Using stick-on labels on DVD's: Pros? Cons?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Hoven, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Hoven macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Columbus, OH (USA)
    #1
    Hi All.
    So, I've been converting my tapes to DVD and I've been putting stick-on labels on them (using the Sonix software and applicator thingy).

    Now, I'm starting to do it for friends. Rather than boring writing, I rather like the designs and photos and such I can put on a label to put on the DVD.

    I've seen some folks who say "don't use stick-on labels" and others who seem to use them. So, what's the consensus? Has anyone actually had a problem with them or are the issues just theoretical?

    I've seen some that you can run through special ink-jet printers, but those are just dvd's with pre-applied labels, I think.

    So, can I keep using labels or should I find an alternative?

    Thanks!
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #2
    I use them at work a lot, so I'll weigh in.

    Labels are great for short-term use on CDs. That's about it. DVDs are more succeptable to the unbalancing that occurs when labels are applied even 1/2mm off-center (and trust me, stompers can't get it perfect). So when you label DVDs, you take a bigger risk that the disc won't spin right. Of course as you've discovered, most of the time this isn't a big problem.

    The bigger problem comes from the stickers themselves. A layer of paper (with high plastic content) over a layer of adhesive. Well we know how well adhesive ages, turning yellow and hard and flaking off. That will eventually happen with the labels. And as the paper ages, it will become brittle and may warp, wreaking havoc with the old adhesive. Paper labels have much less longevity than the actual media does, so you're limiting it's lifespan. Whether it'll last for 2 years or 10 years, the label will eventually make the disc unusable before it's natural life span is up.

    Of course, using a hard-tipped pen directly on the disc can be just as damaging: The layer of aluminum is often directly behind the sealant on the top surface, so a hard-tipped pen can scratch the substrate. For best results, use a soft-tipped pen specifically made for CDs, that way you know the ink won't eat at the sealant.

    Or even better, leave the disc plain and label the cases, but that's not a good solution.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    The special inkjet printable CD's and DVD's do not have a paper label applied, they have a layer of matte paint (for lack of a more accurate description) on the surface which accepts the inkjet ink.

    Be aware that there are also thermal printer printable CD's, these have a different surface which is not suitable for inkjets.
     
  4. ellisongs macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2005
    #4
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #5
    Yes I should have mentioned, they do make printers that print directly on CDs, these are great. Very similar to the commercial CDs. There are a couple of different methods, one for full-color and one for mono- or duo-tone which is cheaper of course.

    And it may not be paper, but it does yellow and brittle like paper does, I've observed it firsthand. The adhesive is the biggest problem.
     
  6. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    Jan 20, 2005
    #6
    I can vouch for the Epson R200. It's a great inexpensive little printer that prints out very good quality DVD labels. Inks can be expensive, but if you use them just to print DVDs, they can last between 400-1000 discs depending on the artwork.

    Recommended brands of DVD-Rs include Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 4x or 8x that comes with a silver or white matte inkjet printable surface.
     
  7. freiheit macrumors 6502a

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    California
    #7
    If you're lucky enough to not live in the US, you can get Canon printers that print directly onto printable CD/DVD discs. Here in the US, the only mainstream option are the Epson models (for inkjet purposes, I mean).

    Personally, if I knew of a way to mod my HP PSC750 printer (older model, out of warranty) to print directly onto CD/DVD discs, I'd do it. My experiences with Epsons have been less than stellar and even this older HP unit prints pretty darn nicely.
     
  8. joshua_msu macrumors regular

    joshua_msu

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    chicago (formerly detroit)
    #8
    HP has drives that print directly from the DVD-R drive to the DVD. Pretty cool if you ask me.
     
  9. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    visiting from downstream
    #9
    If you want to save colored ink, go with an all-black label like this one. I use this format on all of the CDs and DVDs I produce (both for my archives and for distribution).
     

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  10. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #10
    Haha. Your joking right? Black ink cartridges cost more than color inks. ;)
     
  11. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #11
    Not for my printer... the color carts cost twice as much, and I never get to use them completely because invariably one color (red, for example) runs out before the others.

    Anyway, unless you have actual cover art to use, the white-on-black design is, IMHO, both classy and very readable.
     
  12. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #12

    There are certain drives that don't like the label. For example I have a front loading pioneer dvd-rom drive that doesn't have a tray. You just push the disc similar to a car cd-player and it accepts the disc. These types of drives don't like it.
     
  13. Hoven thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    Columbus, OH (USA)
    #13
    Well, Thanks all. It would seem that I should stop using the labels on my DVD's [boogers! :( ] I have dozens now with the labels and I've done quite a few tapes-to-dvds for my friends... all with the labels. I guess I'll have to warn them and maybe recopy the dvd's for them.

    Based on what y'all were saying, I went poking around and found that LightScribe technology (http://www.lightscribe.com/). LaCie (http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10122) is coming out with a drive this month for about $180 which will enable you to use the laser of the drive to burn an image into the 'top' of the dvd. Of course, I have no idea if it's compatible with iDVD, plus it requires OS X 10.3 (I'm still on 10.2). So the switch-over could get expensive.

    There's also the markers (such as http://www.verbatim.com.au/products.cfm?productID=41830) but that's not very nice looking, especially with my hand writing. :eek:

    Ah well, thanks for the input. I was hoping to hear "don't worry about it", but I kinda figured it would go this way.

    Thanks again!
     

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