FAQs – CD and DVD Production

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We want to make sure that you feel completely at ease when dealing with us.  In order to do this we’ve put together a series of common questions that will help explain, in plain English, some unfamiliar terms along with how we work.

If there is anything else you need to know please  feel free to  contact us by e-mail  or phone us on 0121 333 6533

FAQ1 I’m still unsure as to what the difference is between replication & duplication

Replication is the process where we manufacture your discs (can also be known as ‘pressing’) using a glass master.  This  is suited to large volumes in excess of 500 units and is the same process used to manufacture discs that you will see in any of the high street stores.  Duplication is a semi automatic process that uses banks of disc duplicators to ‘burn’ your content onto blank discs.  This is suited to small volumes typically under 1,000 units.

FAQ2  What will the print quality of my discs be like?

With duplicated discs these are printed using specialist commercial ink jet printers that produce crisp high resolution images.    With replicated discs these are produced using either a ‘screen’ printing process which is suitable for solid areas of colour or ‘offset litho’ which is suitable for high resolution photo quality images.  Either screen or offset litho produces a ‘retail quality’ disc.

FAQ3 Can I have a gloss finish?

For larger quantities the  discs are printed and can then coated with a protective gloss varnish that provides a smudge, water & scratch resistant finish to give you retail quality result.  For smaller runs, the ink jet process creates a more matt effect on the on body print.  This can be avoided by using a slightly more expensive gloss based disc which again provides a water resistant finish.

FAQ4 How quick will I get my work?

Duplicated work is usually dispatched within 4 working days by next day courier.  If you want it quicker we can offer a guaranteed 2, next day & same day service

Faster turnaround times are charged  as follows:-

Express 2 day service – 15% surcharge

Express next day service – 30% surcharge

Express same day service – 60% surcharge

Replicated work is usually dispatched between 10 and 12 working days.  Working days do not include weekends or bank holidays.

Our working days period starts from the day on which we receive all master files and paperwork in a usable format.

FAQ5 What do you mean by CMYK?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Key (Black), other terms that mean the same thing are ‘full colour’ and ‘4 colour process’.  It is a way of printing using tiny dots, whereby these four colours are used to create images.  These 3 colours and black  roughly correspond to the primary colours and so a close match to all colours of the spectrum can be achieved.  For example if you overlay yellow and magenta the resulting colour would be red.  If you look closely at a photo in a magazine you will see that it is made up of tiny dots in CMYK.

FAQ6 What does on body disc print mean?

This means that we print directly onto the surface of the disc which provides the best possible print finish

FAQ7 What does 4/0 , 4/1 and 4/4 mean?

These numbers refer to which sides of a paper part is printed and how much of it is printed.  For example, we may quote you on having a 4 page booklet printed 4/1.  This means that the one (outer) side is printed 4 colour process (see the question about CMYK above) and the inside is printed 1 colour black.  Which in this case would mean that pages 1 and 4 (the front & back cover) are printed in full colour and pages 2 and 3 (centre page spread) are printed black & white.  So this means that 4/0 would have full colour one side and be blank on the other and 4/4 means that it is printed full colour both sides.

FAQ8  Can you help with CD authoring?

We charge £20 for this facility.   The process includes listing the track titles so that, when you play the CD in the car, for example, the track titles are visible.  The authoring also embeds customers’ IRSC codes into the CD master.  This unique identifier can be permanently encoded into a recording or music video and encoded ISRCs automatically identify a recording for PPL payments. These are the codes that, if a tune gets airplay, show where the royalties to be paid to.  You will need to supply these codes for us to embed.  The codes can be obtained by registering your material with PPL. Find out more about ISRC codes and apply through PPL

FAQ9 How do I get a barcode?

At the moment we do not produce barcodes, however these can be easily obtained from GS1.  They can be contacted by phoning freephone: 0808 178 8799, email or visiting their website at  www.gs1uk.org

FAQ10 What is the best format to submit files to you?

Printed parts – We prefer to receive files as high resolution PDFs or EPS.  We also accept Adobe Files, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark (for MAC) and Jpegs  (minimum resolution of 150kb to  ensure that there will be no pixelation or blurring of your images).  Jpegs are the least favoured option as they do not allow us to manipulate the artwork in any way should there be an issue with the sizing etc.

DVD masters –   Either supply us with 2 hard copies of the DVD or, if uploading, please send as an ISO file.  Otherwise the file may not play on all DVD players. If you send us any other format eg MP4, we would have to convert to an ISO file at an additional charge of £60 + vat.

CD Masters Either supply us with 2 hard burned copies of the CD (in case of scratches) or if uploading the file, acceptable formats are WAV (preferred) or MP3.  WAV files yield the best audio quality.  MP3 files, by their very nature, are compressed files, so some of the audio quality is compromised.

FAQ11 Can you produce artwork to go with discs?

Yes we do but at additional cost.  Our artwork charges are £40 per hour and the cost of the design will depend on what print you want to accompany your disk.   For example, working from text and pictures supplied, a typical on body design with a front and rear inlay would comprise about 2 hours artwork  Proofs would be sent to you by e mail prior to us proceeding to print.

FAQ12 Do you have templates to help  me with artwork?

Yes – we will supply templates to fit most designs for card wallets, on body print, lancing packs, booklets, inlays, digipacks etc.  Just ask us to e mail the relevant templates to you.

FAQ13 Do I need a license for my music or DVD?

If your work contains music or sketches that are not your own then you need to register this with the MCPS to get a licence.

For short runs of music, the licence which is often suitable is the limited manufacturing licence but there are strict qualification criteria.  For longer music runs the licence is usually the AP2.    For audio-visual products, the licences required are AVP for general interest DVDs, and DVD1 for music DVDs.    But you may need to licence the music element additionally and separately.  It can be confusing and it is not always easy for us to guide you because we are not familiar with your material but the licence needs to be obtained before we can work with your files.  That said, the MCPS website is very helpful as are their telephone advisers.  For more information about the general MCPS licensing requirements click here. See also our Copyright/Licensing Page

FAQ14 What’s the difference between MCPS and PPL?

downloadprsMCPS and PPL operate a joint website and work closely together.  Essentially they both deal with copyright.  MCPS deals with the copyright in musical work and PPL deals with copyright in sound recordings.

FAQ15  Why do you ask me to complete  an IPL form/ copyright licence?

This is to cover our legal liabilities.  By law we are not allowed to produce copies of anything without the permission of the person who has created it as they have intellectual rights to that material.  For creators of original matter, our form is simply there as a way of you giving us permission to reproduce it to the quantity and specification given on the order form.  For those who are not using original material, we also have to ask you to specify which parts of your product are not original and to ensure that you have the correct permissions to use and re-produce the material from the originator eg by MCPS licence, play licence or grand rights.

FAQ16 Do you have products liability cover?

Yes,  to a limit of £2,000,000 any one year.  However, our insurance excludes direct exports to the USA or Canada unless previously advised to insurers for an additional premium (this is due to the high cost and frequency of legal cases in these countries).  If you are intending to export directly to the USA or Canada, please advise us at the time of requesting a quotation and make this clear on the copyright form.

FAQ17  What is the difference between a standard DVD and Bluray?

A Bluray DVD is in higher definition and has a better picture quality than a Standard DVD .  However Bluray DVDs will only play on Bluray DVD players whereas standard DVDs will play on all players.

FAQ18  What is the difference between aDVD5 and a DVD9?

A Standard length DVD is often referred to as a DVD5.  DVD9s are longer and sometimes call Dual Layer DVDs.   When recording DVD9s it is recommended that a suitable gap in the audio and visual is created at the point  where the DVD switches to the second layer as there is an unavoidable interruption in continuity at this point When asking us to quote, please mention if your DVD is single or dual layer as the production costs are different because there is additional time and work required to produce DVD9s.

FAQ19 How much data can I put on my disk?

The maximum size for different types of standard disk is as follows:-

DVD5 (Standard DVD) 4.7 Gb.

DVD9 (Dual Layer DVD)  8gb.

Audio CD 700mb.

Memory Stick – dependent on size of memory on stick to be used.