Yesterday we talked about few things you should look for when choosing a compact disc replicator. Let’s recap that.
Check your prices
Get a physical sample
Avoid replicators that accept porn orders
Today, let’s add one more point on the list.
When you call your prospective vendor try to identify whether you are talking to a salesperson or a sales engineer. What’s the difference? A salesperson is just a person who can talk. A sales engineer is also a person who can talk but knows the products thoroughly. Talking to a salesperson is a waste of your time. If you are put on hold few times in a call then you know you are talking to a salesperson. Avoid using them if all possible. Trouble is imminent when you give your project to a salesperson. And because of his incompetence he may not be around the next time you call. Dealing with different persons for a single project is very inefficient, not to mention the potential of making errors when the project was changing hands. Unfortunately many so called big companies still hire low-waged operator level people to fill their sales jobs.
Compact discs have been around over 30 years. Remember when the first CD burner came out on the market? The drive itself cost over $2,000 and one blank CD-R was sold at over $5 per piece. With market economy and the economy of scale at work, now a high speed CD burner costs less than $20 and a blank CD-R is at the 10 cents level. Using CDs for digital content distribution has been a day of life. Many software companies still prefer use CDs to downloading for security reason. Musicians also use CDs for their music and music fans also want physical CDs as collection items. Trade show goers use CDs to replace the good old paper brochures. In a nutshell, the application of compact disc for digital content distribution is still all the rage.
When it comes to making copies of CDs there are of two ways of doing that; i.e. one can duplicate and one can replicate. To the laymen these two terms seem to refer to the same thing. But in the disc copying industry there is a subtle difference. Duplication actually refers to CD-R burning. This is a flexible way to make CD copies. The problem is that duplicated discs have that amateurish look because the CD face is either labeled with paper or printed with inkjet. Professional discs, on the other hand, are done by replication. A replicated CD is pressed from an injection molding machine from molten polycarbonate. All retail CD’s on retail shelves are replicated.
In the United States there are over few hundreds CD replicators scattering all over the country. Choosing a good CD replicator is crucial to your CD release. Compared with the money you have spent CD replication is probably the smallest slice of the pie. It is the last stage of your production and not doing it right is also the last thing you want to see. As in any purchasing decision, quality and pricing are the two major factors. But if you are first timer for CD replication, how do you know which company will give you the best quality at the most competitive pricing?
Isn’t it true that every CD replication company claims it has the best quality and the best price? In this competitive market we have seen only the unselfish companies can survive. Greedy companies not posting their prices on their website normally disappear from the market in one or two years. As far as quality, the easiest way is to request samples from your prospective vendors. Voir c’est croire. When you put the samples side by side it will not be difficult to spot the right vendor.
Last but not least, you should always ask whether a vendor does porn DVD replication. Avoid those vendors who do is a must whether you think that is moral or not. No matter how good a quality control the vendors may claim, there is still the chance for a porn DVD get mixed into your order. If you think about a gospel music CD ends up being a porn DVD, you can see how serious that is. But believe it or not we have seen it and heard it happen in some porn replicators.
When it comes to using black color as background or the color of text, most designers will intuitively set the K value of CMYK to 100% with all the other three colors set to 0%. While this K=100% only color does seem to be black on computer screens, it is actually a dark gray color when it is printed.
To set a true black color the CMYK values should be C=50%, M=40%, Y=40%, and K=100%. With this setting, you can expect a very solid dark charcoal black as black as the black hole at the far end of the universe.
Care about how a CD is made from the raw material? One of our summer interns wrote an article few years ago about CD Manufacturing. It’s pretty informative about CD or DVD replication in plain simple language.
The summary of the article is given below.
As the major media for music distribution for over 25 years, compact disc is about to reach the end of its product life cycle. But if you are a music lover and CD collector, you may still be interested in knowing how compact discs are made. In this paper the author will try to explain the whole process on how a compact disc is fabricated, from the raw material to the finished product.
When it comes to packaging for music CDs people tend to use jewel cases. Jewel case is indeed the de facto standard for CD packaging for many years. Ever since the first CD release in 1981 jewel case has been used and people always associate it with music CD.
I believe it time to change that. Jewel case uses too much plastic and is so fragile. If you drop a jewel case it will definitely break.
New Cyberian has been the front runner on using non plastic material for CD packaging. Digipak and Digibook are among the items we actively promote. Both products use less plastic and they look more elegant as compared with jewel case.
A lot of companies are selling digipaks. But in reality they all funnel to few companies that can make digipak cost effectively and New Cyberian is one of them. The digipaks made by New Cyberian are different from the ones made by d*scmakers and N*tionwidedisc in that our digipaks are more robust and we use polywrap instead of shrink wrap. Don’t underestimate such subtle difference. It’s the difference that distinguishes premium and mediocre.
I don’t think there are any companies making digibooks. It’s not that they are difficult to be made, but it’s difficult to make them good and cost effectively. Oh by the way, digibook is just a book with a sleeve as the first or last page to hold a CD. The book can be as thin as 10 pages and as thick as 100 pages. This is an ideal packaging solution when you have a lot to tell in writing.
If you have any weird idea about CD packaging please calls New Cyberian. We will be your partner to implement your idea from making a prototype to mass production.
Welcome to the blog of New Cyberian. We hope to use this platform to communicate with you — our prospects or clients. Hopefully you will find the information here useful for your digital content reproduction.
For those who don’t know New Cyberian I am here to give you a brief introduction. New Cyberian is founded in 2000 by a group of musicians, filmmakers, graphics artists, and engineers to offer professional digital content copying services. There are many companies out there that offer the same services as New Cyberian does . What makes us different from other companies is our experience, knowledge, and passion in our field. I myself worked at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA from 1986 to 1992. I also worked at the IBM San Jose SPD plant that made high capacity hard drives. My other colleagues have very similar qualifications from either research or manufacturing background. In orther word we are very knowledgeable in what we are doing. Unlike the salespersons of other companies who are wholesaling the teaching from their superiors without the fundamental understanding of the working of compact discs; be them CD, DVD, or Blu-ray.
Compared with our competitions we do have our niche. In a comparative sense if other companies are making Toyotas then New Cyberian is making Rolls-Royce. But don’t get me wrong that we are selling at much higher prices. As a matter of fact, our niche is to sell high quality products at below average prices. At IBM we were taught to achieve high quality at the lowest cost. I am using my knowledge learned from IBM to run the engineering department of New Cyberian now.