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Archive for November, 2018

Non-standardised DVD formats

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Digital discsBesides standard DVD format, there are some non-standard DVD formats. Below is some information explaining the differences of these formats.

DVD-VCD is a DVD-Video disc that has data on it which has been encoded by using the MPEG-1 video format with the same definitions VCD has.

DVD-SVCD is also not a valid DVD standard, since the DVD standard does not support the SVCD resolution. The term DVD-SVCD is used to describe a hacked, or non-standard DVD-Video disc that has SVCD compatible content on it.

DVD-MP3 is created with and contains only digital audio files in the MP3 format. It should be noted that not all DVD players can play DVD-MP3 discs.

DVD-D is a disposable DVD format that provides a limited play time with duration of up to 48 hours after the packaging has been opened. After the designated time has passed, DVD players are unable to read the disc. The packaging of the disc is airtight and the DVD itself has a special coating that begins to deteriorate when exposed to air. The DVD-D format is currently being used for video game and movie rentals where not only can intellectual property rights be better protected, but consumers have no need to worry about the hassle of DVD rental returns. According to the manufacturer’s Web site, both the DVD-D disc and the cardboard packaging it comes in can be recycled. The DVD-D format was developed by German company FDD Technologies AG, and while no official definition of the D has been offered, many use the abbreviation to mean DVD-Destroy or DVD-Destruct.

HD-DVD which is short for high definition-DVD is a generic term for the technology of recording high-definition video on a DVD. In general, HD-DVD is capable of storing between two and four times as much data as standard DVD. In February 2008, Toshiba issued a release stating that it would no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. Several major retail chains, such as Wal-Mart in the US followed with plans to no longer carry the product, and major Hollywood studios have also dropped plans to release productions in HD-DVD format as well.

Blu-ray Discs are distinguishable for they use 405nm-wave length blue-violet laser technology, instead of the 650nm-wavelength red laser technology used in traditional DVD formats. The rewritable Blu-ray disc, with a data transfer rate of 36Mbps (1x speed) can hold up to 25GB of data on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. On a 50GB disc, this translates into 9 hours of high-definition (HD) video or approximately 23 hours of standard-definition (SD) video. The Blu-ray format was developed jointly by Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Thomson, Hitachi, Matsushita, Pioneer and Philips, Mistubishi and LG Electronics.

AOD and Blu-ray are similar in that they both use 405nm-wavelength blue-violet laser technology. While Blu-ray has a storage capacity of 25GB on a single-layer disc, AOD can store 20GB on a single-layer disc and has the capacity to hold 30GB on a dual-layer disc. AOD was developed jointly by Toshiba and NEC.

Several technologies are seen as successors to the standard DVD. These include HD-DVD, Blu-ray, AOD and HVD (Holographic Versatile Disc). With so many formats competing, it is similar to the old VHS versus Beta wars, but with one main exception; the difference in quality between VHS and DVD was extremely noticeable, and this encouraged consumers to quickly and easily transition to DVD from VHS. With these new standards, however, consumers are not seeing the drastic quality difference of, HD-DVD over DVD for example, and adoption has been slow.

Additionally, the media players and the media itself is still more expensive then standard DVD media. Overall the industry suggests that consumers are just not ready to leave DVD behind quite yet.

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Quality media: saving a lot by spending a little more

Monday, November 19th, 2018
A special utility is needed to determine the disc ID code

A special utility is needed to determine the disc ID code

It’s getting harder and harder to be a good consumer of digital goods nowadays. It’s generally known that high – quality media are far more reliable than ‘bulk – quality’ Chinese or Malaysian products, but still many people lack knowledge or willingness to pay closer attention to their buying choices. Also companies that outsource discs production to media vendors want to keep an average user unaware of the disc origin. But sooner or later consumers will have to face the truth which is as follows: with the proliferation of cheaply-made discs about half of all media on the market are inferior quality!

Everytime you use bad, cheaply-made media you risk loosing your data. Buying a good disc will save your time and money in the long run. But buying a good discs does not always mean paying for what’s on the top of the shelf. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Here are a few tips on how to search for a high-quality discs. First of all, it’s the manufacturer that matters, not the brand. It’s the reality of the globalised economy where all possible stages of production are outsourced. The most reliable factories are placed in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, the least – traditionally in China and Malaysia. However, the most important criterion, which reveals the media manufacturer is hidden. It’s the disc ID. You will not find it on the packaging or on the disc surface. In order to read the media ID code, you have to place it in a DVD burner drive which has the utility needed to read the code, such as ImgBurn or Toast. Or you can simply download the software from the Internet.

It’s also good to do a small research on the Internet. There are a few reliable, consumer-oriented organizations which publish an annual review of good and high – quality media. What appears with the greatest frequency and is really worth an extra search while buying is: Verbatim DVD – R, DVD + R or DVD + R DL, made in India, UAE, Singapore or Taiwan (avoid ‘Life series’ or ‘Value series’ discs); JVC Taiyo Yuden DVD – R or DVD + R from an authorised dealer only; Sony DVD + R and DVD – R manufactured in Taiwan only. So, appropriately, the highest quality media ID codes are: TAIYOYUDEN, TYG01, TYG02, YUDEN, MCC, sony D05

And what are the benefits of this extra investment in quality buying? The answer is: better disc sustainability, 95- 100% success rate (comparing to 0-50% performed by the worse), the most successful burns and data safety. It’s worth it!

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Packaging Your Discs Attractively

Monday, November 12th, 2018

In order to make your discs look their best, it is very useful to consider the packaging you would like to put them in. A quick list of packaging types follows:

  • Spindles. Not very stylish, but they are very space efficient, these are the same kinds of packaging as you find bulk discs sold in. About the only things you can do for labeling are placing a piece of paper (or a stick-on disc label for that matter) on top of the box, or wrapping some kind of a label around the sides.
  • Plastic disc sleeves. These are thin pieces of plastic which have a closing flap like an envelope.
  • Cardboard disc sleeves. Unlike the plastic sleeves, these are rigid and can be printed with a full-color design on the front and back.
  • Digipacks. These are a combination of a rigid plastic tray and a cardboard cover. They can be printed in full color.
  • Clamshells. Hard, clear plastic allowing the disc design to be seen while it is protected from damage.
  • Slimline jewel cases. These are hard plastic cases designed to be thin. You can place at most a small booklet in the case front, and no back material is possible.
  • Jewel cases. These hard plastic cases can handle both front and back inserts.
  • Double jewel cases. They hold two disks instead of one.
  • DVD cases. These are the standard “tall” cases that DVDs come in at the store. They can contain a book in the front, and can have a full color printout inserted into them.
  • Double DVD cases. As before, but they are able to hold two discs.
  • Blu-ray cases. These are matched to the Blu-ray standards and look exactly like you’d expect: blue, and slightly different dimensions than a DVD case. They can have wraparound printed material inserted into them, as well as a booklet inside.

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In addition to the packaging types, you can choose from a variety of book and wrap styles to match your cases. Each option can of course be easily printed in full color. Your choices include:

  • 2 sided cards. This is in essence a single piece of paper printed front and back.
  • 4 sided cards. A longer piece of paper folded in half to give the appearance of a small booklet. Twice as much space, though it must be removed from the case to read the additional information.
  • 4 page DVD booklets. Like a 4 sided card but in DVD size.
  • 6 sided cards. Even longer and folded in thirds to make a “Z” this will give you half again as much space, with the same caveat of needing to remove the card to see the extra information.
  • 8 page booklets. Two 4 sided cards stapled together allowing for a fair amount of information and a booklet format.
  • DVD wraps. These are used to wrap around a disc case (Blu-ray or DVD) and form the outer jacket. They slip under the plastic for protection.
  • Double sided DVD wraps. These are exactly like the previous wraps but have been printed on both sides to accommodate clear cases. Particularly useful for Blu-rays, which are always clear.
  • Rear tray cards. These sit in jewel cases and are printed to make a “back cover” for the case. They sit behind the plastic, under the disc tray.
  • Double sided rear tray cards. These are exactly the same but have two sides to accommodate jewel cases with a clear tray. Generally the inside is printed with an image that translates well through the distortion of the tray.

In addition it is possible to package disc cases in cellowrap. This lends a professional air to your product that you can’t get without wrapping your cases. After all, nobody in a high street shop sells unsealed discs!

In the grand scheme you can pretty much pick and choose exactly how you want your discs to appear. They can be very simple, or extremely elaborate. The choice of how to present your discs is yours, and they should reflect the character of your project.

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Self-Promoting your Music

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Unless you have major label money behind you, the ability to self-promote your music is one of the most important skills you can have. When you don’t have money to hire PR people to run media campaigns for you, it is up to you to make sure people know about the music you are making. Getting started can be a little overwhelming, however there are steps you can take that will help you start out on the right foot.

Identify Your Goals –  Try not to cover too much ground. Have a specific campaign in mind to promote a specific thing, such as a new single or album, a show or gig, or a website. Once you know what to promote, you will be able to make clear goals for yourself. With these goals in mind, you’ll find it easier to come up with promotion ideas and judge their success.

Promote your music

Promote your music

Target the Right Audience – especially important if you are on a budget. No point wasting time and money letting a Hip Hop magazine know your new Folk album is out. With your promotional goals in mind, figure out who your target audience is. For example if you have a limited edition single coming out, your primary audience is your band mailing list, plus the media.
Have a Promo Package ready – this should include:

  • A press release
  • Any previous media coverage
  • A short band/artist bio
  • Contact details including email
  • Colour photo or web link to one
  • CD (this maybe a demo or the latest album)

Find your Niche – Try to find something that will make people more curious about you – give them a reason to want to know more. You don’t have to devise a huge, designed persona, but giving people a reason to check out your show or your CD before the others can only help.

Bribe Them – Even media people and label bosses love getting something for nothing, and you’ll whip your fans into a frenzy (and get new fans) by giving stuff away. One idea is to give away CD singles at a gig to every person who signs up to your mailing list.

Branding – Get your name out there. Make up stickers, posters, badges etc. and leave it anywhere you can. Soon, your name will be familiar to people even if they don’t know why.  And next time they see your advert for a gig – they may decide to check you out.

Keep Track of Your Contacts – Keep a database on your computer for the industry people you have met and another database of fan contacts. These databases should be your first port of call for your next promotional campaign.
So as you can see having CDs of your music is an essential part a campaign. It’s important to use a professional, effective and affordable company like Duplication Centre or Replication Centre to help create these CD used in this self-promotion process.

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Address: Replication Centre, Gleniffer House, 2 Hall Road, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1NN.    Tel: 01702 530 357    Email: info@replicationcentre.co.uk