CD Production Tips

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What are CD production companies?

CD production companies

CD production companies specialize in creating, burning, labeling and packing CDs and/or DVDs. They typically have equipment that is capable of burning multiple CDs at once, and at a much higher rate of speed than a standard CD/DVD writer.

The labeling process is also more professional, and instead of applying a label onto the CD, they typically print the label on the CD itself, which eliminates the chances of the label peeling off. These companies are also capable of providing professional packing for the CDs, including boxes, inserts, jewel cases and accompanying documentation. These companies are excellent to go to if a CD production project requires a large number of discs and a professional look.

How does a CD labeller work?

CD labeler machines

A CD labeler that can be purchased at a local office supply store generally comes with a cylinder-shaped object, blank CD labels and software for creating and printing the labels.

Once a label has been created on the computer, it is then printed on the provided paper, which is usually customized by each manufacturer. This paper is then placed on the cylinder along with the CD, and a quick thrusting motion by the user places the label onto the CD without any air bubbles forming under the label, ensuring the label is applied smoothly and evenly. These CD labeling machines are perfect for small CD creation/replication projects and can be found at most local office supply stores.

What types of media are available for business card CDs?

Business card CD media

Business card CD media is varied, and most types can be found at local office supply stores. The most common is a rectangular-shaped CD with rounded edges that is slightly larger than a standard business card.

Other types include a mini-CD, which is 1/2-1/3 the size of a standard CD, and fits in most CD trays. Eclectic shapes are possible, too, such as triangles or hexagons. In general, the necessary requirements for a mini-CD, or a business card CD, is that it be shaped in such a way as to not be off-balance when it is spinning in the CD reader tray.

How can I design my business card CDs?

Business card CD design

Business card CDs (and CDs in general) can be designed with speciality design software, or by using software usually present on a computer.

CD design software is usually cheap and sometimes comes with CD labels, and allows the user to place text and graphics onto a label, which can then be printed from a printer and placed onto a CD.

Additionally, some CDs, printers and software support printing the designs directly onto the CDs, which reduces the complexity of the CD design. Such software (and CDs) can be purchased from a local office supply store, and are becoming more common as more and more people customize their own CDs.

How can I copy my CDs and DVDs?

CD + DVD Replication

When copying CDs and DVDs that are not copyright-protected, there are two general options to choose from: out-sourcing to a company that specializes in CD + DVD replication, or doing it yourself.

Outsourcing to a company is an excellent strategy if the number of copies is high (above 30 or so). The company will be able to finish the replication much faster that you will.

On the other hand, if the discs have sensitive information on them, or you need to make less than 30 copies, then doing it in-house is the best option. Making 30 copies with one computer could take approximately one day, and the appropriate materials needed to make the copies can be purchased at a local office supply store.

What is an interactive CD?

Interactive CDs

A CD that has a menu that automatically appears upon insertion of the disc, and allows the user to interact with it, is considered an interactive CD.

These CDs are typically included with high-priced software (i.e., the Adobe software suite), and are used to help the user navigate menus, display information or train the user in what the product does.

Interactive CDs cannot typically be created with standard CD/DVD burning software that is included with most computers, but most moderately-priced software include an option for creating an interactive menu for the burned CD.

How can I tell if my CD creation software is good?

Good CD creation software

Good CD creation software will give the user control over every aspect of the creation process. It should allow them to select:

  • The format in which the data is burned onto the disc
  • The title of the disc as it will appear on a user's computer
  • The speed at which the disc is created (i.e., 2x, 4x, 16x, etc)
  • Whether or not to verify the data that has been written to the disc
  • If the disc will auto-run upon insertion or not
If CD creation software supports most or all of these options, then it should be more than capable of handling CD creation needs. To find out more about these options, a user should look at the documentation included with the software, or check the manufacturer's website.

How can I have my CDs produced?

CD production methods

CD production can be handled in two ways: outsourcing or in-house. Outsourcing CD production is helpful when there are a large number of discs that need to be created, or if there is something special about the CD label or contents that can only be done by a professional. In-house work is useful when the need for a professional look is not a priority, or if there are only a few discs that need to be created.

Additionally, in-house work is a necessity if there is critical information that cannot be released outside of the organization that it is intended for. Out-sourcing companies can be found either locally through a phone book or online, and in-house production equipment can be purchased at a local office supply store.

Why should I have CD business cards?

CD Business cards

CD business cards are small CDs of a rectangular shape that can hold approximately 150-200MB of information. This is enough to hold a PDF of a business card, a brochure and additional information about yourself or your company. It can be useful to have these cards if you are targeting a tech-savvy audience, or you want to make a unique impression on a client or potential customer.

A CD business card can be read from a standard CD reader on a computer, and does not require any additional software or hardware to operate. CD business cards are commonly found in office supply stores and can be used in any standard CD/DVD burner.

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