Intro To CD Duplication The first thing you must know, is that there are many different types of CD duplication. Some of them happen to be illegal, which is why you'll need to make sure that the CDs you are duplicating are allowed by local laws and regulations. The CD duplication process is basically taking one CD and making a copy of it, or if you prefer, many copies of it. A CD can store information of many forms, such as pictures, movies, data, and even music. Therefore, you'll need to determine which type of duplication you are interested in. You'll also need to think about how many copies you plan to make as well, as the costs of equipment will vary. Most computers that you buy these days will come with a CD-RW drive, and the software you'll need to make copies of the CD disks. CD duplication is very easy to do, as you all you have to do is a few clicks. Even if you are new to computers, you'll find that duplicating CDs is one of the easiest things you'll do with your computer. With the common software, you can copy an audio or even a data disk in just a few minutes. The most common program is Nero, as it does wonders for CD duplication and CD-RW drives. If you have access to Nero, you'll find it very easy to use and very handy to have installed on your computer. Once you begin to copy CDs, you can make copies of your audio CDs, back up your computer, even make copies of your pictures. The sky is the limit with CD duplication -- which is the main reason it has become so popular over the years. The Difference Between Duplication and Publication It would be easy to say that all CD duplication included was the ability to copy CDs from a master copy so that you can have a bulk amount available to you. But, the process can get a little more complicated with the right words and intentions in place. Along the same lines of duplicating a CD is the concept of publishing a CD into the public. CD manufacturing is the same as the book industry, only it hasn't been around as long. If you look at the book industry, you will notice that there are places that publish your books and others who just manufacture your books. To publish a book means to take all of the relevant information and put it into a certain format. To only manufacture something means that you are only making the copies of the same book. The process in both parts tie into each other, but include different steps and needs that have to be met in order to complete the product. If you are putting together a CD, you will want to know the difference between these two and what it means. For a CD to be duplicated, you have to have it published first. All of the CD duplication machines can only assist you in getting to this point, but you will be the one that has to put together the information for the publication before you can get into the duplication process. Publication is something that you have to lay out first, with all of the relevant information in place. CD publication begins with you getting the correct data, such as music, and putting it into the correct place. When you have done this and made a master copy, it is your publication. From here, you can begin working into the publication area with CD duplication individuals. The publication aspect that is next includes the details of your CD. Everything from the copyright, name of the CD, graphics, table of contents, credits and personalized messages that you want to put in your CD are part of the publication process. With this particular step, you can find industry standards that will tell you what to include or not to include, which can combine with your custom options. If you are going into CD duplication for yourself, this part of it can be a part of the equipment. Many pieces of equipment will come with a publisher and a duplicator, which will allow you to place together the inserts, outer cover and CD before you begin the process of making more copies. In a way, the duplication process becomes the last step of the publishing process. It is when all of the information that you have determined is relevant and worthy to put into your CD package is placed into one component and is processed in bulk. This allows for your CD to be completed and ready to process for publishing to the community. Once you have published a CD, you can not re-publish it. This is where the duplication process becomes the main ingredient of the CD. Your CD will be able to be duplicated with the same publication materials that you established from the beginning of your CD run. The only changes that can be made will have to be part of a second edition, or second run of the duplication process. Because of this, you will want to make sure that everything you have in the publication process is put together in the correct way. The difference between publication and duplication is knowing where you are at in the process and what it should include in order to get the bulk materials that you want and need. Knowing exactly how to approach the different aspects of the publication process as well as when to start the duplication process as a transfer over from publication, can help you to pay attention to the details needed for duplication. Benefits Of CD Duplication The process of CD duplication is the means of making several copies of CDs of various types without doing a replication of many. The term is used to describe the need and use of short run quantity copying of various types of CDs. Most CD duplication is done for quantities under 500. The value and quality of the duplicate is high, with the sound quality being very good and matching the quality of the original. There are many benefits to CD duplication, including: 1. Its less expensive to do CD duplication than it is to do a full replication, especially when the demands are much lower. 2. In most cases, during a replication there will be a minimum amount that is actually more than needed. By using CD duplication, you can actually eliminate this extra replication. 3. Believe it or not, it can actually be much faster to use CD duplication than a full CD replication run. There are other things that can cause you to take a second look as well. With most cases, CD duplication will cost more per CD than that of a full run replication. In the long run however, this may still be much lower. Not all will look like the original either, as some will have blue or even black burn marks on them that make them appear to be duplicates. CD duplication, never the less, is a widely used system of replicating CD's in a very effective and timely manner. The technology is always improving as well, so you can look for updates in the quality of CD duplication systems as well - which is great news for those who enjoy CD duplication. Essentials Of CDR The simple rule of thumb is that whatever you have stored as a file on any other storage medium can also be stored as a file on a CD-ROM. To the recorder, a file is a file, and an ISO doesn't care whether or not the file contains pictures, text, or even audio sound. There are a few special cases, as to where you would want to record a file to a CD in a special type of format. The most obvious here is CD-DA audio. If you wanted to record an audio file to a CD so that you could play it back on your home stereo, you would need to write a CD-DA (or Digital Audio) disk. When you copy data to a CD, you need to ensure that your data doesn't exceed the capacity of the CD that you will be recording to. Due to the audio requirements of CDs, the amount of information a CD can hold is measured in minutes/seconds/sectors. Each second can contain 75 sectors, each of which are capable of holding 2,048 bytes of Mode 1 user data. By using the CD Size command in the edit menu, you can set the capacity of the set you wish to produce, which will help you to prevent exceeding it. The status bar will show you how much space you have used, how much remains free, and the percentage of each one. Even though this may sound a bit confusing at first, keep in mind that it may take some time if you are new to computers. Even though copying a CD is quite easy, knowing the limits and how things work is a bit more complex. Give it some time, and you'll be copying files to CD like the pros do it. How To Find Your Own Equipment for CD Duplication It's time to get your CD produced, but you know that this time, you don't want to work with a company or manufacturer. If you know what you need, you can easily find at home equipment that will allow you to get the most out of your CD duplication experience. Knowing what the options are, what to look for and how to approach your search for the perfect machine will help you to put together your best look for a CD. There are a large variety of brands that are available with equipment for CD duplication, all which have specific features and builds. The first part of the checklist that you want to look into is finding the brands that you know are durable, last for longer periods of time and work with your computer equipment. Searching for reviews and comparing your individual needs is the best way to filter down what your best options are. After you have your brands narrowed down, you can look into some of the features that will fit you best. This is going to be based around your goals with the equipment and what you need. For instance, you want to check to make sure that the equipment is compatible with your computer and the software that you have installed. If not, and if you like the other features, you can always see if there are adapters that will help you to get what you need. Beyond this, you will want to make sure that there are several options for features with the equipment. Everything from the memory that it holds to how many CDs it burns at one time can help you to determine what the best options are for your CDs. For instance, some equipment will only burn twenty CDs at one time, while others can burn up to 1,000 with replicating more than one CD at a time through towers. Knowing the vocabulary and the abilities of individual duplication machines will help you with determining what fits you. Within these options are also the different types of printing capabilities. Silk screening to digital burning of graphics are available on a CD with duplication. Each of these options will look slightly different and will appeal to the eye in a different way. There are also newer technologies that are allowing for more details within the pictures and ways to create the perfect coloring within images. This is a large selling point for any piece of equipment and should be considered before buying. Past this point, the CD duplication equipment becomes choices that are technically based. Things such as network compatibilities, types of CDs that can be burned, extra features and options and newer technology are all built into duplicators to create more appeal and to satisfy more needs of CD duplication owners. Narrowing down the pros and cons of each of these and what you are printing is something that you should always consider before buying. With the popularity of CD duplication is also the need to narrow down the choices and find what best fits your needs. Reviewing, comparing and looking into new technology will help you to find the perfect match and to take the CD duplication and publishing process into your own hands. Sessions of CD Duplication To most of us, the duplication of a CD is as simple as either dropping off a master CD or seeing how many CDs are in bulk. To those who are duplicating CDs, there is much more to making sure your CD turns out exactly like you want. Specifically, those who are in the business of duplicating CDs will have sessions that are used in order to get all of the details in of your CD. This ensures that everything gets copied off exactly like you planned. When beginning CD duplication, there always has to be a beginning with how to get the information that you want from the computer to the burner that is being used. When beginning this process, sessions will often be used. This allows for easier movement of formatting as well as the ability to get all of the information in correctly. The first session that will be done is taking your information and putting it into a specific hardware or software program. This will allow for a completed disk image to be set up as a master copy of what is needed. This will then be paralleled with the information that is in the disk, such as data or music, to be placed into this same master file. The differences in the sessions for the information is based on the file system that is being used as well as the CD length. For instance, if you have a larger amount of information, it will often be placed into packet writing software, so that it can be divided up equally and not take up a large amount of space on a computer. This will then allow for the information to remain safe in the storage space that it is in. When the information is being put into the CD, there are also specific parts of sessions that will be used. This begins with defining the different parts of the CD through a table of contents. Each of the tracks will be set up to match the table of contents so that it can be put into the proper place before burned and so that the information can be placed onto the CD in the corre ct way. This will allow for an easier duplication process and will create a consistency with the copies being made. After this is done, each of the sessions will be divided by a lead in and lead out for each session. This is defined by the times that are used to duplicate the CD and how this lines up with the table of contents that has been used. For instance, if five tracks are being burned, the session will begin with a lead in, which will prepare the disk for burning the correct information onto the disk. When the specific burning and copying is finished, it will end with a lead out. The sessions can have as many lead ins and lead outs as needed in order to completely duplicate the CD. This will be dependent on the number of tracks and data that needs to be copied as well as the amount of information that needs to be stored on the software. For instance, if packaging software is being used, it will be easier to have different sessions and to divide the amount of information into several spaces, allowing for the duplication to be processed easier. The concept of sessions, and the ability to create sessions with CD duplication serves several purposes. The first is to divide up the information in the CD processing as well as to create a separate space for each set of information. The second part of this is to create a work flow that will allow for the information to be finished in a span of time with the CD. If one chooses to use sessions for CD duplication, the process can become easier and allow for more attention to detail. CD Duplication Information It's important to realize from the start that the duplication and replication process is the same, regardless of content, as well as the differences between the CD duplication and replication process. The duplication of CDs refers to burned CDs, such as the CD burner with a personal computer. The burned audio CDs have playability issues in some CD players, normally car stereos, portable CD players, and even older types of CD players. The duplication of CDs has much faster turn times, simply because a stamp doesn't need to be made. The process of duplication can start as soon as the master is received, where the replication process doesn't start for 5 -- 7 days, during which time a glass master and stamper must be made. When done locally with a personal computer, you can duplicate an audio or data CD in just a couple of minutes. To duplicate a CD, you must have a computer with a CD-RW drive. This drive copies the CD disks, and without one -- you simply cannot copy disks. If you have a DVD-RW drive, you can copy both DVD and CD disks. These drives are normally the way to go, as they can copy virtually anything you stick in the drive. Once you have your drive, you'll also need software to copy the disks, which there are many out there for you to choose from. With a CD-RW drive, you can copy audio CDs, data CDs, even make SVCD copies. The disks used for CD will hold up to 700 MB (MegaBytes) of data, or up to a little over an hour of music. With everything CD duplication has to offer you, its no wonder why it's so popular. If you've never tried duplication before, you should rush and get you a CD-RW drive for your computer right now -- as the many uses will simply amaze you. What You Should Know With the increasing amount of CD duplication options for equipment, its very important that you read the reviews for the different types of equipment you are considering before you make that final decision and choose your model. The best CD duplication equipment for your project will all depend on the volume of CDs you plan to duplicate at a time, and the amount of money that you are planning to invest on a particular piece of equipment. Your best source for reading reviews of CD duplication equipment is on the Internet. There are many different consumer websites out there that will allow users to post reviews of equipment, then rate them on a five or ten point scale. Anytime you are reading reviews, it's very important that you get your information from a trusted and reliable source. Websites that are up by the owner of the product, or those that are trying to sell you specific hardware normally aren't the best to turn to when you need to read a review. No one who is trying to get you to buy a certain piece of hardware is going to tell you about the flaws the equipment has, or even let you know about a competitor who has a similiar item for sale at half the price. All across the internet, you can find many different websites that offer the information you seek. There are several that offer forums, where other users will tell you honest opinions and give you feedback about the equipment they own. This can be a great way to find out about the duplication equipment your interested in and what else is available for you to purchase. Another excellent place to look for CD duplication equipment reviews is trade magazines and even electronic magazines. Magazines will normally test equipment then share their their opinions with their readers. Always be sure when you are reading a review that it's an article sponsored by the magazine and not a paid advertisement. CD duplication reviews of equipment are a great resource when trying to find a piece of equipment to use. With so many on the market, its always good to have resources when you need to make an important decision. A review will also tell you everything the label and description of the product leaves out, which can help to ensure you get the best piece of duplication equipment for your hard earned money. Working With CD Duplication Manufacturers and Companies If you are not the type that just wants to duplicate your CDs at home, finding the right company to do it for you is definitely the route to take. When looking into your options, you will want to make sure that you have some knowledge on the manufacturer and the process and are able to communicate clearly about exactly what you want for CD duplication. With the options that are available in CD duplication are also alternatives that can help you to get the best product out of your CDs. Before deciding on a company to work with, you will want to check out some points with how they work and what their reputation is. Most companies should have a website that shows what their process is and what they offer to those who want a CD duplicated. You will want to make sure that they offer a wide variety of options, specifically based around packaging options, duplication options and the ability to create an end product that looks good. When looking up the companies, don't just look at what they offer in their products section. It is also good to look up the track record and reputation they have. There should be a portfolio that you can access at some point which shows the past work that they have done and how it has turned out. This will help you to determine their level of professionalism and what they offer as a manufacturer. If you find that there is manufacturer that is better suited to your needs, don't just give them a call. Go in first to see how they really work. You will want to make sure that they have the right equipment, depending on what you need and are able to accommodate all of your needs, no matter what you are interested in. This will help you to find the best options with your CD. Typically, manufacturers will have similar levels of expertise, but you want to make sure that they match with what you need. The last part to pay attention to with any CD duplication company is in relation to the pricing that is offered. The pricing should be offered by package, and will vary according to the amount of duplication that you get. This will be divided in several ways. The first is by the casing that you decide to get for your CD. The second part to this is the inserts and printing that you have done for the inner and outer part of the CD. The more graphics and colors you have, the higher the pricing will be. This will be done in relation to the type of graphics you have on the CD, divided according to whether you use the full CD or not as well as how much color your graphics have. The last part of the pricing is based on quantity. You can expect to pay a bulk price, depending on how many CDs you are getting duplicated, with some discounts in pricing if there are more CDs that you are processing. If you look into these various qualifications of different companies, you will be able to find the right fit to manufacture your CD. The result is that you will have the right partner who is able to give you the best product, as well as the best deals and the most professional look. As long as you are looking into the competition, you will be able to find one who is able to get your CD duplicating done the correct way. The Green Thumb of CDs In an attempt to save trees and the environment, are also new options for duplication. Eco-friendly options within CD duplication is another way to begin the process of getting your products into the public and helping to save the environment at the same time. The major way in which CD duplication is beginning to contribute to the environment is through packaging options. Using the slim trays instead of jewel cases, for instance, is a popular option in order to reduce the amount of material that is used for each CD and still allow the same amount of professional quality to be seen in each package. Keeping this option in mind when you are deciding on packaging is an easy way for you to save a tree. Not only does the casing help with going green, but the products that are produced to compliment your CD are also taking an eco-friendly approach. If you want to be environment cautious, you can also look at the options for paper stock. This includes things such as recycled paper, fiber board and wood free options. There are several manufacturers who specialize in this in order to help with the environment. Not only can you get the inserts as these types of products, but can also build your entire CD cover with this. If you decide to use a mail jacket or a regular slip jacket, it will be easier to find the right eco-friendly options. These types of covers also come with alternative material options, including foam boards, fiberboard and recycled materials. With the alternative materials used, you can easily create a CD that is environment friendly. The result with the materials that are used is that your entire CD package can become biodegradable. Not only will you be saving on materials through recycled and alternative materials, but you will also be helping the environment to stay clean through the different ways in which you approach your CD manufacturing. This becomes an important concept when placing together your eco-friendly package. The biodegradable concept moves past the materials and into the details of your packaging. One of the large components of this is the use of ink in the CD. Companies have now found ways to become environmentally friendly with print. This is specifically done through the use of vegetable oil or soy as a base, which is environmentally sensitive. The varnishes and inks that can not have this base use low content in chemicals and are water based instead, allowing for less man-made fumes to be placed in the environment. You can look for the ingredients in the ink or can find carbon neutral options that are used in the materials. If you want to top off your green thumb, you can also consider making short runs of your CD instead of mass productions. This means only printing off 500 or less in bulk at one time. This will allow you to save on wasted materials and ensure that your market takes what is already duplicated without any left overs. This simple, but eco-friendly option, will allow you to contribute to the environment and to mixed media at the same time. No matter what type of CD you are producing, having eco-friendly options can help you to contribute in more than one way. Knowing the options for materials, manufacturing and the process of the CD duplication can further your abilities to remain aware of the environment while printing your CD. Differences Between CD DVD Media Even though both CD and DVD disks have the same media size and shape, the things they have in common ends there. There are many different things between the two, such as what they hold and how much they hold. Data pits and lasers A disc has microscopic grooves that will move along in a spiral around the disc. CDs and DVDs both have these grooves, with laser breams applied to scan these very grooves. As you may know, digital information is represented in ones and zeroes. Inside of these discs, very tiny reflective bumps known as lands and non reflective holes known as pits, which can be found beside the grooves, reflect both the ones and the zeroes of digital information. By reducing the wave length of the laser to 625mm or more infrared light, DVD technology has managed to write in smaller pits when compared to the standard technology of CD. This will allow for a greater amount of data per track on the DVD. The minimum length allowed for a pit in a single layer DVD-R is .4 micron, which is obviously more than the .0834 micron that a CD offers. The tracks of a DVD are narrower as well, which allows for more tracks per disc, which also translates into more capacity than a CD. The avaerage single layer DVD holds 4.5 GB of data, while a CD holds a mere 700 MB. Layers As stated above, a DVD has smaller pits and the lasers need to focus on them. This is actually achieved by using a thinner plastic substrate than in a CD, which means that the laser needs to pass through a thinner layer, with less depth to reach the pits. It's this reduction in thickness that's responsible for the discs that were only 0.6mm thickness -- which is half that of a CD. Data access speed DVDs will access data at a much faster rate than a CD can. The average 32X CD-ROM drive reads data at 4MB a second, while a 1X DVD drive reads at 1.38MB a second. This is even faster than an 8X CD drive. Universal data format The recording formats of CDs and DVDs are quite different, as DVDs use UDF, or the Universal Data Format. This format allows data, video, audio, or even a combination of all three to be stored in a single file structure. The advantage to this is any file can be accessed by any drive, computer, or even consumer video. CDs on the other hand aren't compatible with this format. CD Mastering Engineers If a recording artist or inspiring musician has any hopes of having their songs played on the radio, they'll need to have their rough mix mastered very well. The best way to do this, is to hire a CD mastering engineer. Professional mastering engineers can make a decent audio mix sound great and a good mix sound completely amazing. There are many different things that CD mastering engineers can do. They will work with the artist to decide what order the songs appear on the CD, and also equalize the volume of the different instruments in each song and across the entire CD. They can also help to add more definition and clarity to the instruments in a song. Then, they will adjust the introductions and ends of the songs, choosing the length of time between the songs and adding crossfades or other nice effects if they need to. The order in which the songs on a CD appear can greatly affect the way the CD progresses when it's played. If similar sounding songs are placed side by side on a CD, it can lead listeners into thinking the artist has a very limited range. It's ultimately up to the CD mastering engineer to work with the recording artist and choose the order of songs on the CD. It's very important that the instruments in a song and the songs on the CD be at an appropriate volume level. Within a song, the different elements must be mixed appropriately in order for the song to sound like it should. The CD engineer can also give clarity and definition to the different instruments in a song. The engineer will also have the task of assuring that the volume levels across all of the songs are the same, in order to help the CD sound more cohesive while still leaving room for dynamics. The CD mastering engineer will also determine how much time there should be between the songs on the CD. They will also fade and crossfasde the intros and endings of the songs to make them have a better flow. For an interesting career, CD mastering engineers is a great choice. They make excellent money, get to work with top artists, and enjoy what they do. If you like music, this career may be what you've always wanted. For those who are already in the profession -- it's a job unlike any other out there in the world. CD Ripper Software CD ripper software will open up an entirely new way of how you listen to music. With the use of CD ripping software, you can take audio tracks from a CD and them into audio files for use on your computer. You can save them as WAV, MP3, OGG, or WMA audio files. The term "ripping" is the term used to describe this very process. There are advanced CD ripper software as well, which allows you to convert back and forth between these formats. You can also get software that can record vinyl LPs and cassettes to create those same audio files for your computer. You can get a variety of ripper software programs online by searching the internet. Most software is user friendly and offers you a variety of options. You should however, do some searching and comparing before you decide which CD ripper program is best for your needs. Each type of CD ripper software will offer it's own style and interface. You should always make sure the CD ripper software you choose is easy to use and easy to understand. It doesn't matter how good the software is -- if you can't use it. When you explore the options of CD ripper software, make sure you also check the software's editing abilities. With most programs, you can select the output format for the music. This will include the bitrate, channels, and even the frequency. Quality ripper programs will also tag the encoded audio files with medadata, which will contain information about the artist, song title, track number, and even the album title. This will automatically be input for the file. Another great feature with some ripper programs is the ability to delete the silence at the beginning or end of song tracks. Some programs will even give you the ability to edit the songs themselves, giving you full control of the sound provided by your files. For those who enjoy to listen to their music from a CD, a CD ripper can aso be used to select your favorite songs and create a mixed CD. Some rippers will even let you rip audio tracks directly from a CD then burn them to a new CD - without having to save them as a new audio f ile. With millions of people ripping CDs these days, CD ripping is the wave of the future. You no longer have to keep your music on your computer, as you can rip them to a CD or even put them in your favorite MP3 player and take the music with you -- wherever you go. Duplicating Within Your Budget If you plan to produce, market, and sell your own CDs, you have the need for high quality CD duplication. If you have the need for great quality and great prices, you should thing about things before you turn to one company to do all of the duplicating for you. No matter what you use it for, CD duplication is an expense that shouldn't take over your budget at all. Below, you'll find several tips on how to keep duplication within your budget. 1. Shop with comparison All companies out there need to able to find the company that is going to give them the best possible price. If you have access to the internet, you can do this online. Look from one company to another until you find the best price that fits your budget. 2. Keep within your budget Although this is easier said than done, it's very important to find a company that can work within your budget or you'll need to get a bigger budget. Even though you may not realize it now, doing these types of things on credit can hurt you later on down the road. 3. Quality If your music or other CDs mean a lot to you, then you should put them in the hands of a reliable duplicator -- and never skimp on quality. Always make sure you a guarantee of the quality of their work as well, to protect yourself. CD duplication is a must have for the movie and music business. There's no doubt that you need this type of service, although you should take the time to find the best company for the job. When it comes to developing your product - you'll want to have only the best. Caring For Your CD The way that CDs are built and the options that they provide for playing is one that has used the latest of technology in order to work. If you want your CDs to keep on working, you should also keep in mind the various ways that will allow them to play better and last longer. Whether you are saving CDs that are being duplicated, or are building a personal collection, make sure you know how to care for your CD. The most important part to remember about CDs is that they have to be built with specific materials and components. This includes outer layers that are built for protection, such as adhesives, as well as inner layers of metal that is compatible for laser reading and optical options. CDs were designed to last for up to 100 years as their life span, with specific protection against heat and cold. However, there are ways in which CDs can become ruined if not taken care of. Because of this, there are important things to keep in mind to keep the disks this way. The first rule to remember is to keep your CD in a safe place. When you scratch a CD, you are actually taking off the protective layer that is used for the trackings on the CD. When you scratch your CD, you are taking off the protective layer and sometimes the metal underneath. This causes the data that is stored in the tracking areas to be lost in the scratch. Along these lines, it is also important to keep your CDs cleaned. There are several items that you can find that help to keep dirt off of the CDs without you scratching the CD. If you think there are any problems with your CD or if it has been out of it's storage space, this can help you to keep the information in the right place and take preventative measures for the CD loosing information. Not only can this happen with CDs being outside of the case, but also from being touched. It is recommended that CDs are held on the outer edges of the CD or in the middle hole. This is because there is no information in these open spaces and it will protect it from dirt, grease or other components getting into the data area. If you do touch the inner part of the CD, make sure that you clean it off in order to keep the grease out of the CD. If you have a CD collection that you have built yourself, you will also want to be careful of what you allow to be in or on the CD. For example, you should never write on a CD with a permanent marker. This may be important for labeling, or even finding a cheap way to put a design on your CD. However, the chemicals that are in the markers can damage the media. This is done because over time, the chemicals will take in oxygen. This will take away the protective layer and will allow dirt and other things to build up inside of the CD. Whether you are working on your CD duplication sales or want to make sure that your CD collection stays at it's best, keep these simple things in mind. Keeping your CDs protected from dirt and other things will help to keep the CDs lasting for a longer time and will allow you to enjoy all of the music. Alternative Uses for CDs You know that you can use CDs for anything, including a coaster or a great Frisbee. However, CDs don't just have to be used in the music realm or for an extra accessory around the house. If you want other creative uses for putting together a CD, you can look at some of these trends and options. Business Cards. Whether you are a musician, entrepreneur or business owner, business cards are a great way to introduce yourself on CD. Not only does it allow for you to have an outer presence and set of information that someone can just look at, but will also allow you to put together a presentation that individuals can use to get more information or to sign up with one of your products or services. Sales. CDs are not only being used as business cards, but also as options for promoting sales of different types. Several companies are now specializing in marketing for CDs with options such as CDs for trade shows, corporate gifts, special events, promotions, direct response and to advertise new products. This combination of sales features that can be used with CDs is helping to take the forefront for a new way to present information to potential customers. Presentations. From data to Powerpoint, presentations can be a great use for CDs and duplication. If you just need one, you can count on it working in almost any type of technology. However, if you want to get creative, you can set your notes and data on extra CDs through duplication so that others who are there have a keep sake of your knowledge and information. Imagery or Visualization. While most of this will take place on a DVD format, you can also use CD formats to do certain types of imagery on a CD. If you have a certain project, think of adding on images to enhance your presentation or to allow certain key points to be a part of the presentation. This will allow those who know you to have an extra tool to look at outside of seeing you. Books on CD. This is a growing and popular option for CDs. Whether you want to listen to your favorite book in the car or are looking for a way to mass produce speaking options, CD duplication can help you to put together books that are heard and not read. Weddings, gatherings and thank yous. Another popular option being used by newly weds, families and those who are putting together parties is as a keepsake. Weddings are often times duplicated on CD to send as thank yous, as well as other options, such as parties or special occasions. This is a simple keepsake that can be duplicated for everyone you mean to tell something to, but don't have the time for. These are only a few of several options for CDs so that you can present what you want to in a different light. If you don't have music, but want to present something a little differently, finding options with CD duplication and presentations is an easy way to let others know about somethin g. Not only does it allow you to create a presentation in a different format, but also allows you to put together a mixed media format for those who are interested in the details of what you have to say. Tips For CD Duplication Side Business The process of CD duplication has arrived in a very big way. Teenagers these days are using their CD burners to rip MP3s from their favorite artists and bands. Companies choose to use CD duplication to make backups of their software and important documents. Federal agencies on the other hand, are scrambling to define and interpret intellectual piracy and copyright laws as they relate to CD duplication and the industry of music as a whole. The movie industry is also seeking how they can profit from using CD duplication. With so much attention being focused on CD duplication, now is the ideal time to turn your home CD duplication hardware into a very profitable side business. Believe it or not, you may already have everything you need to get your CD duplication process going in the right direction. All you need to get your business started is a computer, CD burner, CD duplication software, and a few blank CD-R disks. Contrary to what you may think, its that easy to get going. If you don't have a computer or a CD burner, you really shouldn't worry, as purchasing a CD duplication device is actually very affordable. The cost of stand alone CD duplication software has reduced quite a bit over the years. Almost all home computers come with internal CD duplication hardware (CD burners) and some sort of duplication software as well. CD duplication media, such as blank CD-R and CD-RW are very low in price and can be purchased at almost all retail stores. The market for your CD duplication service or company is going to local bands and musicians as well as small businesses. Local up and coming bands are often too busy perfecting their sound to deal with the tedious and time consuming task of duplicating CDs for their gigs. They also lack the money to order CDs from the big time CD duplication companies as well. The smaller businesses are pretty much the same, as they are almost always unable to financially justify having a technical or computer staff to handle the backup and data storage aspects of their company. Many times, they will end up forgoing needed data backups simply because they forget all about it. You can however, solve these common gaps, provide needed service, and earn some nice side money by starting your own duplication service that caters to these types of clients. By offering a reasonable price, fast rate of delivery, and a quality product, you'll get many repeat customers and a side business that will keep busy for as long as you want it. Intro To CD Mastering Even though many assume that the mixing of the seperate audio tracks is the final step, a recording should always be mastered well in order to sound great. CD mastering is the final chance for creative input when you create a compact disc. After the discs has been mastered, it can be printed, reproduced, and then sold. The process of mastering a CD actually involves several steps. The first step is putting the songs, or tracks at this point in the correct order. The length of time between the songs is also adjusted, along with the editing of the songs. Any unlisted or secret songs on the CD are normally added at this point as well. There are several ways that you can go about mastering a CD. First of all, the mix can be sent to a professional CD mastering engineer, which is what professional musicians normally decide to do. The mastering engineers will often work in their own mastering facilities, which are very different from standard studios, in the fact that they have much less gear and are designed for the best possible playback of the mix as possible in order to fix anything that's wrong. Aside from mastering engineers, CDs can also be mastered at home using computer software. This option is normally more realistic for unsigned artists or musicians who are just starting out with their music. Depending on the software quality and skill of the individual doing the mastering, the CD may turn out perfect or it may sound very unprofessional. You can also refer to online CD mastering as another option. Cds that are mastered online can be great, as instead of sending a mix to a mastering engineer, the mix is instead sent via the Internet. To do this, you'll need a high speed Internet connection. The cheapest way to go about mastering a CD is with free mastering. Artists and musicians may choose to use free mastering programs with demos or other earlier recordings that artists will use to send to major record labels to generate some interest in their music. The major differences with a professional CD and an amateur recording is normally found in the mastering. Every song that you hear played on the radio is thoroughly mastered in order to sound better. While you can master using free programs or your computer, a professional CD mastering engineer is normally the best way to do business if your band is looking to make a profit from your music. The New Type of Disc Technology with CDs is not backing down from the abilities to create possible solutions for the future of CDs. With the growth and demands for main stream technology are also experiments and options that are leading into new innovations within the industry. For CDs, this is leading to a new frontier in how music is listened to, not only with the online options, but also with the CD capacities. The newest CD technology that is hitting into the mainstream is known as Blu-Ray. This is an advanced type of CD that is allowing for more compatible options for consumers. While this is still a development in CDs, it is beginning to hit the main streams and become a main way of listening to music or displaying information. Not only does this CD allow for these two options, but also has created a space in which video can be placed onto the same CD. The effects that this may have on CD duplication leads into a new era of copying music, information or duplication of different ideas. The largest component of the Blu-Ray is the ability for the disc to do more than the average of CD. Most know that CDs will only contain a specific amount of information, whether it is through data or through musical needs. This averages with about eighty minutes of music or 2 MB of information. Blu-Ray disks have tripled the amount of information that can be stored. You can typically hold about 25 MB of information on these disks, no matter what type of format. Beyond the larger storage spaces for capabilities, is also the ability for the formatting to move from one to the other. For example, if you want to record on the disc you can. However, if you are more interested in putting data on the CD, you can still use the same disc. Not only can you record or store data, but you can also re-write on the same disc in a different format or even put high definition capabilities in the same space. With all of these benefits that have increased the technology use for CDs is also the question of what makes the difference between Blu-Ray and a normal CD. The answer is simple. The capacities of Blu-Ray come from the optical abilities. The optical lenses used in CDs are lasers that are used in order to read a disc. For CDs, this is used with a red laser that is able to track all of the information. With the Blu-Ray, the main information is stored in the same way, but is built with reading from a blue laser. The difference is in the frequency of light that moves into the CD. Because the blue laser has a higher wave frequency than a red laser, it is able to read the information faster. The result is that more in formation can be stored and more possibilities for storage are read into through one disc. Not only do the Blu-Ray discs offer this as a capability, but are also creating more capacities within the CD. The CD can come with more than one layer of information stored inside of it. Within each layer are sectors that are divided in the CD. These sectors contain the storage data within the CD. Most CDs will only have one layer with the storage. However, Blu-Ray discs now come with the option of having a single layer or a double layer in order to make it compatible to save more information. These layers are now allowing for the ability to save up to 50 GB of storage in one disc. The Blu-Ray technology that is moving into the field of CDs is one that is quickly changing and revolutionizing CDs in a new way. The components that allow the CDs to do a large amount more than regular CDs are becoming another option from the current trends in both CD capacities as well as MP3s or downloads, leading to a future with higher technology options. Factors In CD Duplication The process of writing data to a recordable CD can be a complex process, as it demands a lot from both hardware and software programs. Much of this complexity is hidden from the user by the program, although you should be aware of these factors. Data The total amount of data you are writing is much less important than whether or not it contains large or several small files. If there are a lot of small files, the system may have problems with locating and opening the files quickly enough to send them smoothly to the CD recording drive. The computer Any interruption that may occur is fatal to CD duplication, so you should ensure that your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT don't load any TSR utilities which may interrupt operations. Screen savers, alarms and reminders, or incoming faxes may also kill disc writing. You should also turn off network sharing so no one will access the files that you are trying to write, as this could also kill your disc recording. Hard Disk Speed To write an image to the CD, the hard disk from which you are writing must have a transfer rate that is fast enough to keep the memory buffer full in the CD recorder. This normally means an average hard disk access time of 19 MS or better. Defrag If your hard drive has to search everywhere over a fragmented hard drive for the data to be written, it can cause the operation to slow down or even cause a fatal error. Therefore, always be sure to fragment your hard disk drive. Recording speed Most new CD recorders and even some older ones, are capable of writing at two (sometimes even four) times the standard playback. It should be possible for you to select the speed; as even though fast recording is a time saver, it can also cause some bad situations. When you copy an ISO (image file) from the hard disk to a CD, the speed is rarely a problem as the image is already one large file in which the files and structures are already in order and divided into CD-ROM sectors. When you write from a virtual image, things can get a bit trickier. In order to copy to CD, the program must consult with the database to find where each file should go in the image and where it is actually stored on the hard disk drive. Then, it must open the file, divide it into CD-ROM sectors, at the same time sending the data in a smooth continuous stream to the recorder. Locating and opening the file is a bit more time consuming, as writing is more difficult if you have a lot of small files. The Process of CD Duplication Even though there is always the option to simply burn a CD from the Internet, CD duplication and processing takes a little more than just a simple copy. The process of CD duplication takes the right equipment and expertise in order to get the design and look exactly right on every CD. Understanding how this works and how to use it effectively can help you to get the right outcome for Cd duplication. The basic concept of CD duplication is to take the information, music or audio from a CD and to copy all of the files and data from the original, or mastered CD, and into a new CD. When one does this for several disks, it creates not only the burning of a CD, but also duplication, which uses links to towers and that allows for more than one CD to be burned at one time. When there is the capability of burning hundreds or even thousands of CDs at one time, the duplication process takes specific steps in order to get it exactly right. Much of this will depend on the equipment that is being used; however, when you get your CDs back, the process of copying the various parts typically remains the same. The first step that any CD duplicator will add into the process of copying a CD is to enter all of the information needed into a master CD. This will include the music or data that is in the CD. It will also include a molding of the graphics and the design that you want to keep on the disk. This mold will be placed in a computer or in a specific machine that is able to handle the process of multiplying the number of CDs, which allows for a stamp of all of the CD information to move onto the CD. When making the stamp of the CD, there are specific requirements for the software or hardware that is used. The machinery will require a specific hook-up to the computer when processing this. For example, if you are using a laser burner, you will need to have a software system that supports this and which allows for you to ensure that it gets the right coloring and quality. After all of the information is entered, the CDs can then be pressed. This means that they will have the ability to have all of the information placed on the CD in the exact same way that the molding or stamp has allowed for it to process. This capability will then simply multiply, replicating the exact copies that are in the master copy, so that all of your CD products look exactly the same. This same process will then be used for the jewel cases and inserts that are a part of the CD. The information will be entered as a graphic design, then will be processed through a specific replication machine or copier that allows for the cases and the artwork to keep an exact copy of what is seen from the CD. In the end, you will have the ability to have hundreds of CDs that are direct replicas of your master CD. The process that is used is one that creates a professional look as well as an exact visual, with the correct data, used on the CD. By moving through the process of CD duplication in the correct way, the ability to have distribution of the correct CDs is easier to achieve. Basics About Burning Software When getting into CD duplication, it would be much easier if all software and hardware options were created equally. However, this is not the case for different applications and how they work with the process of burning CDs. If you are ready to start duplicating on a larger level, you want to make sure that your computer software or hardware matches up with the information you are getting ready to burn. Before deciding on any type of software, it is important to make sure that you know which operating system that you are using and how the software will compliment it. Typically, there are different types of software for Macs or for Windows PCs. Within this category are different software options depending on the year of the PC as well as the operating system that is used within it. For example, if you have Windows 98, you will need to find software that is compatible with this type of system. Once you know what type of system you need to have the software be compatible with, you can then look into the features that are best for the system. For instance, many of the software options are now coming with packages so that you can master, design and duplicate all in one area. This is good if you are interested in making personalized designs. Other software features will have these options, but will be divided into packages so that you will have more options available for space saving during the duplication process. This is not only divided by the specific duplication files that can be used, but also includes the ability to divide the preferences in software depending on what type of duplication machine that you have. This format can be specific to silk screening, laser printing or other duplication machines. The importance of this is defined in the ability to specify the colors used in the graphics, the printing capacities and the best way to put everything together. With these various options for your software, are also the capacities and characteristics that you want your software to carry, no matter what type of brand you choose to get. The number one priority that is a part of this is ensuring that the software has the proper back up, so that you can store a large amount of media and keep data that is critical for longer periods of time. This back up should not only be available for your hard drive, but should also allow you to store any type of media in any set network. After this, you will also want to specify what types of components you want within your one type of software. For instance, some software now comes with combined abilities, such as duplication, extraction and mastering. Others will allow you to format for different types of CDs or data, including everything from Flash presentations to music or audio. Knowing what you will need in designing and preparing every type of CD can help you to find the right software for your needs. With the combined qualities and options of burning application software, you can then find the best possibilities in designing and defining every part of your CD. The capabilities in the software is one that should carefully be looked into, especially when finding the best ways to place together the CD that you are envisioning. Mastering Music Before CD Duplication It's known that the CD duplication process is the last step to a perfect CD. However, before you even consider bringing a CD into the duplication process, you want to make sure that everything fits together the correct way. Even with a home recording studio, you can find the right mix and balance to your CD. Knowing how your end sound should be and how to monitor everything correctly will help you to get the best quality sound out of your CD before the duplication process. Your first tip is to know that just recording your instruments is not the end to the process, even if you only plan on making a few duplicated CDs. Recording goes through several steps, specifically linked to mixing, pre-mastering and mastering. Once you get to the mastering stage, you will want to check to see if all of the instrumentation is equal and that it balances out the way that you want to. This not only includes balance, but also pertains to the volume level that you want to keep throughout the CD and consistency from one song to another. Each song should already have the right mix and balance. Now, you want to make sure that the overall volume and sound fits exactly right. The way to check mastering comes down to the technicalities of making sure that all of the instruments are normalized at the same frequency and balance out between highs and lows. This means that your bass part should be at a certain volume level which should match with the higher levels, such as the voice or guitar. By listening closely enough, you should be able to tell if it is too high or low. You can always find the math formulas that will help you to mix together everything correctly and sum up everything so that it blends nicely. This is not just with one song or one set of instrumentation. It is something that you want to check for with consistency throughout the entire CD. One of the parts of the process that you can use while mastering is to follow guidelines for the different types of music you have. Typically, mastering software will come with configurations that you can customize to get the right balance in each song. This will be dependent on the volume level that you want, combined with the levels used in the industry. For instance, rock music will have a slightly louder volume than classical music. Understanding the differences and how to adjust will help your music to sound better in the end process. This particular point is one that is consistent with industry standards as well as personal preferences which you will want to determine for your type of music. Once your monitors tell you how the sound is balancing out, make a dumby master. This is what will let you know what really happened in the studio. You will want to take this copy and play it everywhere that you can. Everything from your home stereo, car stereo or computer should be a test area to make sure that everything sounds right. Go through each track and make sure that your volume stays the same and that all of the instruments are balanced out correctly. Once you do this, you will be able to tell exactly what you did. This means that you can adjust the volume on some of the songs, change the volume or mix on all of the songs or clarify some of the sounds through compressing the mix that you are working with. The idea at this point is to have the entire CD at the same volume level and to make sure that everything blends. If you hear something that is off, adjust it. The end result is that you will have a CD that is balanced out, not only with one great song, but with the entire CD. Your music will gain a professional sound and you will be able to distinguish your mix to your fans. By the time you bring this into the duplication area, you will be able to duplicate something that has a mastered touch. Meeting the Standards of Duplication With every CD comes a standard that has to be approved before it gets into the public. These standards are ones that includes a variety of formatting options, as well as industry provisions that have to be reached. Whether you are going to someone to get a CD duplication job done or are looking into the standards for your own business, make sure that you are familiar with what the industry requires. The CD duplication standards begins with nine rainbow books which defines the provisions of CDs. These books are divided according to the type of CD that is being used as well as what the technology can handle at the time. These books began to become industry standard in 1980, when Sony and Phillips came out with The Red Book, which specified the details of audio CDs. These were found through ratios, deviations and encoding that provided effective results with the CD. Within these books are standards that have to be approved before a CD can go into the public. The first is the size and shape of the CD, including the diameter and thickness of the CD. This was determined in order to match the standards of CD players that began to be manufactured. The next part that is determined is the use of materials in the CD. This includes the layers of materials as well as the type of substance that is being used for the CD. The last part of this is the formatting of the CD. The CD should always have a program area which leads in and out in certain ways according to the type of CD it is and what is known to work best for the CD player, manufacturer and customer. The book that has these specific provisions is divided according to color and CD. For example, if it is for video CDs, than the standards will come from the white book. These were divided because there are different materials and processes that need to be used in o rder to create the right standards and to allow for the production to be effective. If one is going into the CD duplication business, they will not only have to meet these standards by following the book that is specific to their CD duplication services. They will also have to receive certifications in order to show that they are aware of the standards and are meeting them with their duplication services. This is the way in which the industry ensures that all of the duplication areas are meeting the same standards, are following the book requirements and are aware of the process that has to be followed for duplicating CDs. These standards are not only shown in the certifications that are obtained for CD duplicators. It is also shown through testers of the CDs from the manufacturer before they move into duplication. Most companies who are producing these sets of products will start their process by testing the standards, making sure they are matched with measurements and specifications and will check to ensure that the duplication process follows these same standards through the tests. This particular concept is not only one that is used with the manufacturing process, but is also a part of quality control with each CD and the duplication process. Every individual who is working with CDs will also have to be a part of the quality control, depending on the manufacturer, industry standards and type of production that is occurring. These particular parts of the CD duplication process ensures that the information and data that is brought to the CD duplication process is always met with the highest standards. As the CD industry continues to grow and change with technology, are also new standards that are being matched within the industry. These standards are not only allowing for new quality control and better practices within duplication, but are also creating higher quality CDs in sound, data and look of the CD. If you want to know why your CD is why it is, all you have to do is look into the book for the industry. Storing Your CDs There are many different storage alternatives for your CD collection. The factors for storage include how many CDs you own and how long you plan to keep them. Below, you will find several alternatives for storing your CDs: 1. CD jewel cases You have probably owned these before, as they are the most common. They can hold your CD cover art and are very easy to line up on a shelf. Keep in mind that they do break rather easily and they take up quite a bit of space. 2. Plastic CD sleeves Plastic sleeves are cheap and thin, so they are easy to afford and easy on shelf space. Since they are so thin, they obviously don't offer a lot in terms of protection. For long term storage, they generally aren't recommended. 3. Paper sleeves For short term storage needs, paper is very cheap and doesn't use much space. Simliar to plastic sleeves, paper is thin and doesn't offer very much protection. 4. Paperboard sleeves Paperboard sleeves are much thicker than paper so they will protect your discs. They are also inexpensive, although they can be hard to seal. 5. Tyvek CD sleeves Tyvek sleeves are cheap and they don't take up a lot of space. For long term storage, Tyvek is normally recommended. 6. CD-ROM disc cases These types of cases can hold a lot of CDs in a small space and they may even help to keep out dust. They do however, make reading labels a bit hard, they keep CDs out of site, and they will take up a lot of space. 7. CD spindles Spindles are cheap and they hold several hundred CDs in a small stack. Sorting through them is hard if you need one specific disk, which makes it something that isn't normally recommended. For the Short or Long Run No matter what data or content you are putting onto a CD, you want to make sure that you know exactly where it is going and can put an estimate of how many CDs you need. Not only will CD duplication allow you to have a product available for the masses, but it will also allow you to plan things exactly as you need them to in terms of quantity. With options for CD duplication are also abilities for you to decide your amount of CDs, timing and goals with getting your CDs duplicated. By understanding these differences, you will have more possibilities available to you. Short Run Possibilities The first set of possibilities for your CDs are for the short run. If you decide to do a short run of CD duplication, you are also deciding that you should get a quantity of 500 or less. In this instance, most companies will not replicate less than 50-100 CDs. You will need to check if you need less than this or don't want a bulk amount. With this specific definition are several perspectives in how this affects your CD duplication. The first alteration that this makes is how it will affect those who are interested in your CD. Depending on your target market or fan base, a short run of replication will limit you in the number of fans that you are able to reach. However, depending on what you are doing and what you are using your CD for, you will want to specify who you want to reach and how you will do it. Typically, a set of 500 or less CDs as a short run will provide you with the ability to change things after a first set of CDs are duplicated. If you only want a limited number of copies, are setting a limit on sales for the CDs or don't have a complete market established at the time, the short run will help to give you the extra boost. Before you decide on duplicating, make sure that you define the specifics of time lines and goals so that you know how many Cds it will take to keep you moving forward. Long Run The long run duplication process is going to be a bulk amount of 500 CDs or more. This type of run can go up as high as you want, typically allowing you to get up to 5,000 or 10,000 CDs in one run. If you are considering a long run for duplication, you can expect to receive a lower price for the bulk amount as well as other options to help with your run. If you are considering long run duplication, you will also want to factor in the pros and cons. One of the largest things to consider is whether you will need to change anything on the CD or whether you want to alter anything in the future. If you think that edits may be made, you may want to consider how many CDs you want. Another perspective to consider with long run CDs is your market. If you copy 1,000 CDs for instance, how will you sell them? You should consider the portals for selling, what you believe the ratio should be and how long you will be able to consider the sales cycle for the CDs. This will not only depend on the market, but also the content that you have and what you are expecting and projecting for your sales. With the replication differences, the major point to consider is the difference between your markets and how you are approaching the sales of your product. It also includes the type of CD you are manufacturing, including an analysis of your content and where you believe it is at in the process. When you combine the analysis of these different angles, you can then make the correct determination of what type of run you need.
10 Tips to Prepare your CD for Duplication Are you ready to put together your perfect CD? If so, make sure that you set everything up right. Once you have something ready for CD duplication, there is no turning back to getting it printed exactly the way that you want to. These tips will help to ensure that everything is set up the way that you want it to be. 1. Does it sound right? Make sure that all of your mixing and mastering for audio is complete. That means that all of the songs should have the same volume of sound and should be even across t he entire CD. You don't want to get into the duplication area and have to turn up and down the volume for every track. 2. Always double check the details. The combination of your CD data or music with the outward information, such as the table of contents, should always be in the same spot. Always re-check before duplication to make sure that everything you have on each track is in the correct place. 3. Graphics. There is nothing that sells a CD more than graphics. You want to make sure that everything is in the right place with the right formats, as well as the right colors. Spending a lot of time to get the perfect look is important, for both the CD and for the package. 4. Check your wording. Inside and out, you should make sure that your wording is right. This means everything from giving credit where credit is due to putting the right tracks with the right songs in the right place. Look at other CDs to see what the correct formatting is and how you can be as close to professional as possible. 5. Copyright. No matter what type of CD you are duplicating, make sure that you claim it as being yours. Get your CD copyrighted and set up correctly before you try to distribute it anywhere. 6. Pay attention to the formatting. There are a lot of formatting options that are available for CD duplication. You can have everything from a one page insert to a 10 page insert, as well as back areas for wording. You want to make sure that you have the correct wording, as well as the correct placement in every area of the jacket. 7. Visualize the package. With the ability to package and replicate in different ways, are also options to create packages. You can have more than just a jewel CD case and more than one shape to your CD. Before you start duplicating, make sure that you know how you want your package to look. 8. Know what you want to say. With the idea of the package are several options for what goes inside your CD. Do you just want to have a list of your songs, or do you want to give lyrics? What type of information do you think is important? Things that should always be included are the copyright, a list of those who helped to put together the CD and information on where to contact you. Your wording will depend on how much duplication you want to do outside of the CD as well as what type of case you are getting for your CD. 9. Do a test run. Even if you are using a professional service, make sure that you test one or two copies of your CD before entering into hundreds of copies. This will ensure that everything is in the right place, is worded correctly and does exactly what you want it to do. 10. Get outside opinions. Other than those who are already working on the CD, make sure to check with some outside voices on how your CD looks and sounds. The main part of your CD is selling a product. You want to make sure that it is appealing, has the right information and turns out with high quality. Getting other opinions on all of these areas can help you to understand if your CD is being manufactured the correct way. Like with every other area of putting together a CD, preparing for the duplication process is one that is just as important. You want to make sure to pay attention to the details and ensure that you don't have to back track or re-print any of your CDs. Preparing the correct way and knowing what you need in the beginning will allow you to save time and money when beginning the process of duplication. The Reason Behind Duplication: Marketing Your CD That's right, you're not done yet. I'm sure you've done all of the rehearsing, arranging, recording, engineering and finally the duplication process. You've officially passed through the first step of being able to get your CD completed. Your next step is to get it even further into the public so that you can start to make back what you need from all of your hard work. Before you begin to duplicate your CD, you should think about your next step. This will help you to determine how many CDs you will need as well as what types of things you can use them for. Marketing and selling your CD is something that should become the priority at the end of the project. There are several portals and areas that will help musicians to find the right way to effectively sell their CDs and to allow them to become a main staple in their musician adventures. You will want to make sure that you get into as many portals as you can so that you can begin to get your name out into the public and make a return on the large investment you've made with your musicianship. Many musicians consider their CD as the main promotional product. If you are performing, rehearsing or are out in public as a musician, you can use your CD as a way for people to remember you and to market yourself as a musician. No matter what musician activity you are doing, the CD should be available. This is one of the easiest ways to build a fan base, reputation and to make back your investment from the CD. If you don't have performances set up, find ways to get them set up so that people know you are out there. Along these lines, you can also consider teaming up with other musicians or interested individuals in the area. Most have heard of street teams. These help you to build a reputation and to get your name out into the public. They can use your CD in order to help promote you. With other musicians, you can do this same thing. If they are performing, ask them to sell your CD and you can do the same thing with their music when the time comes. These types of connections are invaluable with the bulk of CDs that you now have. Another way to get your CD sold is to look into online portals. Places like CD Baby or CD Bathtub offer small set up fees to help you promote your CD to the public. You can also move into more mainstream areas, such as Amazon or online CD marketplaces. These areas include download options as well and the ability to only send a small amount of CDs at one time so that they can start selling to those who are interested in your music. Make sure that you set aside 20-30 CDs to distribute to these areas so that you can begin to get your name around the Internet. Another space to consider is the local areas that sell CDs. Many of the smaller stores will allow you to place your CD into their area for a small commission. You can typically find the places that are in your local area that will accept musical CDs from local artists. Depending on the store, you won't have to bring in a large quantity of CDs and you most likely won't have to pay money up front. If anything, this will help you to gain the reputation that you want. If you want to move outside of the box a little more, than you can find other types of community functions which would help to promote your CD. There are several networking spaces and areas that can work as invitational areas to sell your CD. The more networks you have, the more opportunities you will have to get your CD into the right hands. If you begin to process the ways that you want to sell your CD, it will make the duplication process easier, as you will be able to determine what type of run you will need to do with the CDs and will be able to set goals with what you desire to do with your CDs. When you look at the duplication process this way, the option for duplication is one that is based around your capabilities of promoting yourself as a musician. Disc Quality The high demand and dramatic increase in CD media, plus the competitive pressures to squeeze out every possible cost and improve the profit margins have given rise to many manufacturers of CD related media. To help reduce the costs of increasing capacity, many of these firms have relocated their old manufacturing lines and hired staff that lea rn on the job. The biggest problems with CDs occurs when discs are produced using older equipment then end up failing when you try to use them. Luckily, most of these types will fail when you first try to record on them. There is however, a likelihood that the disc will complete a burn and the media won't play at all. The agony of taking your photo or video treasures and putting them on CD or DVD and then deleting them from your camera or computer only to realize that the copy is corrupted is far too much to risk. The brand name company's such as Verbatim choose to guard their reputation for quality and durability by using only advanced recording dye and other types of technology to produce high speed discs. The stability of the recording dye is very critical as heat, humidity, oxygen, and even UV light can degrade the dye. Verbatim research has also proven there is a strong correlation between the production and bonding processes of disc quality. For data and personal pictures that are important, you should always buy quality CD media. Then, before you go ahead and delete the source file, trying playing the disc back to ensure that it copied correctly. This way, you won't have to worry about losing your precious files and photos when you remove the source from your computer. Copy Like A Professional Anyone who has burned CDs in the past has had to have encountered this problem - your CD doesn't want to play in certain CD players. You've probably tried switching to a different brand of disks, switching the writing speed of your CD burning software, and yet nothing seems to work. Most professional CDs that are purchased from a retail outlet such as Circuit City or Best Buy works in any type of CD player, which probably makes you wonder what they are doing that your not. All of us wonder this, especially when out duplicated CDs don't want to play back like they should. Much to the contrary, it's because the music industry burns their CDs differently. Instead of simply duplicating CDs, the music industry chooses to replicate CDs. Even though the terminology may seem synonymous, the process is actually totally different. CD replication is used for the mass production of CDs, which is normally more than 500. Instead of writing the data to a CD using a laser as with duplication, CD replication uses a glass master to stamp (or press) the data onto the disc. This helps to eliminate almost all of the issues associated with playability that are encountered when burning CDs at home. CD replication is a far superior process of burning CDs. Important to note, is the superior quality of CDs that are pressed using replication doesn't come cheap. Even when using independant CD duplication companies such as Absolute Disc or Oasis, there is still going to be a very high cost associated with the replication of disks. For your next project, try having your CDs replicated rather than duplicated. This will ensure your project is very high quality, even though you'll need to order more than 500 CDs to recive this process. The CD Burner Many years ago, owning a copy of your favorite singer or band would mean going to a retail store or buying from an online website. With the average song count, you would spend at least $10. If you were one of those who couldn't afford to buy a CD, you would probably have to wait for the local radio station to play the songs you liked. These days however, several music download shareware programs make it possible to get your favorite songs directly from other uses without having to go out and buy them. These programs will store the songs you download to your hard drive, or transfer it to your MP3 player if you prefer. If you prefer to keep a complete collection of the songs by storing them to a disc, you'll need one piece of equipment for your computer -- a CD burner. The CD burner comes in two forms: internal and external. External CD burners don't need to be attached to your CPU, and they can be connected to your computer through a USB port with its own power source. The internal type of CD burner is the one that attaches to your CPU and fits on the inside of your computer tower. The CD burner is quite the piece of equipment to have, as it can copy from one CD to another or even from a hard drive to a blank CD, and vice versa as well. To use your CD player, you'll need to have software. You can find some types of this software available to download for free on the internet. Some great examples include ISO Recorder, Deep Burner, and Windows Media Player. If you prefer, you can also purchase quality programs as well. Some examples of these include Nero, Roxio, and Sonic Record Now. The programs that are free have the same burning capacity, although those that cost money will give you more features and overall flexibility. Keep in mind that CD burners aren't limited to only copying audio. You can also use it to copy document files, programs, games, videos, MP3, and many other types of files. The burners with DVD burning capabilities will enable you to copy your favorite DVD to another CD in case you want to share it with a friend or back it up. You can also burn a movie to DVD if you downloaded it off the internet, then watch it on your television or computer. Equipment Used for CD Duplication Over the years, CD duplication has worked on becoming more convenient and with more options available for all who are working towards getting their CD into a product. One of the options that has been built is the use of separate hardware systems that allow for you to be able to instantly duplicate the CDs that you have. These focus on customizing your CD and replicating it within one station. Following are some of the characteristics within hardware formats available for CD duplication equipment. 1. Number of discs. Each type of duplication processor will have a limit on the number of discs that can be replicated at one time. This can range anywhere from 20-1,000 discs at one time. You will want to make sure that you find a convenient number so that you can replicate the discs without having to restock. 2. Computer System Enabled. Just like the software in duplication, the equipment that compliments it also has specific operating systems that are enabled. You will want to make sure that you find a piece of equipment that is Mac or Windows enabled and is able to connect to your specific operating system year. 3. Printer capacity. All of the graphics and images that are placed into a CD, DVD or printer area is divided by the number of pixels. Each pixel will have certain colors contained in them as well as a certain number of dots for each color. You want to make sure that the equipment has a high number of pixels, also known as dpis, (dots per inch). The more dpis it has, the more details it will have in the graphics and colors you are displaying. 4. Publishing Possibilities. Each piece of equipment that you get not only contains customized options for discs, but also for formats. This means that some of the equipment will only print a CD, while others will be able to write DVDs, CDs and Blu-Ray. If you expect to build more than one format, you will also want to make sure that your duplicator is equipped to copy the right data. 5. Standalone. The technology for equipment has grown enough to where you don't have to have a computer in order to get the right results for duplication. There are now several pieces of equipment that, instead of attaching onto a computer, offer built in PCs. The capability then moves to you being able to replicate your CDs with the graphics in one place. 6. Towers. Part of the duplication process is having the ability to print more than one CD at one time. Some pieces of equipment will come with the capacity of only burning one disc at a time. However, if you are looking into long run options, you will also want to look into towers, which will allow you to burn up to 10 CDs or DVDs at one time. 7. Printer choices. With some equipment, you have options for printing. If you want a certain resolution or dpi with some equipment, you can change the printer that is used in the internal system of the equipment. This will allow you to create customized solutions for your discs. 8. Automation. One of the abilities of replication is to cut down on time and cost for getting your CD into a final product. When you have automation working in your favor, you will also have more options to automate what you are doing. You will want to make sure that the CDs can duplicate on their own, so that you can take the time to put together your other projects. 9. Network Options. If you think you will need to connect your CD duplication machine to the Internet or to a network, try to find the equipment that will compliment it with .net connections. 10. Brand. Before you look into any piece of equipment, check out your brand, it's reputation and how it has functioned in the past, specifically with the model number that you are getting. Not all pieces of equipment are created equal. You want to make sure you have the best of characteristics. By combining these various points, you will easily be able to find a piece of equipment that fits best into your needs for CD duplication and replication. The result will be a system that is easy to handle and allows for you to reach full capacity with any type of audio that you are recording. Musicians And CD Duplication These days, technology is always available for any inspiring musician to record, create, and even duplicate CDs. The duplication of CDs will involve CD-R media. CD-R media prices have dropped a lot over the last several years, making them affordable for anyone who wants to use them. If your band is ready to start selling CDs, your best option may be to have your CDs replicated. Replicated CDs are the same CDs that you'll find in music stores by major label artists. They all have excellent artwork printed on the CD inserts, nice tray card inserts, screened art on the CD, and they are even shrink wrapped. The retail CDs that you buy aren't duplicated, they are replicated. This means that an exact replica of your master CD has been stamped out on all of the other CDs. If you are serious about selling your music for profit, replication is the way to go. The fact is, most stores simply won't sell duplicated CDs. Duplicated CDs can be against the law, which is the main reason retail stores simply won't carry them. Replicated CDs let the stores know that the CD is legit, and they will almost always carry those CDs. For musicians and inspiring bands, CD duplication can tend to be a bit more expensive than that of replication. To duplicate CDs, you need a computer with a CD burner, your CD-R media, cases, and a lot of man hours. With CD replication, you can get many more copies, professional artwork, a barcode for inventory, and cases included. Replication is obviously to expensive for those looking to simply back up pictures and data on a personal computer, although the prices are just right for musicians looking to make profit off of their CDs. Copy CDs And Save Money Just a short while ago, the only people who had access to CD duplication were professional musicians, record company executives, and the higher end recording studios. As technology increased and became more affordable, private CD duplication companies began to pop up all over the United States and other major music centers throughout the country. These days, CD duplication has never been more accessible or more affordable. Most home computers and laptops come with a CD-RW burner and software that is very user friendly, making CD duplication very convenient. Even if you are new to computers, you'll find CD duplication very easy to figure out. You don't have to be a computer expert to use the CD-RW burner or the software, as most of it is self explanitory. All you need to do is give it a run and see easy things actually are. Those who are needing a large quantity of CDs duplicated or simply wish to have a professional company burn their CDs, there are several out there that offer great rates, package deals, and quality recordings. You can get as many as you want, with quality that matches that of the master copy. Most CD duplication companies offer packages that will include inserts, tray cards, and even packaging should you choose to take your duplicates to retail sale. You can also choose to have your graphic work imprinted on the inserts or have the CD duplication company design a totally new design for your very product. If you are worried about the inventory, barcodes can be imprinted on the CD case or the sleeve by the same company. For whatever duplication needs you may have, there are companies out there that offer duplication or you can do it yourself. Either way you choose, you'll get the copies you need in no time at all. Music CD-R And Data CD-R People who are new to computers and duplication, will sometims confuse CD-R music media with CD-R data media. While confusing them is easy to do, the two are different indeed. Even if you have some experience with computers, confusing them is very easy to do. As you may or may not know, there are differences between music CD-R and data CD-R disks. The obvious difference is, of course, the name. With one named CD-R music and one named CD-R data, you know there has to be some type of difference between the two. What's known is that there are indeed technical differences in what is embedded in blank music CDs when compared to blank data CDs. These differences center upon bytes that are within the sub channels of the blank music disks. This doesn't affect the quality, as both audio and data can be duplicated onto both music CD-R disks and data CD-R disks. You can burn data onto music CD-R, and music onto data CD-R media without any problems. Keep in mind, whether or not you get data on a music CD-R will depend on what type of hardware you use to duplicate the CD. If you plan to use a PC to do all of your burning, it won't matter. A PC doesn't differentiate between music CD-R and data CD-R. PCs will see a blank media CD and duplicate information on it that pertains to the settings you have outlined in the software you plan to use to burn the CD. If you plan to use a seperate CD burner, it may or may not let you burn data or music on a generic blank or data CD-R. Some hardware are funny like that, as they only want you to use blank media with well known brand names that they have approved of. If you plan to do most of your CD duplication on a computer, it really doesn't matter which type of blank CD-R you use. They will both work fine in most cases when you store either music or data. When storing data, you have a limit of 700 MB, while music will have a limit of a little over an hour of tunes. For your duplication needs, computers are the ideal way to copy media. You can use equipment outside of a computer and CD burner, although you'll need to check the operations manual and see what they recommend for media. If you have a computer or access to one, it can do wonders in the areas of music and data CD-R duplication. The History and Development of CDs and Duplication CD recordings have become so popular in recent years, that anything less would seem like it comes from ancient times. However, the birth and growth of CDs as well as the process of CD duplication is one that is no more than three decades old, allowing for a quick growth in a new way of formatting information and listening to music. This growth and the history in which has allowed this technology to become mainstream is one that has moved from luxury and into every home. CD technology and capacities did not become available until 1982. The first known CD player was in Japanese stores at this time. However, it's popularity and the ability to use CDs was not a part of modern technology until several years later. This was mostly linked to the unavailability of duplication machines as well as the difficulty in reaching capacities with technological needs. Despite the launch of CDs and players in 1982, the items were considered luxury technology. This was not only based on the high rate needed to produce CDs with the newer technology and duplication systems, but also on the inability to produce the necessary resources for each copy. This caused players and CDs to be at high costs, with CDs averaging at $100 per CD. Not only were the players and CDs difficult to produce and find, but the ability to duplicate and reproduce, as well as record CDs, were also difficult to find. It wasn't until 1995 that CD burners and CD-Rs were available to the public. Once again, these costs were at higher rates, with a recording device being as high as $5,000. Disks, especially CD-Rs, remained at high rates and were hard to find from normal areas. However, it did not take long before CDs began to move down in price and become easily accessible to the public. While the technology was being developed for CDs and duplication systems, companies also began to develop blue prints in which to follow when moving through the duplication process and creating standards for the CDs. The first one of these was from Phillips and Sony and is attributed through the Orange Book. This particular book defines the technology used with CDs and details the different types of CDs in which can be duplicated. After this information was given to companies, duplication processes and standards began to move throughout the industry. This followed with different CD standards, specifically through CD-ROM information, which is found in the Yellow Book, and Audio CD information, which is known as the Red Book. These different specifications move into details about the way in which the technology is formatted in each type of disk, as well as the printing and duplication capabilities and the potential for working with a disk. The combination of developing new capacity for data storage and disks, as well as the use of technology in order to allow for the growth of CDs and duplication materials is one that continues to progress forward. The technology companies that are a part of these standards, as well as the ways in which storage, transfer of data and end products of the CDs have developed their way into the market have progressed rapidly and opened new doors to technology. Differences in Disk Printing Materials The first thing that anyone will see when looking at your CD is in the print. Because of this, you want to make sure that your duplication capabilities will use the right settings and materials to put the best presentation forward of your printing. Knowing the differences between each and how it affects your end presentation is one that will help you to determine the best way to get your CD printed. Digital Laser One of the growing popular disk printing options is with digital laser. This particular duplicating machine will use a light beam in order to present the graphics in a high resolution. It uses pixels as the main way of burning the images into the CD. This means that squares will be divided into small areas, each of which will contain certain colors. The use of digital laser first is printed with the laser alone. This is then applied to a blank CD by using adhesive. The result is the ability to create a full image that moves into the disk and creates an image and color that projects high quality and detail of your disk image. Thermal Transfer Thermal transfer is an option that is typically used for short runs and in which can offer high quality of color printing options. The thermal transfer is a direct evolution from the ink jet, replacing duplication with this process because of it's ability to create higher resolution options. Thermal transfer is done by taking the print design images of your CD and placing the image like a regular print onto the CD. Many of the options not only come with this image, b ut also have capabilities to add glossy finishes or other coats so that the ink lasts longer, is protected and gives a little extra to the look. These are known not only for the quality of printing, but also with capabilities such as edge to edge printing, which allows you to get all of the graphics and details of your CD images in the right place. Silk Screen This third option is silk screening. This is a popular option for large runs because it uses less ink and printing capacity and allows for a professional look to disks. Silk screening works by beginning with the six primary colors. These are divided according to what fits into the graphic that is being used. This is combined with silver lining and white backgrounds, as is used in the disks. When beginning to print on silk screen, the graphic will be divided into six files, one for each of the colors. Each of these files will create a film, which becomes the blue print for that color. These are burned into the CD by line, allowing for the combination of the six primary colors, as well as overlapping of other colors to be used. This is also combined with moving quickly across the CD in order to burn the correct colors into the right places. On -- Disk This option is one that is relatively new in the market, but is quickly growing in popularity. When you receive on-disk printing for your graphic, you have the capacity to take a photograph or image and place it directly on the CD. This is then combined with the silk screening process in order to burn the image into the CD. This is combined with adding an adhesive layer over the top of the image in order to completely keep the image on the CD. The difference between this and other options is in the high resolution of the photo image that is placed on the CD. Each of the options that are provided for imaging and duplication are defined by clarity of the images and pictures as well as the tone that is used. Depending on the number of disks that are being used and the type of presentation that you are creating with your CD, you can use any of the options above in order to create the best look for your CD. Quality At A Cheap Price There has never been a better time than now to have your audio book, music project, computer data, or CD-R business card duplicated. Unlike the days gone by, these processes are cheaper than ever before -- even for those on a budget. Over the last several years, the costs of blank CDs have dropped quite a bit. The retail chains such as Office Max, Staples, and Best Buy run specials on blank CDs where you can purchase a 50 CD-R spindle for under $20. You can even find similar deals on Froogle, such as a 50 pack spindle of blank CD-R disks for less than $12. Those interested in CD duplication at home, will find that many of the newer computers come packages with a CD burner included at prices under $500. If you already own a computer and want to add an internal CD burner, several retailers have brands for under $50. You can also purchase an external CD burner for all your needs for under $100. Making cheap duplications of CDs even more affordable are the powerhouses such as DiscMakers, Oasis, and CDman, all of whom specialize in duplicating large quantities of CDs at low prices. Not only do these powerhouses offer superior quality at a great price, but they also give great deals on graphics, CD inserts, and jewel cases as well. With cheap prices, you can get everything you need at a price you can't argue with. If you've copied CDs in the past, you can quit paying high costs and save yourself a ton of money. Those who offer CD duplication at a cheap price are great at what they do -- saving you a ton of money for your CD duplication needs. Stamping Your CD With Copy Protection No matter what type of original content you are producing, you want to make sure that you place your customized stamp on it. From music to audio books, copy protection is one of the best things that you can do while getting into the CD duplication process. This will prevent a variety of problems from occurring in the future when you have your CD selling as a product. Copy protection began as an option for copyrighting. With the growth of technology, it became easier for individuals to burn CDs from others and to download music for free online. Beyond this, individuals were able to take music, media and other parts of CDs and copy them as their own. This combination of problems led to the industry building a way to restrict the copies being made and to stop consumers from burning and downloading CDs or music. The beginning of the copy that led to the changes in copy protection began with an online area, Napster. This area offered free copies of music by artists, which could be downloaded by any person who had the correct media player. By the year 2000, this became a popular way to download music, causing the industry to start setting restrictions on downloads. The restrictions that began to take place has now developed into industry standards that are being forefronted by different groups and individuals. This specifically links to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which states that individuals are breaking the law for unauthorized downloads in any type of media, from CDs to DVDs. If an individual is caught breaking this, they are charged as breaking the law. The copy protection began by placing certain changes in the drives of computers, specifically through CD -- Rom drives, which changes the mixed mode of the CD and does not allow for multiple recordings to be placed on one CD. By doing this, it stopped mixes of CDs and burning of individual songs that were downloaded from the Internet. This began to mainstream copy protection and allowed for artists that were being played on the Internet to not have the capability to be downloaded as an individual track. From this point, copy protection began to grow into an encryption. This means that all of the CDs that were produced not only contained the songs, but also stopped copies from being made. This concept is popular not only with CDs, but also with DVDs. By placing this encryption, a code is then given to the specific media file that there is a missing button, which does not allow the CD or DVD to be writable. As this concept grew, so have technology options to stop copy from occurring. The most recent trend is with HD DVD as well as Blu-ray discs. With both of these formats, encryption is in place which allows not only for protection, but also blocks specific features while allowing others to be used in the correct way. This digital equipment is continuing to grow in popularity and is prov iding more possibilities for copy protection. If you are duplicating a CD, it is important to know about the different possibilities for copy protection. This means looking into the encryption that is now being used for CDs or to invest in software that will provide certain levels of protection with your software. By doing this, you will then be able to block free downloading and burning onto new CDs and will allow your work to remain only from your CDs. With technology, are also possibilities for new formatting and replication of CDs. If you want to ensure that your CDs stay only in what you have duplicated, checking the options to keep copy protected are also important. By mainstreaming and protecting all of your CDs and downloads, you will be able to keep the control of your media products and where they are going. Preparation Tips The master CD or DVD disk, is the one you will provide to your CD or DVD vendor for either replication or duplication of the media. Below, you will find some tips designed to help you create a high quality master disc: 1. Always use the highest quality media that you can obtain, as all media isn't the same. Do your research, take your time, then choose a brand that will produce a high quality disc each and every time you duplicate or replicate. 2. Avoid copying from a network source. If the source files for your disk are on a network drive, copy the files to your local disk before you burn a disc. If you can't move the files to your local drive, try using the copy to hard drive first feature. When doing this, your burning software will create a temporary image file during the burning process. Once the burning has been completed, the temporary file will be deleted. 3. You should always avoid burning on a laptop computer that is running on low battery power. The fluctations that will occur in the available battery power may cause you to have poor results in your duplication. 4. Always make sure that you finalize your disc. If you fail to finalize, the disc won't play back. Finalizing will also help increase the reading compability in other CD-ROM drives. 5. Never use the packet writing method to burn a master disc. This method is very common with burning drives that have re-writing capabilities. This method will produce discs that can't be read on many CD-ROM drives. 6. Avoid any type of impact or movement of the drive during burning. Doing so can cause the laser to skip or jump tracks, which will lead to errors or a bad disc. 7. If available, use the "burn-proof" feature. This feature will allow the drive to slow down the burn speed in the event the computer can't supply the data fast enough. Although this can increase the burn time, the quality of the disc will be much better. 8. You should avoid having multiple applications open when burning, especially those that access the Internet or a network. This can hinder your computer's ability to supply data to the burner drive at the necessary rate. If you follow the above tips, you should produce a master disc of excellent quality. A master disc is something you'll want perfect, which is why you shouldn't take any risks. CD's In a Package The beginning of CD duplication was simple. You printed your CD and put it in a case that would make it so that it wouldn't scratch. However, the evolution of CD duplication has made the options for packaging worth looking into. You can now create a customized CD that will allow you to put together the perfect package. Cases Depending on your budget and your needs, you can get different options for cases. When deciding on a case, you will want to know where you will be selling most of your CDs, what type of protection they will need and what formatting looks best. The first, and most popular option for cases, is the jewel case. This is a hard plastic case that has a thicker setting. Jewel cases are popular because it allows for panels or booklets to be put inside with the information that is needed. It is also known as the industry standard for musicians because of the extra protection and the ability to put more information in the case. The slim line CD package is the second option and is usually the mid-line possibility between the jewel case and CD sleeve. This option allows you to place an insert inside, without the extra room. While it still has the outer protection of the plastic, it does not have the side plastic that is thicker for a title. If you need protection for your CD, but are on a budget, this is a good option. The third type of casing is the CD sleeve. This is a simple option, which allows you to insert a CD into the packet. There won't be room to place a booklet or panel into the CD and the protection is limited by the one cover. However, this option is typically less to print and can be effective in preventing your CD from getting scratches. If you want more options for cases, you can also look into the type of material that you use. For instance, jewel cases can come in a harder or softer plastic. You can also look into vinyl sleeves or paper sleeves, depending on the amount of protection you need and what type of CD you are printing. Another option is to get disk mailers, which are similar to sleeve packages, but come with the option of adding inserts inside with the CD in a sleeve on one side and the booklet on the other side. With this option, you can also choose to slide the CD in a wallet format or you can create a double disk that folds in with the package. Inserts One of the best parts of the end process for finishing your CD is figuring out exactly what you want to say. The inserts are your space to do exactly just that. Depending on the type of CD case you are getting, an insert can help you to put in the wording to explain your creation. Inserts typically come in three different options. This includes poster, panel or booklet options. The poster option is a simpler format that folds out from the middle and into a full size. All of the information will be shown on one page as if you are reading a piece of paper, but then will fold into the CD packet that you have. A panel differs because it allows for a formatting that folds differently into the CD. The inserts will overlap, one into the other. This allows for the information of up to eight pages to be displayed differently, with the most important information on the top layers, and the details on the inside. Many times, this option is used with only a front and back insert, but if wording to lyrics or more detailed information is needed, extra panels can be added. The booklet is the thicker option to the panel, starting with an insert of 8 pages and moving up to 20 pages of information. A booklet will also fold the same as a book, with the pages all opening on one side. With all of the options available, you can begin to customize your CD, depending on what type of CD you have, the format that best fits your needs, the information you want to provide and the budget that you are on. The result will be a custom CD that will have the packaging and details that represent you. CDR Brilliance Several years ago, CD-R media and CD burners were never imagined. Computers were just reached the GHz speed, with Pentium 1 just starting to reach the horizons. Floppy disks were the ideal way to store data, even though it took several of them to store most types of information. Looking at things today, you can see at a glance just how far technology has come over the years. These days, computers are in 2 out of 3 homes across the world, with almost everyone owning one. CD burners and CD-RW drives are just as popular, with everyone realizing just how much money they can save by burning their own disks and copying their own media. There are so many benefits to CD duplication and CD-R disks that it's mind boggling. If you've never owned a CD-RW drive or dealt with CD-R media, you'd be amazed with everything you can do. CD media helps to simply life as we know it and make things easier than ever before. The theory of CD-R duplication is priceless. Writers, those that are self employed, musicians, small businesses, hobbyists, and even fortune 500 companies can all benefit from the brilliance behind CD-R technology. Not only to do they save you quite a bit of time, but they are also very affordable while providing you many different services. CD-R media is used to store files and important security documentation. The media disks are widely used in the computer field to conveniently backup software and data on disc. Musicians as well choose to use CD-R duplication as an affordable marketing and promotion tool to get their music out to those who want it. Even the corporate world as well, uses CD-Rs as a cost effective way of mass producing training videos and as an aid in converting to the ideal paperless office. You can also use CD-Rs as a business card, as they are smaller than a credit card and store all of your memorable business card information. With everything they offer you, CD media is truly something you can't live without. The disks are small and easy to store, yet they will hold an impressive amount of information. For all of your audio, storage, or backup needs, rest assured that CD-R media can help you meet your demands. The disks will last a lifetime, making them perfect for special memories. If you have the need for storage or saving data and pictures, CD media is the way to go to ensure that your precious files will be there each and every time you need them. CD Terminology Below, you'll find the most common terminology that relates to CD duplication. Even if you are new to duplication, the terms below may help you learn more. BLER Block Error Rate. This is the raw digital error rate before any type of error correction. CD This the Compact Disc, a digital medium that's formed of a 12cm polycarbonate substrate, a reflective metalized layer, and a protective lacquer coating. CD-R Compact Disc-Recordable. The term CD-R is used to describe the technology of recordable CD along with the equipment, software, and media that are used to make the recordable disks. Data layer With CD-R media, this is the organic dye that is sandwiched between the polycarbonate substrate and the metalized reflective layer of the media. CD-R disks don't have any data on them at all until the are recorded. Injection Molding This is a manufacturing method where the molten material is forced into a mold, normally under high pressure, then cooled so that the material will take on the shape of a mirror image in the mold. Media or blanks CD-R media are the disks that are used to record digital information using a special recorder and premastering software with a computer. These discs are made of a polycarbonate substrate, a layer of organic dye, a metalized reflective layer, and a coating of lacquer for protection. Organic dye The data layer of CD-R media is made from a dye that is melted during the process of recording. Where the dye is melted, becomes opaque or refractive, scattering the reading laser so that it isn't reflected back into the reading sensors. Reflective layer This is the metal later that sits on top of the dye that reflects the laser beam back to the reading assembly. This is normally 24k gold in CD-R disks, although it can be silver as well. Formatting Options for Duplication It would be much simpler if everything was just a CD that came in the same box with the same options. But, with the capacities of technology, as well as the different formatting needs, are also more capabilities for duplication of CDs and the way in which you can approach getting your information onto a disk. Most have seen the letters and wording that is behind each type of CD, ranging from different formats to specific characteristics within a CD. However, defining these different letters and formats can help you to determine what type of CDs you should use for duplication and different CD jobs, so that you can get the most out of every part of the process. CD -- R: CD -- R begins with the ability to have a blank disk at your finger tips. If you only see the wording ' CD' it probably already has data that is available on it. A CD-R; however, is completely blank and writable. The 'R' stands for record able and can be used for burning your data, information or music into one space. CD -- RW: Like the CD -- R, this particular type of CD is record able. However, there is one major difference between the two. Because there is a 'RW', there is also the ability to re-write or record over any of the information that has already been placed on the CD. Typically, there will be a limit on how many times you are able to erase and re-write the CD, averaging at about 1,000 times before the CD becomes read only. You should also keep in mind that CD -- Rws are not typically used for CD players, audio or music. Instead, they are used for computer information and storage space. CD -- ROM: This particular type of CD is one that you will find in stores with music or data already on it. The ROM stands for read only memory. This means that you can not record over the information that is already there. While you can open the information and look at it, everything is frozen with the data and can not be changed or manipulated in any way. Often times, a CD -- R will turn into a CD -- ROM, depending on the formatting used as well as the recording that takes place, typically done during the duplication process through a light burner. Mini -- Disks (MDs). These are smaller CDs that are used for information and audio that holds specific recording amounts. Because the size is smaller, there are also not as many tracks for storage space. You can expect an average of 150 MB of audio space, all which is compressed in order to play the same amount of time. These particular disks are also re-writable and can transfer from larger CDs to the mini -- disks. The way in which these three types of formats work for CDs are based around the coating that is placed on each of the CDs. All CDs will be read through a optical lense or laser that is on a CD. By changing the coating over the CD, it causes for a different type of reading to take place. For example, the CD - Rs will have grooves that are placed into the CD, which will stop it from being re-recorded. CD -- RWs; however, have a crystalline coating. Whenever this is placed on a laser, it allows for the signal to show that, while data is recorded, there is still space and storage to add in more information. Beyond these different types of disks, are also capacities that are used for burning. For instance, there can be a different division between how the duplication takes place. This is either done through an entire disk at once or a track at one time. This will depend on whether you want sessions in your CD duplication process and how you want the CD to be placed together. Formatting of CDs, as well as the capacities to alter the way in which information is placed on the CD is one of the important elements of CD duplication. Meeting the standard and understanding your options and how they can work will allow you to further what you are trying to put together and get into the public eye in the correct way. Types of Disk Files: Optical or Magnetic CD duplication and the technology options that have followed have allowed for new possibilities to be approached with CDs and what is needed in order to have a professional look as well as the correct data in place. One of the recent developments within this area is with optical disks and the capability to create better options within the CD distribution industry. This creation is one that is continuing to grow and allow for better services with CDs. Optical disks are created by taking light to a blank disk. This disk is then read and written. The light has the capacity to hold the necessary information for the optical disks and to record all of the necessary data and designs through this light. The abilities with creating this type of technology has allowed not only for new levels of professionalism within disks, but has also created better options for disk distribution. Within the line of optical disks are also magnetic disks. These types of disks are used for storing information on computers by taking a magnet and recording the information and data that is being stored into a specific area. In a CD, the magnetic disks are defined by tracks, which are located in small circles around the CD. Each of these tracks are divided into sectors, which then contain a certain amount of storage in each sector. The magnetic disks began to be developed as far back as records and have continued into floppy and zip disks. These are a common way to manufacture disks and are still often used in order to write CDs, DVDs and various other formats in disks. When using this type of formatting, there is the possibility of re-writing over the disk and altering the storage and information that is used. This is because of the use of the magnetic tape that is being used. With the evolution of the copy protection needs within CDs and disks, has also been the movement into the new technology of optical disks. The major reason why these are now preferred over magnetic disks are because of the ability to write a CD without the ability to re-write over it. Once the data is stored, they stay with that data. This; however, depends on the format that is being used, with some CD types, such as CD-RWs still having the capacity to re-write. Another reason why optical disks are becoming more popular is because of the endurance levels that they have. Generally, optical disks are known to last for a longer period of time even if they are in extreme cold or hot temperatures. They can also endure crashes and corruptions that were popular with magnetic disks. This would often times happen because of stray magnetic fields or other components that would interfere with the CDs and stop them from functioning, playing or keeping the stored data in place. The development of optical disks has not stopped at the major capabilities that are allowing for a change in disk formatting. There are now newer technologies that are based around better options for disk formatting as well as for convenience within the CD. Some optical disks, for instance, have multiple levels as well as storage spaces that are divided for protection needs and legalities. This allows those who are duplicating CDs to create several types of data to be stored into a CD as well as divide and organize the information that is in each area. This has become an option to the tracks and has allowed for better uses of the CD to be available. The concepts that are available within CD writing is also one that has created new ways to develop, duplicate and store CDs. No matter what type of formatting or what the needs for the CD, there is the ability to have more available characteristics and capacities with the technology that is being used. Duplication 101 If you've been shopping for blank CDs or blank DVDs recently, you may have found yourself a bit confused by all of the choices -- CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW. Trying to figure out the abbreviations between them can be a bit mind racking indeed. To make matters worse for those who aren't up on the lastest marvels of technology is the rate at which the industry of technology is evolving. Just when you think you've caught on to the concepts of MP3s and burning CD and DVD media, new twists on blank media hits the market and you found yourself confused more than you were to start with. The "R" found in CD-R and DVD+/-R media stands for recordable. It will tell consumers that these disks are blank recordable media. You can record movies, data, music, and photos on the disc, but the discs cannot be erased. The "RW" on CD-RW and DVD+/-RW media stands for rewritable. This lets you know that media with RW on them can be recorded and erased several times. Even though the prices for blank CD and DVD media is inexpensive, you can expect to pay a bit more for RW type media. The biggest source of confusion stems from DVD-R and DVD-RW and how they are different from DVD+R and DVD+RW media. In order to avoid a long technical speech on the differences, you simply need to know that each DVD types can record movies just like the next type. DVD+R and DVD+RW are a newer more expensive technology that offers a few technical advantages over DVD-R and DVD-RW. None the less, DVD-R has greater compatibility with more DVD players than any other format of blank DVDs. If you have a newer DVD player or if you use your computer to play back media, you should have no problems with DVD+R/DVD+RW media. Some say that they provide a better range of quality, although the quality is indeed similar. Keep in mind that all recordable CD and DVD media do the same thing regardless of their particular brand or extension. Because there is not an industry standard that involves DVD technology, not every DVD player is compatible with each and every format you see on retail store shelves. For this very reason, you should always check with DVD player manual to see which type of recordable media it will play back. This way, you'll know what to buy the next time you go shopping for blank CD or DVD media. Here's To Looking at CDs Preferences for the outer design of CDs is seen in more than just the package. Depending on your style, graphics and the way that you want your CD presented, you can also find other standards that will fit your needs better. With the right CD duplication company, you can find the best way to customize your graphics from the inside out. When you are putting a graphic on a CD, you have more than one option for the printing. This will depend on what you want to say on the CD as well as how you want the graphics to look. The option for graphics on a CD is divided into sectors on the CD. Each of these will allow you to put on the proper graphics and divide the CD according to your best fit. Typically, a graphic will take up either half of the CD face or the entire one. If you are taking up half, you can expect to have white space with the graphic being on one side of the CD. If you want to put wording or have a smaller graphic this is an option. You can also fade out your graphic so that it only takes up half the space in order to have a different appearance on the inside CD part from the outer cover. You also have the ability to take up to three-fourths of the CD or the entire CD. With these options there will be more color, even expanding to covering up to the edges of the CD. The three-fourths option will work similar to only covering half of the CD with a little less white space that covers the CD. With the full cover option, you will have more color with the graphics but will not be able to create a fade or put extra information on the side. These particular options are also a slightly higher cost because there is more use of ink. Within these options are also approaches that you can take with the coloring of your graphic. A lot of this will depend on the type of equipment that the CD duplication service has, specifically relating to whether they use silk screening, laser printing or thermal printing. I f you want a particular color resonance, make sure that you know which option is best. You can also consider black and white options for the graphics in order to change the look and feel of the graphic with the CD. With these options is the typical standard of the CDs keeping a particular look and feel that fits the entire package. The graphic that is on the inside of the CD will also be on the outside, mostly for graphic costs as well as a professional look that will allow consumers to keep your CD in place. However, there are also options for the CDs to cut out the graphic from being on the inside, only to have the name and general information of the CD. While you are thinking about the graphics and look for your entire package, you should also be thinking about this same concept for the inside CD. You can easily combine format preferences with a look that is professional and cost effective. You should always consider what works best and what will keep you with the right look both inside and out. How To Copy CDs Copying CDs is something that is very popular now more than ever. When CD burners and duplication was first introduced, people caught on although it wasn't nearly as popular as it is today. These days, millions of people throughout the world copy audio, data, and even video to CDs. To make a copy of a CD, you'll need a master to copy, a blank disk, a CD-RW drive, and the proper software. Most newer computers include either a CD-RW or DVD-RW drive. If your computer is older, you'll need to go out and buy the drive, which doesn't cost much money and is very easy to install. If you have a DVD-RW drive, you'll be able to copy both CDs and DVDs. The rate of copying will vary, with 4X being the slowest and up to 48X being the fastest. If your drive supports 48X, you can duplicate a CD in a matter of minutes. Once you have the CD-RW or DVD-RW drive and some blank CD-R media, all you need is the software to duplicate. Nero is among the most popular, as well as Sonic Record Now and Easy CD Creator. There are many different types out there, from those that cost money to the freeware software that doesn't cost anything to use. Once you have everything you need, simply run the software and create your disk. You can copy many types of media, including pictures, video, audio, and even data from your computer. Depending on what you want to copy, all need to do is select it from the software menu and let it rip. CD duplication is a lot of fun and easy for everyone to learn as well. You can back up a lot of things, or just save pictures of your special memories -- the choices are entirely up to you. Defining Different Types of Duplication Processes Getting a CD duplicated isn't as simple as a xerox copy. The processes that are used and the way in which CD duplication is approached takes a different set of rules that help your CD to turn out exactly like you want it, no matter how many copies you are making. Understanding the difference between the two and the pros and cons of each can help you to figure out the best options for CD duplication so that you can create a finished product that you are proud of. The first type of CD duplication is known as replication. In replicating a disk, all of the data, information and graphics of the CD are taken and molded into the disk. This means that each of the CDs that are copied will be exactly like the master CD that is being used in duplication. If you decide to replicate something, all of your CDs will be clones of the master CD and will not be able to change. CD duplication is a little bit different. When a CD is duplicated, the data and the graphics are taken from the original CD and put into each CD. This allows for some adjustments to be made as the CDs are copied, similar to what one would do when they are burning a CD from a variety of songs that they like from a different source. If you are getting a CD copied, what is your better choice? It all depends on how many copies you need and what you are planning on using your CD for. If you only want a few copies, duplication is the better option. This will allow you to personalize and customize every copy as well as ensure that each CD turns out exactly like you want it. The opposing side to this; however, is that the duplication will take a longer time and each of the individual CDs will have to be set up and formatted before being printed. However, if you are trying to get a CD duplicated for professional purposes, and want a lot of copies, replication is your better choice. By replicating CDs, you won't have to worry about changing or adjusting information. You will automatically be able to run hundreds and thousands of CDs, all which are exactly like the master CD you have created. With this option, you'll be able to have everything packaged exactly like you want, without the need to change what is needed. If you decide on replication, you should keep in mind that everything is built off of a stamp, meaning that whatever is on your first CD will be on all of your CDs. This means that you will need to make sure everything is placed in the right area before you start the replication process. If attention to detail is missed, this can be a large problem in the end of manufacturing. With both of these CD formatting choices, you can find the best fit for your project. Ensuring that everything is set up correctly and that you have a plan for the copying process can help you to better fit your needs and to set up what you need for the CD duplication process. The end result will be the product that fits you best. The Future of CD Duplication Twenty years ago, shows like the Jetsons and science fiction or futuristic shows seemed simply like entertainment. However, as the future comes closer, ideas of automation and capabilities with equipment are becoming more of a reality. One of the areas in which this progression is growing at a rapid pace is with c apabilities for CDs and duplication. With the changes made in technology, are now options for you to get your CD into a physical presence. The future of CD duplication is beginning to be seen through various Internet areas as well as individuals who are beginning to move CD copying into a new realm. One way in which this is branching off is with individuals that have the capacity to copy off their own prints in mass quantities, allowing for things such as price reductions and more options for custom CDs. This particular part of CD duplication is continuing to grow in popularity and is changing the market for processing and publishing CDs. The second area in which this is moving to is with concepts such as print on demand, an automated way to keep the CDs in the right place. Many publishing companies now have options where individuals can create everything online, from the CD graphics and data to the inserts that are placed in the CD. Those who find the product can simply pay for one copy then have the CD sent to them. This particular option is one that is known for conserving materials and for creating a lower set of expenses in CD duplication. This particular option can be done because of the digital abilities of printers. Because the information only needs to be stored in one area, then can take the information and replicate it, it doesn't matter whether there are bulk amounts of CDs made or short run CDs. For those that know they won't be needing thousands of CDs in the next month, this option becomes more logical. While digitalization is occurring at one end, specialized CDs that are for smaller quantities to be produced. Things such as business cards in CDs, CDs for presents or for weddings or for something that is not needed in mass quantities is now becoming a popular approach. This is not only because of the uniqueness of the option, but is also because of the ability to have the capacities for printing and producing what is needed. This popularity is growing not only with regular CDs, but also with customized CDs, such as different shapes, sizes and formats that can be used more appropriately. Of course, ideas for CDs and the way in which it is seen as a consumer product is also beginning to change. The growth of technology is now allowing for MP3s, iPods, downloads and Internet options to be sweeping into the forefront of sales. Over the past few years, the option of downloads has grown with consumer demand by large percentages, moving CDs into a secondary option for promotion or a physical presence. This is another option to keep in mind with the progression of CDs and how they are being altered with newer technology. With the trends, statistics and new innovations is a question of where CDs and CD duplication will move to next. It is now becoming a part of the world of accessibility and automation. With the continuation of moving into the 21st century, are endless possibilities of how CD duplication and the process of creating CDs can continue to evolve.
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