Best CD label software kit

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by sanford, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. I want to print simple labels to paste on CD's. I have an HP Photosmart that doesn't have the ability or attachments to print directly on CD's so I need program (Mac) to print labels on media and apply to the CD. Memorix has a "kit", is there anything else to recommend?
  2. Memorex has an excellent one you can download off their website. It dovetails perfectly with their CD labels and case inserts. You can choose to print the CD label with either the small hole or larger hole in the middle, which is a plus.
  3. Do they even make those stick on lables anymore? They're so bloody obnoxious: vibrating in high speed drives, jamming in slot loading laptop drives.
    I'd seriously be looking at a new printer.
  4. I've had problems when putting labels on dvd's they no longer play properly.
    My buddy seems to be happy with printable media, although the price isn't as friendly...
  5. I tried the label affixed to a CD/DVD and where I had problems was playing and or recording them with my MacBook. Perhaps the tolerance is really close. Could other laptops be the same with tolerances?
    At any rate, I bought a Dymo printer just for CD/DVD's and it works quite well. I get my blanks, which I use the white version from Super Media and have had good experiences with them.
    Another option to consider is to purchase a DVD/CD burner that has Lightscribe.
    Hope this helps you.
  6. I wouldn't do stick-on labels. Get a CD/DVD burner that comes with Lightscribe or similar. Much cleaner and the label will not vibrate loose in people's CD/DVD-drives and wreck them.
  7. I got the paper labels to use, but Joseph has got a point. They really aren't all that great a solution. After they get older, I can attest, they start to peal off and jam things.
    I do have a printer that will print CDs and have printable CDs as well, but it's more trouble than it's worth if you're just doing this for your own CDs. Selling or giving them away might make it worth the bother, I suppose.
    Before I "knew" better, I just labeled CDs with a sharpie, but now I am told that will seep through and destroy data. All my old ones still are ok, but just in case there are special Sharpie CD Markers made for that purpose.
  8. Sanford,
    Andrew Freeman makes very easy-to-use CD labels with MS Word templates. They fit any standard CD label sheet.
  9. I use Avery labels; you can download a template from their website. It'll be based on the product number on the label package. The interface was a little crude, but it worked okay.
    Using their labels and their program kept me from using my ruler. For some reason I am always in a hurry when it's time to print out. The preloaded parameters were a nice convenience. The CD labels also come with some nice perforations; it's easy to get the label off of the paper backing and onto the disc without messing up.
    I print both pictures and text on mine, and thought the quality was okay for homemade use. You'd probably have to do to a print shop to get something slicker.
  10. Avery labels tend to be on the small side - 3-3/4 inches. Neato labels make a better fit at 118 mm (I'll leave the conversion to you). The maximum label area is 120mm with a 15-20mm hole.
    For onesies (up to 100/week), it's hard to beat an inkjet labeler, which writes directly on the disc. You can get an Epson R280 for under $80, with a set of cartridges worth nearly as much as the printer. The R280 will print about 200 full-color, full-sized labels with a set of cartridges, many more with text only (separate cartridges are used for CMYK). The downside is that it takes 2-1/2 minutes to print each disc. You can get inkjet-ready discs (CD or DVD) in white and silver, for about $0.30 each - about twice the cost of a standard disc. I use Taiyo-Yuden and Verbatim, respectively.
    I used paper labels for years without any ensuing problems. However, I always used a laserjet printer, which imparts a waterproof image. Laserjet labels have a harder coating, and are much less likely to buckle with changes in humidity. I have 12 year old discs with paper labels which are flat, tight and perfectly readible. You need a fixture to apply the labels accurately and to rub them down to get them tight (all of them).
    If you print any quantity of discs (e.g., weddings, events or businesses), up to about 500/week, it makes sense to get a dedicated inkjet disc printer. I've used thermal printers, but the cost and maintenance is prohibitive, and the resolution is sub-standard. For a single run of 500 or more discs, have them silk-screened (will hold 8 point type or larger). These days you can submit a Photoshop or InDesign (or Quark) image - and skip the separation step altogether.
    It's best to use a general-purpose layout program for CD labels. I use Adobe InDesign, but Photoshop or even Microsoft Publisher will do the job. Canned label programs are dorky and limited to a few formats. Maybe they are good enough if you don't need to get creative. If you need labels which will run on a variety of printers or at a service bureau, you'll need something better.
    Lightscribe is my dead-last choice. I have three Lightscribe-capable burners, never used for that purpose. The blanks are expensive (more than inkjet blanks), one color (brown) and SLOOOOW. If you have 8 minutes to spare for one label, you need a life ;-)
  11. Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions.
  12. Agree with Edward. Used them for years before switching to printable media. They cling very well. I never had a problem.
  13. Epson makes a couple of relatively low cost desk top printers that print directly to printable discs. The software program that comes with the printer is pretty decent. For low run quantities for commercial resale, they are not a bad way to go. It takes about a minute or so to print each disc and the attachment is a bit Rube Goldberg, but the results are clean and look more professional than Lightscribe or stick on labels.
  14. and both have free design software that should be able to help you print on adhesive labels. I would advise avoiding adhesive labels though. They look cheap, and can cause a lot problems - especially on DVDs which are very sensitive to balance issues.
    Lightscribe is OK, but increadible slow and print black only so if you make more then one occasionally or need color its not a very good solution. The next step up would be a quicky thermal printer. You can get one for about $75.00 and it'll print decent text in black on a silver disc. The cost pre print is cheap (about $0.02 - $0.05/disc) and you don't need special discs to use it.
    Beyond that you can go to an ink-jet printer thats capable of printing on discs directly. Two things to note about those. First, you need Ink-Jet discs and you'd be best off buying "Watershield" discs. Ink-jet ink is water soluable and the watershield discs contain a binder that prevents the ink from bleeding if it gets a little wet. It doesn't make them water proof, but it helps with mild water exposure. Second, cost per print is relatively high. When you combine the watershield discs with the cost of the ink you're probably in the $0.60 - $0.80/disc range.
    If you've got a healthy budget you can move up to thermal retransfer or thermal dyesub. Printers cost $4500 - $10,000 depending on the options but they produce stunning one offs.
    In my opinion, if you're labeling discs to go to clients then the most cost effective and professional method is to have blank discs pre-screen printed for you. You can get them done in bulk for less then the material costs if you were to ink-jet print them yourself. You also save all that time doing it yourself and you end up with a much better, more professional disc ... which makes you look better in the end.

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