created, burn a copy of your Master disc using a software utility or your burning software.
- Double check the contents & function of the copy with your original Master. They should be the same.
- If OK, email or FTP the ISO file to us for duplication.
It’s likely that the CD \ DVD Burning software that came with your computer has the ability to create and burn ISO files. If not there are a wide range of ISO creation tools available for download with a quick web search.
If you do need to download some software we use UltraISO.
UltraISO Screen Shot.
We’ve added this blog to our web site as a quick way of getting useful information and news to our clients.
It’s intended to supplement the existing FAQ page and the ‘How To’ section as well as giving us an opportunity to expand on our Facebook, twitter and Linked In feeds.
We hope you like it !