Labels for DVDs

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Jeff Thies, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    I've gotten myself, for the time being, into the very cheap DVD
    business. $4/DVD. It's a black history program at a senior center I
    belong to.

    Fry's had 50 DVDs for $13, 50 cases for $10, and 100 Merax (DVD face)
    labels for $7. Up to that point, it was going to cost $8 for 16 labels
    at Walmart.

    Merax uses a different layout than Avery, so the Avery templates are no

    So, I've hacked it all together and gotten it to work, but I can't help
    but think there is a better way than what I did.

    What about DVD labels? What software and what source for labels?

    Jeff Thies, Mar 10, 2014
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  2. Jeff Thies

    HerHusband Guest

    Hi Jeff,
    If the DVD's will all have the same label, a better option is to have blank
    DVD's preprinted. Then all you need to do is burn the data to the disc when
    you are ready to send it out. I use a company called CD Print Express
    ( and the discs look very professional with no
    worries of smudging ink, peeling labels, or anything like that. They can
    print as few disc's as you need, but obviously it's cheaper for larger
    quantities. I usually order about 50 at a time.

    If every label will be unique, you'll probably have to resort to stick on
    labels (unless you want to invest in a printer that can print to inkjet
    printable discs).

    Before I started using preprinted discs, I used "Memorex CD Labels" I
    picked up from OfficeMax. I designed and layed out the labels using a
    drawing program like "Draw Plus", then printed them on my inkjet or laser
    printer. For best results, you need the little gadget that centers the
    label on the disc. Basically, you take the label off the sheet and lay it
    upside down on the applicator. Then you place the disc face down on the
    applicator and press to stick the label to the disc. I usually lay a sheet
    of paper over the label afterwards and rub to make sure the label is well
    adhered. My applicator is part of a "Memorex Labelmaker" kit I bought many
    years ago.

    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Mar 10, 2014
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  3. Jeff Thies

    Paul Guest

    They used to make "DVD printers", a device where you slide in
    a DVD, and an inkjet like device prints a label. This allows
    color labels to be crafted. I don't know if you can still buy
    good ones of those. The solvent used there is probably not
    water, as it needs to dry to a plastic-like finish. For water
    to work, the DVD would need a roughened surface to take the ink.

    (An exotic one, which probably costs five times as much
    as a good one used to cost. The older ones, you stuck a
    single DVD in the unit at a time, and it was intended for
    home use. This one looks more like a small volume unit.
    *Always* read a review for these units, before buying one.
    Even though this item currently has no reviews, you could
    try on Amazon, or consult a site like CDFreaks or CDRinfo.


    There is also "LightScribe", which is monochromatic. It takes
    a long time, in the burner, to burn the LightScribe layer and
    make a high contrast label. A DVD printer is just so much better.
    A decent LightScribe (multi-pass) burn might take 20 minutes.
    A single pass may not give enough contrast. You must buy LightScribe
    media, to get the photo-sensitive layer in question.


    Using adhesive labels can unbalance optical media. If the media
    has a chip in an edge, and spins at high speed, the media can
    fly apart due to the wobbling of the label. If the media is not
    chipped on an edge, the label probably isn't an issue. I don't
    stick labels on optical media here - I write in the hub
    area if I have to. More normally, I write the title on the
    thin jewel case instead (all my media is in thin jewel cases).
    The store that used to sell me my jewel cases is bankrupt,
    so I don't know where I'll be going next. You have to use
    some care when buying those, as there are crappy ones out
    there (warped ones, bad hinges and snaps). Buy a sample and
    examine them, before buying more.

    Paul, Mar 10, 2014
  4. They sell printable CDs, DVDs, and BDs that have a matte white surface
    designed for such use. I wouldn't want to try printing on a
    conventional disk, since I don't see how the ink could work on plastic.

    I *do not* recommend pasting paper labels on an optical disk, unless
    you never plan to put them in a player or reader/burner. There are
    reports of damage to the player when the label unsticks during play or

    Epson and Brother make printers that will print on *printable* optical
    disks. I am not aware of other companies that do that today.

    To make LightScribe labels you need a burner designed for that
    Gene E. Bloch, Mar 10, 2014
  5. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    I looked at $40 Canon Printer that also printed DVDs. They sell
    inprintable DVDs that take the ink.

    Fabulous, unless you need to make 50, then you wear yourself out feeding
    them in.
    I hadn't thought of that as an issue. I'll look at them.
    I bought iMation as I remember seeing that years ago and the
    salespeople said they all were OK. I'm thinking that they may a problem
    with some that are just shrink wrapped and get knocked about.

    and spins at high speed, the media can
    I bought 50 ($10). Same brand as the labels (Merax), they seem fine.
    Open and close and snap well enough, not a pain. But then, I'm not a
    connoisseur of the $4 DVD. They seem identical to my Memorex.
    Jeff Thies, Mar 10, 2014
  6. Jeff Thies

    HerHusband Guest

    I also avoid paper labels these days, but I shipped out hundreds of CD's
    and DVD's with paper labels over the years and never heard a single

    For simple DVD's and Blu-Rays for my own use (backup discs and that sort of
    thing), I use the Sharpie permanent markers that are formulated for optical
    media. Regular markers can supposedly cause damage to data on the disc,
    but I've never experienced that. For what little I use them, the special
    markers are a small price for piece of mind. Most office supply stores sell
    them, though they can be a little tricky to find on the wall of pens.

    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Mar 10, 2014
  7. We have been printing our labeling on the printable discs for about 10 years
    now. It used to be that Epson was the only company allowed to sell the disc
    printers in the USA, but if some here have found a Canon and a Brother that
    can do it maybe times have changed.

    In any case, this is the only way to go. There are no labels to peel off or
    get stuck in the players, the graphics are infinite, and the process is
    simple. The discs come in glossy as well as the matte finish, the glossy
    being called "Waterproof" usually. These labels are absolutely photographic,
    and we will put a nice shot of the bride and groom on the whole face of the
    disc, with appropriate identification in a graphics box below.

    I think it is ridiculous to print a good DVD on a silver disc that is
    impossible to label nicely, because once taken out of its case it goes
    incognito unless they play it back to see which one it is. That type of disc
    is useless for anything but proofing. The printable discs are widely
    available, and I have found the more exotic ones like the Waterproof
    available at B&H for the best price.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 15, 2014
  8. You *do* have the option of labeling them not nicely.

    Sharpies work, and they satify my criterion quite well :)

    And of course I went to LightScribe and then printable disks
    eventually. I'm not quite as stubborn and dumb as I look...

    But even ugly is better than anonymous...of course I do realize that's
    not satisfactory for commercial use.
    Gene E. Bloch, Mar 15, 2014
  9. Jeff Thies

    Brian Guest

    They seem to give you something useful such as printing a label on a DVD/CD
    then they take away this feature.
    I use a canon printer that does a good job of printing labels.
    I suspect that there is very few if not any printers that still print To
    DVD/CD discs.
    Also scanning slides and negatives is another feature that seems to have
    disappeared from printers.
    Brian, Apr 26, 2014
  10. Jeff Thies

    Brian Guest

    Writing around the area closest to the centre hole is usually safe.
    The only discs I don't write to are DVD-RW as I reuse them for different
    Brian, Apr 26, 2014
  11. Brother has some models that print CDs, such as MFC-J875DW and the
    seemingly identical MFC-J870DW.

    There is also LightScribe, which might have been mentioned in this
    thread back in March (I don't recall).
    Gene E. Bloch, Apr 26, 2014
  12. Jeff Thies

    Mutley Guest

    I prefer disk printers at home but at work we still use labels. The
    best ones I have found are from Neato but you
    will most likely need Mediaface software to format the labels and
    print them. I think it was about $32 from memory....
    Mutley, Apr 26, 2014
  13. Jeff Thies

    Brian Guest

    So does that mean you are storing media on external hard drives instead of
    I know of one shop in my city that no longer stocks blank DVD's as there is
    less demand for them. Also there are less places you can buy audio CD's
    from. The DVD movie hire places are still going strong.
    I wonder if flash drives will replace DVD's.

    I tend to plug an small portable HD into my media player which is connected
    to the TV and watch video these days but if I make a video that someone
    wants then it goes to DVD.
    Brian, Apr 28, 2014
  14. Jeff Thies

    Brian Guest

    Good to know that there is support for labelling discs.
    LightScribe discs are more expensive to buy.
    Brian, Apr 28, 2014
  15. Jeff Thies

    Brian Guest

    You should be able to fit almost 100 Gigabytes on 4 Blu-ray discs. Out of
    interest was the large capacity required due to the high quality of the
    video causing it to be larger in file size or due to the length of the
    video, or both.

    The Boxnet and WeTransfer sound like useful sites especially if they are
    free as I often need to send someone a video clip or photos and email
    attachments have limits.

    It would be interesting to do some research on the life expectancy of
    various media storage.
    DVD don't seem to wear out but may have a limited life for storing data.
    Media flash cards can be written to x number of times
    External hour drives may have a limit on the number of hours they operate
    for until the motor or some other part wears out and maybe the drive has a
    limit to the number of times you can write to it before bad sectors appear.
    Strange that the best way to store info for a long time is to write it in
    ink on paper compared to our modern media storage methods.
    Brian, Apr 30, 2014
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