Where do I Start?
As one of the largest CD and DVD suppliers in Ireland, we will listen to your requirements, provide you with information and advice, and help YOU to decide what course best fits your needs. There are many options for distributing data on optical media (CD or DVD). Quantity, lead time and printing are the primary factors that we consider when advising customers. There is information listed below that will help make your decision. We offer this as a simple starting point, and welcome your email with any questions you might have.
Optical discs can be pressed as either replicated discs (CD-ROM / DVD-ROM) or as recorded discs (CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R). Replicated discs are manufactured “from scratch” using injection molding equipment. Recorded discs begin as a blank disc, and your data is then written (or “burned”) onto the blank disc. Replicated discs are offered at a lower cost PER UNIT, but other factors (mostly lead time) will influence your decision. On lower volumes replication is more expensive as setup costs have to be absorbed in the lower volume thus making the unit price more expensive. On these volumes, CDr and DVDr make a lot more sense. From a quality standpoint they are both equal.
Generally, larger volumes (500+) are replicated discs, and smaller volumes (500-) or less are duplicated discs. This is not a rule, but there would usually be a pretty specific reason why an order would stray from these guidelines when in these volume ranges. The “mid-range” volumes 1000+ tend to be driven more by lead time and print / packaging requirements.
The phrase “lead-time” refers to the amount of manufacturing time required to produce your disc (whether it is replicated or recorded). A standard “lead time ” for replicated discs at most plants is 10 to 12 working days
The print requirements also factor into the decision because of the strengths and weakness of all of the various print options that are available. This includes paper and packaging
The options include:
Silkscreen – This is the most common printing method, and can be done at any plant. On spot colours Silkscreen is the way to go and can really enhance an image. The downside is that the resolution is low to handle many of the complex images created by computer graphic artists. In particular, gradients and some photographic details (faces, clouds, etc) don’t produce as nicely as they do in Offset printing. However, silkscreen is a great option when working within the proper specifications, particularly using pantone colors.
Offset Printing – This process produces the highest quality images. However, it is only available at a limited number of plants. Also, some plants will charge a slight premium for this type of printing. Finally, it is only available as 4 color process, and cannot be done with Pantones.
Thermal Printing – This is the fastest and least expensive method for printing on recordable media. It is monocolor (standard colours are black, blue, and red), and prints at a 300 dpi resolution. It cannot do very complex graphics (i.e.. don’t plan on greyscale!) and it cannot do large blocks of solid color (no solid black with silver knockouts!).
Everest Rimage – This is a high quality heat transfer printing process. It is mostly used in applications where there are low runs of audio or Rom discs and a high quality photo quality image is required. It is perfect for branding. They can be produced quickly, and there is a premium cost (they require special discs, and the transfer ribbons are expensive), but they sure have a great look!
Inkjet CD and DVD duplication – This is the standard process used by most CD/DVD duplicators in Ireland. It is the most common form of full colour printing as it is the most cost effective method.
All the Above Processes are available at Axis Media_Print and we are only too happy to help you decide which are the best options for you and your project.
CD and DVD Manufacturing
In 1995, a new optical disc format was introduced called DVD, a name derived from “Digital Versatile Disc”. Discs to be used in movie players are referred to as DVD, where as discs for computer use are called DVD-ROM, for audio applications DVD-Audio.
The DVD shares the same physical dimensions as the CD, manufactured as two separate discs glued together.
The DVD can store from 4.7 gigabytes to 17 gigabytes of data in the following configurations:
DVD 5: single sided, single layer, 4.7 GB capacity
DVD 9: single sided, duel layer, 8.5 GB capacity
DVD 10: doubled sided, single layer, 9.4 GB capacity
DVD 18: doubled sided, dual layer, 17.0 GB capacity
Each layer of data allows for about 133 minutes of full motion MPEG-2 video. In addition DVD supports variable bit data rates which increase digital video playback capabilities.
For small volume orders it is more economical to produce these DVDr. Ideal quanities for DVDr are from 1 unit to 500 units produced in-house.
Compact Disc (CD ROM)
The Compact Disc is one of the most widely used data carriers. Its outstanding cost-storage capacity-ratio made it dominant in all markets. We not only replicate audio CDs or CD-ROMS for our clients. We also provide related services such as premastering, mastering, copy protection, packaging and fulfilment.
Following the inception of the Compact Disc in 1982, The technology of this 120mm disc with its capacity of holding about 73 minutes of stereo music at 16bit resolution has not changed much over the years.
Most recent formats to capture surround sound fidelity involve the DVD technology and can be found below. (Super Audio CD, DVD Audio)
Axis Media_Print provides all services around audio disc manufacturing, including, premastering, copy protection, mastering, disc replication and packaging. In addition, customers can find knowledge and experience around historic tape restoration and digital asset management.
For small volume orders CDr is a far more economical method. Ideal quantities for CDr are from 1 unit up to 500 units produced in-house.
- 4/0 – 4 colours one side/ blank on reverse
- 4/1 – 4 colours one side/ 1 colour on reverse
- 4/4 – 4 colours one side/ 4 colours on reverse
- High Resolution PDF (preferred)
- Adobe Indesign
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Templates are available for CD and DVD, Body Images and print and packaging.
Please check with us if the software you have created your artwork in is acceptable. All fonts and placed graphics must be supplied embedded.
Access to iTunes through Gracenote
If you’re putting your CD into an internet-enabled device (such as a computer), the computer is accessing an online database to match your information to your CD. The information they see does NOT come from your actual CD. There are a couple major databases, and Gracenote is the largest.
To ensure that your CD song names will be visible on devices such as iTunes, WinAmp, and Quintessential Media Player, we encourage you to register your album with Gracenote at http://www.Gracenote.com
What is CD-Text?
If you’re putting your CD into a standalone player, such as a home or car stereo, your CD needs to have been encoded with CD-Text at the mastering stage (before it’s been manufactured) and the player needs to support CD-Text (not all standalone players do).
Will my track titles load automatically when my discs are inserted into a computer?
When album information is displayed on a computer, it is a result of your CD being registered with the Gracenote or AllMusic databases.
The Gracenote database provides album information to the following media players: iTunes, WinAmp, Quintessential Media Player, and Finder (Mac OS).
The AllMusic database provides album information to the following media players: Windows Media Player, Rhapsody, and Real Music Player. AllMusic registration can be completed by following the steps outlined on their website at: http://www.allmusic.com/product-submissions.
Will my track titles load when my discs are inserted into a car’s player?
Most car players and aftermarket car stereos will pull album information from the information that is encoded on your discs. This feature is commonly known as CD-Text, which can easily be added to duplication and replication orders prior to the production of your discs. CD-Text will only display on players with CD-Text capabilities. Here at Axis Media_Print we can add CD text to your CD
How can I register my album with the Gracenote and AllMusic databases so that my album information loads automatically when my discs are inserted into a computer?
You can register your album with the Gracenote database by following the steps outlined on their website at: http://www.Gracenote.com/company/faq/owner
You can register your album with the AllMusic database by following the steps outlined on their website at: http://www.allmusic.com/product-submissions.
What if another artist’s name and songs come up when I insert my CD into my computer – Is there something wrong?
This is not uncommon, especially if you have a single track or only a few tracks. For issues with Gracenote powered players (iTunes, WinAmp, Quintessential Music Player), please click here. For issues with AllMusic powered players (Windows Media Player, Rhapsody, Real Music Player), please click here.