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How Important is Presentation?

This one’s a no-brainer: a good presentation is key to success.

First impressions may not be the absolute be-all, end-all, but a first impression lasts, and a bad one certainly stinks. No interviewer in his or her right mind is going to hire the sloppy Joe with grease stains covering his slacks, that is, unless he happens to have a genius IQ or just invented a time machine. But even if he fits both of those criteria, he may not even get the chance to make his case since he might be dismissed based on an unprofessional appearance. Initial judgments may not always be correct, but few busy people have time to waste looking at something that seems like it was thrown together at the last minute. Professional folders, packages, resumes and portfolios all endure a higher likelihood of survival on the cutting block when presented neatly, thoughtfully and professionally.

A professional-looking disc label is sure to impress.

When presenting a CD or DVD (which may contain anything from a resume to statistical data to music and videos) to a high-level executive, a job interviewer, potential clients or even possible fans, it is vital to spend a little extra time and money on its appearance. Once the CD changes hands, its first task is to entice the receiver to open it and give it her full attention.

Nothing labeled in Sharpie is going to impress anyone. There are many options for professional disc labeling, such as using specialized software, specialized disc labelers or contracting professionals to mass-produce a design of your choice. Because the options for customizing are many, it is important to keep in mind a few things when designing a professional CD label:

•    Be succinct and descriptive – CDs have limited space, so the title should be clear and explicitly about the topic at hand, i.e. the company’s name and project, artist’s name and album, etc.
•    Use enticing language – If, after including the name and title, there is a good amount of space leftover on the CD, consider including a snappy tagline, quote or list of items that might arouse interest in the receiver
•    Use easy to read fonts – Don’t make your audience work hard to uncover the secrets of the CD, especially if you are trying to sell something or persuade someone to open the files. Also, make it easy to read so that later on down the road, the receiver doesn’t forget the relevance of the file and toss it out
•    Use high-quality pictures – If customizing the CD with artwork, make the sure the picture chosen is not pixilated, blurry or otherwise indistinguishable. Keep it simple. Doing a sloppy job with artwork may even be worse than not using any at all. That being said, appropriate, original and topical artwork may be the very thing to grab your receiver’s attention

If using any sort of disc publishing software or online publisher, make sure to test the design before printing hundreds of copies. There are many templates online, or included in purchased software, that can assist in the design process.

Also, including a disc sleeve or sturdy case is highly recommended. Don’t let your CD flop about!

With these simple tips in mind, your professional CD or DVD is sure to be a hit, and at least impress the receiver enough to slide it into their computer. Keeping their attention after that is up to you.

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Sports Video Producers Get Added Benefit with Rimage, XOS Digital Partnership

CD-R, DVD DL, DVD-R, RimageHawksM10 May 2011

Rimage, one of the leading providers of on-demand CD/DVD/Blu-ray Disc publishing, has teamed up with XOS Digital to enable sports media organizations to work with a new platform for digital replication services.

With XOS, collegiate and professional media specialists can manage their digital video workflow from the initial content phase to final archive quickly and easily, which is imperative in this fast-paced, deadline-driven field.

Using the Rimage Sports Video Archive and Distribution solution, these professionals can directly export, distribute, and archive their videos — complete digital asset management.

“Across the sports video industry, organizations are realizing the importance of incorporating an archive solution into their digital video workflow. Using both XOS and Rimage solutions provides this ability in one comprehensive package,” said Christopher Wells, senior vice president, marketing and Strategy for Rimage Corporation.

Sports organizations can produce on-demand, professional deliverables and archives with the ease and simplicity of Rimage technology.

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Choosing the Right Media

CD-R, DVD DL, DVD-RHawksM21 April 2011

Making the Right Decision: Guide to the Best Duplication Service for You
If you’re not quite at the stage of being able to do all your duplication projects in house, you may have to consider farming out some or all of the job. But how do you make the right decision for you? First you need to consider all the elements of your project; that way when you’re approaching a potential vendor, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to answer their questions. We’ll break it down, step-by-step to help you approach this decision.

Choosing the Media
For music and other audio files, you’re better off selecting a recordable CD than a DVD. For larger, more complex projects with more data or those that incorporate video, the ideal choice is DVD. But if you have a very large project or for a project that demands the highest quality, you might need to delve into the Blu-ray category. In terms of cost, each medium will go up in price respectively.

Packaging
Deciding whether to go with a standard template or a customizable one will be dependent on the client’s needs or the purpose of the project. If marketing a unique product, you probably want to consider the customized option. You’ll also want to take into account your timeframe and cost; which will each increase exponentially the slimmer your requirements are. Thinking about how your project will be distributed and to whom is also key; snail mail projects may demand simpler and slimmer packaging, while on-demand, hand distributed projects afford you a little bit more creative freedom and room to go more bulky with your packaging.

You’ll be presented with a variety of options to choose from:
- covers/booklets/inserts – the more complex the cover, the more complex the case
- sleeves (cardboard) – ideal for easy shipping
- cases (plastic and jewel) – offer the option to showcase disc or cover artwork
- bulk wrap – an affordable option for large scale and/or widely distributed projects

Print Style
Matte, high-gloss, full color, black and white… there are so many options. High-gloss will look the most professional, but is that the look you’re going for? Are you printing images or text only? Do you want to use silkscreen printing — best for spot color printing —or offset printing — used for photographs and full-color prints? Answering these types of questions will determine where you go with your project.

Duplication vs. Replication
You’ll need to take into account the three most relevant factors: size of your order, your budget, and your deadline. Duplication is ideal for projects with a run order size of 100 to 500 with a 3-5 day turn around time. The cost will go up as volume increases. Replication is most often used for a mass production project up to one million discs, because instead of making a copy from a burner drive, replication services make a master “mold” of your original disc and stamps the copied information onto the new discs. The turn-around time is longer, 10-15 days, and comes with a lower cost-per-disc ration.

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LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling

CD-R, DVD-R, VerbatimHawksM30 December 2009

LightScribe technology offers consumers and businesses a simple, no-hassle way to burn professional, silkscreen-quality labels on their CDs and DVDs. Using the same laser that burns data in their disc drives, customers burn their data as always, flip the disc over, re-insert it into the drive and burn a precise and permanent iridescent label.

lightscribe-2

Highlights:

Professional-quality labels: Laser precision and detail
Simplicity: Just Burn – Flip – Burn
Durability: Long-lasting, scratch-resistant labels.
Mobility: Burn labels wherever you burn a disc, no need for printers!
Creativity: Combine text and graphics to personalize discs.

lightscribe-3

LightScirbe Direct Disc Labeling technology requires three elements:

  1. LightScribe-enabled optical disc drive (ODD) – The drive can be either built into your desktop or notebook PC or you can use an external disc drive.
  2. LightScribe-compatible media – LightScribe CD/DVD’s utilize a special coating applied to the disc surface that interacts with the laser of the LightScribe-enabled disc drive. Consumers can readily identify LightScribe-compatible media through the LightScribe logo found on media packaging and in the lower hub of each disc.
  3. LightScribe-supported software applications – In addition to a label-making software, you will need LightScribe System Software (This software may be included with your hardware, or it may need to be installed separately). With this software, you can create one-of-a-kind designs for your CDs and DVDs using your own photos, text and artwork

Verbatim LightScribe Media

Verbatim offers a wide selection of LightScribe ­compatible media:

  • CDR, DVD+R and DVD-R formats
  • Multiple pack sizes
  • Available in standard gold or colored background discs

lightscribe

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Best Burning Practices For Audio

CD-RHawksM17 December 2009

In order to get the best results for burning audio on blank CD-R media, it’s important to have some basic information about the CD burning process. The three factors that will determine the overall quality of your burn are the type of burning hardware, the type of CD you’re burning, and the speed you choose to burn it at.

The type of burning hardware will mostly affect the consistency of the burn. A laser is a laser, and because of the digital nature of CD’s, there is no such thing as a physical error on a CD itself – the data is either a 1 or a 0, a bump or a flat surface, a translucent area or a darkened one. However, the process by which those digital bumps are burned into the surface is truly analog, so if the hardware or laser assembly is inconsistent or faulty, the result will be a bad or unusable burn.

The biggest difference the type of CD you’re burning onto will make is how long the data will last. Typically, inexpensive CD-R’s will have data loss much faster than more expensive ones. Since CD-R burning technology is relatively new, there isn’t going to be data to tell if these discs hold up for 50 years or not. The common consensus is that commercially produced CD’s will stay usable the longest (with some specific dyes and chemicals being considered “archival”), and that more expensive CD’s with high quality materials will last longer than more cheaply made ones. This is one case where you get what you pay for! Taiyo Yuden has the best reputation for audio quality, with companies like Verbatim, Mitsui, Sony close behind. When choosing CD’s for your audio burn, be sure to look up the most recent buyer reviews.

The speed you chose to burn your audio CD-R at can potentially have a major impact on the quality of the eventual product as well. The slower the speed, the sharper the edges will be on the dyed vs. non-dyed segments of the audio, and the more accurate the burn will be. The write laser of your burner is simply on or off, but at high speeds like 24x or 48x, jagged or blurry edges on the CD surface can cause jitter or potentially even skipping. Recognize also, that burning wav files is different than burning mp3’s. Much of the data is already gone from the mp3 files, so the addition of a quick burn to an already lossy-encoded audio file may lead to audio artifacts. Musicians and producers will often suggest burning as slow as at 2x or 4x speeds.

For your best audio quality, burn uncompressed audio files with well-maintained CD-R burner, with high quality CD-R’s at a low speed. Your ears will appreciate it!

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Digital Audio CD-R

CD-RHawksM25 November 2009

digital-audio-cd-rDigital audio CD-R, distinguished by the CD-DA logo, is a recording format primarily intended for consumer standalone CD-R recorders, also sometimes referred to as music only CD-R.

Contrasted with your typical computer burner, a consumer unit cannot use regular data CD recordable discs you would normally use on your computer.

Consumer standalone CD recorders were built with Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) technology, basically a security feature designed to prevent people from pirating music. The SCMS standard was created as a compromise between electronics manufacturers and the RIAA. Electronics manufacturers wanted to make digital audio tape (DAT) machines available for sale in the United States. The RIAA, representatives of the music industry who previously threatened them with lawsuits, felt that consumer digital recorders would cause widespread piracy if readily available in a digital format. This was during a time when audio cassette and LP were still relatively popular formats. CDs were becoming popular and the RIAA thought that the emergence of CD recorders would spark users to copy their CD collection digitally on CD-R and DAT much the same way that people were copying LP onto cassettes to listen in their car, etc.

In the end, the compromise made was to include SCMS technology into consumer-grade recorders and legislation was passed in the US. The legislation still stands for consumer recorders sold in the US. SCMS, the acronym for Serial Copy Management System, was developed and served 2 purposes. It meant that every digital audio CD-R made with SCMS paid a royalty and also prevented digital copies of a digital source through the digital output.

SCMS copy protection uses the table of contents or ATIP section of the blank CD-R. Different sequences would distinguish material with copyrights from that of original recordings. The reason why standard CD-R media will not work in consumer CD recorders is due to the fact that they are not setup to use the “authorization bits” as defined by the SCMS standard.

So what does this mean if you have a consumer CD recorder?
It means you need to use blank CD-R that has the CD-DA logo or purchase discs that clearly state they have SCMS. MAM-A, Mitsui Advanced Media of America is one of the 3 remaining manufacturers that still support digital audio CD-R with SCMS. MAM-A has no intention to discontinue manufacturing digital audio CD-R with SCMS, they also manufacture gold digital audio CD-R which has improved data storage lifespan. At present the other 2 manufacturers are Verbatim and Prodisc. Prodisc makes a digital audio CD-R. We have heard reports that Prodisc digital audio CD-R has compatibility issues with Sony standalone CD recorders.

Our complete line of digital audio CD-R

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What is LightScribe Printing Technology?

CD-R, DVD-RHawksM13 October 2009

One of the most interesting things to come from HP in the past few years is the advent of LightScribe technology. This is a laser-etching device that utilizes specially coated CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. You will be able to add text, graphics, and even photos directly onto the media. This opens up many creative possibilities.

When the technology was first introduced, the only color discs available were sepia. While you could still create some amazing effects with the media, many people longed for more colors. Today, you can find red, orange, blue, yellow, and green, which will give you even more options when you create a disc. In addition, the speed of the CD-Rs and DVD-Rs is greater than it was when they were first introduced.

One of the benefits of the LightScribe technology is that you no longer have to struggle with the stick-on labels. As most people can attest, one misstep with those old labels and you could ruin the CD-R or DVD-R and have to start over. A benefit over the inkjet printable media is that you don’t have to worry about letting the disc dry when the printing is complete.

The discs are easy to use. After you have added files to your disc, you will then remove the disc from the drive and turn it over so that the label side is now facing the laser. Create the design that you want for your CD and then “print”. The laser will take care of everything else.

You will need to have a disc writer that is compatible with this technology, as well as the special CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. While you might not want to spend money on getting a new drive, consider some of the benefits that the LightScribe printing technology brings.

First, you don’t have to struggle with ink or labels anymore, and you don’t have to worry about the label causing a problem when you put the CD-R or DVD-R into a drive.

You will be able to use the LightScribe discs to label everything and keep organized. Label your photo discs, your music discs, and everything else that you have.

The technology is great for bands that sell their products at their shows, artists, and more. They can simply burn the discs with their logo and track list and then sell them. They look great and they are easy to use. They also make a better looking gift than a CD-R with a hastily scrawled title in black marker.

If you are interested in Lightscribe DVD-R or CD-R check out our lightScribe section

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Archival DVD-R and CD-R

CD-R, DVD-RHawksM29 April 2009

Whether you are a small business owner looking to back-up company files, an art teacher who wants to pass on interesting curios to your class, or an audiophile who is transferring your LP records and want a copy that will last for many years. Despite advances in CD and DVD-R technology, data breaks down and degrades occur over time. The dye on a disc which stores the data can corrode causing data errors during playback or reading the disc. The reflective layer can also oxidize and prematurely cause data degradation and loss of quality or even complete loss of data.

Archive DVD-R, Gold Layer

Archive DVD-R, Gold Layer

Many recordable DVD and CD discs use silver as a reflective surface. Special “archive grade” CD-R and DVD-R however, use a more resistant 24 carat gold reflective layer. MAM-A boasts that their gold CD-R can last 300 years and Gold DVD-R 100 years.

To test longevity claims, manufactures submit their archive grade CDs to a special “rapid aging” gauntlet. Discs are placed in an environmental chamber and exposed to varying levels of heat and humidity. Silver layer reflective DVD-R discs tend to fail after spending 500 hours or so in such a chamber. MAM gold discs, on the other hand, retain their efficacy for far longer. (The ISO guidelines for such environmental stress tests have been well established and search for disc errors at intervals of around 500 hours.)

Why might archiving data be important to your home, office or firm? Here are some examples of when you might need this technology:

•    You want to keep important tax information or business accounting records on hand for years to protect your business.

•    You live in a climate that has a lot of humidity and other climate factors that might cause non-archival grade discs to degrade relatively rapidly.

•    You’ve discovered from experience that standard recording technologies are not long term enough for your data protection.

•    You need to create a “master” audio CD that will archive music recordings that can’t be replaced if lost.

•    You want to keep copies of camcorders movies for generations.

If you need help choosing an Archive DVD-R or CD-R, visit our Gold DVD-R section or the Gold CD-R section at Gotmedia.com

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