CD and DVD Media Manufacturing FAQ

  • Manufactured Discs or Burning Discs- What options do I have?

    You have two technologies available to make your CDs or DVDs -- pressed CDs/pressed DVDs or recordable CDRs or recordable DVDRs. It really depends your needs, but in general, large commercial runs are better suited to mass manufacturing and smaller quantities or special needs like frequently changing data, are bettersuited to recordable disc burning.

  • Pressed CDs and DVDs vs. Recordable CDRs and DVDRs

    Recordable CDR or DVDR- Special Substrate to Allow Burning

    Recordable discs (also known as CDR, or CD-R, DVDR, DVD-R) are manufactured blank discs (no data). The substrate is poured out into the mold, and instead of the data being pressed onto them, a special substrate layer is applied that allows you to burn the data onto them with a computer. Your artwork is silkscreened or offset printed onto the blank disc -- no differently from pressed discs. So the final product is a professionally printed disc, that you can write at your leisure. Serialization is also available should you need individual, unique numbers on the discs.

    We offer recordable disc silkscreening or offset printing with the gamut of printed and unprinted disc packaging. You can order your recordables with such deluxe packaging as full color CD Jackets, Mailers, Custom Tray Paks, Eco Friendly Jackets with foam hubs or pockets, Mini LPs, Paper Sleeves, as well as bulk packed.

    Pressed CD or DVD- Glass Mastering, Stamping, Injection Molding

    Pressed CD or DVD manufacturing differs from recordable disc burning in one very important respect. In CD pressing or DVD pressing, all the data is put onto the disc in one "stamping" step (plating, actually). This is what we call the glass mastering step. The discs therefore, all have the same data.The disc shape is then created by injection molding. Once they are molded, pressed CDs or DVDs are either silkscreened or offset printed, then inserted into their packaging.


  • When is it better to use a recordable DVD or CD?

    Recordable DVDRs or CDRs are ideally suited for projects where you need a small quantity of one title. For example, you may want to publish one-of-a-kind data for your clients -- on recordables that have the look of a mass-produced title. The recordable discs are slightly more expensive than pressed discs, so if you have a large quantity it is more cost effective to do pressed discs.
    Consider doing a run of printed discs along with a run of professionally printed packaging for a complete package.

  • When is it better to use pressed CDs or pressed DVDs?

    Pressed CDs or DVDs are better suited for large quantity runs (500 or more of one title) as they are more cost effective, and much less work for you.

  • Typical and Rush Schedule CDs / DVDs

    Normal schedules run about 3-4 weeks. That's roughly 1 week of proofing (test disc and color matchprint) and 2-3 weeks of production from approved source material. If you have a month, that's ideal.

    If you need them quicker, we can do creative things to help you get through your deadline. Tell us your needs and we'll work it for you! We know lots of solutions. By the way, there's no charge for the rush schedule.

    To commit to a rush job, we will need to know the following:

    1. When your master will be arriving,
    2. When your disc artwork will be arriving or uploaded,
    3. Quantity of discs,
    4. Type of packaging, such as Eco-digipak or Tall Jacket
    5. When packaging artwork will be arriving (* see Tips),
    6. Date you need the CDs or DVDs completed and in-hand
    7. Whether any partial amounts will be good for an emergency situation. For example, if we couldn't get all 1000 in their packaging with inserts shipped out on your requested date, would 100 bulk CDRs help?
    8. Are you comfortable with by-passing the physical proofset?
  • What are some GOOD TIPS you can give me for my project?

    We know that this is easier said than done, but do try to leave yourself room in your project schedule. If you have printed paper or cardboard (i.e. inserts, printed sleeves or mailers, boxes), try to add a week to handle artwork issues. Projects without paper products generally take only two weeks. Murphy's Law would suggest more to cover all the Acts of God clauses like hurricanes and UPS strikes and power outages.

    SEND YOUR ARTWORK EARLY. If you have your artwork files before your disc data, send them to us so we can start processing them and handle any bleed, cropping, etc., issues that may need to be addressed, and we can get that film made and start the printing. Doing your printed products early will help enormously.

    When you receive your test disc, TEST IT. TEST it again. TEST it on all platforms, Mac, PC, cd players, etc. Try it in different computers or players. You don't want thousands of discs with bugs. We hurt for you when you call back and tell us you found a bug on your original, we hate it when that happens. We really do. Those additional orders have all the fun taken out of them. Please...test.

    If you have never made a replicatable disc before, don't wait until two weeks before your deadline to try it for the first time- inexperienced premastering can wreck your schedule. Not all CD or DVD writing software is created equally. Some software is better suited for archiving and doesn't do perfect ISO images with all the right formatting or RedBook with all the right p's and q's. DVDRs especially, have some ISO differences from pressed dvds, and may play differently. Some items with DVD9's may work differntly than expected. Also, you might experience a run of bad media if your karma isn't good. These things can happen, although rare. Try to allow for extra time to account for these things.

  • CD and DVD Capacity and References

    Capacity for DVDs can be found here:
    DVD Capacity and Play Time Charts

    Capacity for CDs can be found here:
    CD Capacity and Play Time Charts




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