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Introduction into Disc Labels and Covers

Recording a CD, DVD or BD is only half the job. The other half is creating a disc label and cover for the disc case you will use.

Disc Labels

Disc labelIt's important to label the disc you have just burnt, as next time you reach for it, you'll have to waste time searching for the needed one in the unlabeled masses. To label your disc you can use one of the following methods:

  • Pens

    Of course, you can do it using a pen or a permanent marker, but it's quite boring. Moreover pens based on alcohol or a solvent can eat into the disc surface.

  • Label-creation software and adhesive labels

    So, it's more convenient to use a program for creating labels that you can print and stick to discs. But there are some concerns with the adhesive labels. Even though many third-party packages include a gadget to apply labels, you still have to take care to apply the label evenly and smoothly, with no air pockets. Otherwise, the label could cause an unequal distribution of forces on the disc as it spins in the drive, which in turn could cause the disc to shatter while spinning at high speeds such as 52X for CDs and 16X for DVDs.

  • Printers that support printing on optical media

    You can also use ink jet printers, which include a dedicated CD/DVD/BD tray for printing directly on the disc surface. But to use these printers for labeling media, you'll need to buy printable discs. Furthermore you will have to wait at least 24 hours before using your disc in a CD/DVD/BD player.

  • LightScribe technology

    LightScribe logoThis technology lets you use the burner's laser to etch labels with text or graphics onto the top of specially coated recordable CD and DVD media. So, special discs and a compatible disc writer are required. Before or after burning data to the read-side of the disc, you need to turn the disc over and insert it with the label side down. The drive's laser then etches into the label side in such a way that an image is produced. But this method also has drawbacks - special storage precautions are necessary to prevent LightScribe discs from fading. But they are however purely superficial; they do not affect the data stored upon the disc.

Disc Covers

Disc coverDisc covers are created to insert them into a disc case that are designed to protect the media from scratches and other types of exposure damage. There are a lot of disc case types and each case type requires its own cover. That's why before creating a disc cover, determine what case type you will use for storing the CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc you recorded. Here are some of them:

  • Jewel case

    Jewel caseA jewel case is the original compact disc case that has been used since the compact disc was first released in 1982. There are also slimline jewel cases that first gained popularity as cases for CD singles sold in Japan and Europe, and have become a common space-saving packaging for burned CD-ROMs. There are a number of issues with the format of the jewel case. The structure has a weakness in that the case is hinged on two brittle plastic arms which often break if the case receives shock or stress.

  • Keep caseKeep case

    A keep case is the most common type of DVD packaging. It is taller and thicker than a jewel case, and is made of much softer, less brittle plastic, so it does not break as easily. They usually hold one or two discs, but are capable of holding up to six discs.

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