March 17, 2008

Considerations for making a CD

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching what it takes to put out a CD – not even the music portion, just the physical product.  The first major concern has been how many to print.  Using most companies, it’s most economical to have them press 1000 copies, and it seems difficult to find a way to make less without using CD-Rs.

Packaging is another major concern.  The practical environmentalist in me wants to choose something made out of cardboard, with little or no plastic.  However, (some) people expect a professional product to come in the same plastic jewel case that has been the industry standard since CDs came out.  If I break down and end up going the jewel-case route, I’d like to at least forgo the plastic shrink-wrap which is a pretty meaningless waste of petroleum.

Composer and band-leader Andrew Durkin has had some pretty interesting stuff on his blog recently about choosing packaging – he recently settled on the “Arigato Pak,” which is made locally by Stumptown Printers.  While it seems like an attractive product, I’m still leaning a bit towards Digipaks.

So much to consider…


  1. Hey John,
    That’s awesome you’re thinking about making a CD! If you want to talk about it, give me a call. We’ll get coffee… I have thoughts and contacts for you.

    Comment by Ez — March 17, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  2. Hey, thanks for the shout-out.

    Digipaks are definitely cool… and I think especially if this is your first CD it’s helpful to go with a paackaging option that has a little more traction in the market. I think CDForge (also in Portland) does Digipaks at a decent price.

    I’m with you too on the question of shrink-wrap — though I recommend making sure the retailers you want to work with will carry your disc without it.

    Cool! Good luck…

    Comment by Andrew Durkin — March 18, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  3. “a packaging option that has a little more traction in the market.”

    (i.e., more than the Arigato Pak…)

    Comment by Andrew Durkin — March 18, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  4. I’ve been looking into short run stuff for some new agey piano improvs of mine. One option is cafepress which does cds on demand from a master, although there are several minuses. Another one that was intriguing was . The per-unit price is of course higher, but you can do 25, 50, 200, whatever.

    Comment by Curt Siffert — March 19, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

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