Compact Disc Sales Rise Again

Retail CD Package Option

Since we are one of the few places that still duplicates CD, DVD and Blu-ray on a daily basis we are extremely pro physical media. It’s nice to see others hopping on the train and to get some external validation. 😁

We believe that physical media is still one of the most effective way for small artists be they musicians or filmmakers to earn revenue.

There is a myriad of reasons as to why there has been a slight increase in the amount of albums sold on Compact Disc the past two years but here are a few we believe to be responsible:

Patronage: Fans want to show support to their favorite artists and physical media is far and away the best way to directly support small independent artists, musicians and filmmakers.

Quality: Streaming platforms restrict sound quality to save bandwidth and many in the audience are waking up to the fact that their streamed music played over a phone or portable speaker is leaving huge portions of the sound quality on the digital cutting room floor.

Digital Fatique: Year end streaming “wrapped style” reports show folks that they are listening to less varied music than ever before due to algorithms boxing in their streams. People are also tiring of how many platforms they have to pay subscriptions too just to rent what they used to own.

Cost: Audiophiles that have embarked on the physical media journey often start with record albums but the cost of records can be prohibitive. While CD’s may not have the analog “warmth” of vinyl, the cost can be significantly cheaper. Pawn shops and thrift stores such as goodwill may have compact discs available for prices as low as a buck.

✔ Ownership: A CD is a tangible physical item that does not require an internet connection. While “leasing” content has clearly shown it’s the 800 pound gorilla it is not without chinks in the armor. CDs can be a great solution in locations where internet connectivity can be spotty such as Boats, RVs, Ice Fishing Shacks,etc.

Nostalgia: Many of the audience that grew up during the heyday of physical media are longing for experiences they had long ago and some are delighted to find that they still have a book of CD’s in an old Case Logic stashed away in the basement.

✔ Experience: Albums are curated in a specific order of tracks to make a maximum impact. Streaming singles removes much of that impact. As we experience increased stress and demands in our work and personal life it’s nice to take roughly 72 minutes to ourselves and experience an entire album the way it was meant to be experienced.

So fire up that old CD player, plug in those old floor speakers that are in the basement corner and pour yourself a cocktail. It’s time to fire up the Who’s Tommy and listen to the pinball wizard. It’s time to slow down, get back to your roots and experience the art as it was meant to be experienced.

Let’s start really listening again. 😀 🎧

Physical media; Blu-ray, DVD or Compact Disc is still one of the most effective way for small artists be they musicians or filmmakers to earn revenue. If you want to harness your content and drive more revenue contact us today.

If your a band of filmmaker wanting help on your next album or DVD/Blu-ray please give us a call at 952-944-0083

Digitize Your CD Collection Today

Frustrated that your entire music CD collection is now useless due to new vehicles shipping without a CD player?

Send us your CD Collection and we can scan and convert them to digital!

How does CD Conversion work?

  1. You ship us your CD Collection.
  2. We use automated robotics to scan your CD Collection and convert to digital.
  3. We export your music onto a USB Drive and return it with your music collection.

Pump Up the Jams
in your new car
with Digital Conversion
of Your Music!

Journey back in time to the first time you listened to your favorite album with your favorite people.

Why Digitize Your audio CDs Now

Future Proof your Music Collection!

Take back ownership of your tunes!

Forget about data limits!

Listen anywhere!

Is CD Conversion a Real Business?

We know, we know…believe me, we know! It’s a weird business. We all used to make our own mixtapes and custom CD’s all the time.

Heck we might have even made some of those albums you listened to.
We remember when computers and your brand new car all had CD players and we actually owned our music too!

Unfortunately most modern vehicles and computers no longer ship with CD players and drives. That means people can’t easily rip their old collections.

We had enough customers and car dealers asking for CD conversion service that we decided to provide it.

If that’s you we’d love to hear from you. Call us at 952-944-0083 or contact us and we can discuss converting your CD collection to digital so you can enjoy those tunes and get back to rocking!

Professional DVD or Bluray Disc Mastering With Ease!

If you stick to the basics and follow these simple tips below you’ll be on your way to professional disc mastering created with as few hiccups and snags as possible.

1. Communication is Key

Smooth Operator…Coast to Coast LA to Chicago…

Nothing and I mean nothing can replace speaking directly with your studio or the production company regarding your master. Email can work but sometimes picking up the telephone is the simplest way to get from point A to B.

Bluray Mastering is required for 1080p Resolution

2. Content Delivery – The Correct Way

Check with your Disc Mastering Production Partner for vendor specific protocols for delivering content.  Many will prefer delivery on physical media (DVD, USB, HDD) but will be open to delivery digitally.  Remember to speak with your publisher regarding file size, runtime and filenames to make sure you are on the same page.

3. Provide a Manifest

Make sure to list your files and exact file names and run-times in the order you want them to play.  You can use md5 or sha hashes for digital continuity testing or you can use run times both can work. 

Laying out your files on a manifest, wire-frame or outline will help make sure your project is completed correctly on the first revision.

4.  Determine total run time and output

Standard DVD using the most common resolution and frame rates typically will yield around 90 minutes of runtime.  Dual Layer DVDs and Blu-ray are available which can extend your run-times per disc but come with added costs.  Think about your audience and your content when determining whether a multiple disc solution vs a dual layer solution might be the right fit.  In some cases we may be able to stretch the run time by adjusting frame rates and/or resolution but this is always at the cost of quality. 

It can be a tough decision to make and sometimes paying a little extra for a physical master to review at home can be worth the cost.

5.  Menu Considerations

Do you want to provide a menu for your audience to navigate or is the project better suited with an autorun where the disc starts playing through upon insertion. POS videos of product demonstration videos may benefit from looping.  If you do want a menu – it is imperative that you provide a high resolution digital file in the proper aspect t ratio to use as your background. 

DVD resolution is 480p so for legibility make sure that your use large bold san serif fonts and keep them away from the edges.

Blu-ray Logo

6. Resolution Considerations

This is one of the tougher questions for duplicators to answer.  DVD is a more widely available format than Blu-ray.  But any footage shot within the last ten years is likely 1080p or even 4K.  If you want to maximize your resolution Blu-ray is the solution you are looking for.   If you want to maximize your compatibility DVD may be your answer.  Smart customers are purchasing bundles which include a mix or ratio of each. 

Video Format Map

7.  Format Considerations

Audiences in the US will need video content formatted in the NTSC format.  Most audiences outside of the US (OUS) will require video content formatted in PAL.  Think about where you intend to distribute your content when determining the proper formatting.  **each format may be considered an additional title and charged according.

8.   Future Proofing Considerations

Now is the time to think about having your duplicator output a high resolution digital file for future distribution. Putting your content in the highest resolution on a large capacity USB Drive or cloud service provider so that you can distribute it digitally if necessary is a wise choice.  Ask your publisher about any additional fees, they may only add nominal cost.

9.  GIGO

GIGO Is a common acronym that stands for Garbage-In-Garbage-Out. Really it is just a crass way to say that disc producers aren’t magicians. They can’t add resolution to your footage. The output quality will depend on the quality of the video content you provide us.   We can do some minor corrections but we can’t fix bad audio or make low resolution or low frame rate footage look HD. 

For the best possible output provide us with your highest quality footage.

10.  Measure Twice Cut Once

Make sure to review your content multiple times prior to submission to make sure there aren’t any glitches, stutters or audio problems.  It is imperative that the content you provide is ultimately free of defects.

If your looking for more details about Blu-ray Production and the shift that's on from BDR as a content delivery vehicle to that of an artist support model head on over to our sister blog and read all about it -  The shift in Blu-ray Production.

We’d love to work with you on your next Disc Mastering Project 

Please call us at 952-944-0083 and we can discuss any questions you may have

International Disc and USB partners for North American Distribution

We are helping International customers every day that need a partner to help with distributing their CD, DVD, Bluray or USB project to North American Customers.

We can help with:
* PAL to NTSC conversion and remastering
* Authoring
* USPS Postage Bulk Rates w/ tracking

* Affordable per unit fulfillment
* Graphic Design
* Unique Barcodes for merchandising
* Paypal or other payment options available
* Quick Turnaround
* Onsite
in stock packaging options

Call us at 952-944-0083 if you need help getting your content to your US fans or customers.

Ultra HD Blu-ray is coming to a home theatre near you!

Today the BDA or Blu-ray Disc Association announced the completion and release of the newest Blu-ray disc technology specs and logo.   The physical media technology will be known as Ultra HD Blu-ray. UHD_BD_LogoThe new technology will usher in an easily consumable format for content delivered to home displays that are capable of 4K resolution.


  • 4K Resolution(3840X2160)
  • Expanded color range and delivery of high dynamic range (HDR) & high frame rate content
  • Immersive object-based sound formats (next gen Dolby)
  • Digital Bridge for multi screen playback.

As always we’ll keep our eyes closely glued on these developments as the march towards higher and higher resolution footage in both the professional and consumer markets inches forward.

Streaming took an early lead but there are tangible benefits to direct digital distribution on physical media and we’ll be right here ready to deliver when you need it.

For information on how to get your next project produced with the highest quality playback and delivered to the largest audiences contact us and we’ll get you squared away.



Sony & Panasonic Join Forces to Create Next Optical Disc Format


Sony Corporation (‘Sony’) and Panasonic Corporation (‘Panasonic’) today announced that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs, with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage.


This is good news for early adopters of 4K televisions as well as the medical imaging community and data centers alike.  As data continues to grow the demand for a cheap long term storage alternative to magnetic storage is still robust.

With metered data from major ISPs and the cost of data pipes increasing day by day (looked at your cable/internet bill lately?) this is welcome news.

One must ponder if this sets up Sony/Panasonics solution for a HDD vs Bluray type battle with the optical disk currently being developed at General Electric? Clearly GE has a captivated audience in their healthcare imaging sector with the gigantic files associated with modern day MRI/PET and CT scans.

Still the question remains- is the market big enough for two major players/formats?

Time will tell, for more updates about the current state of optical media and long term archival options such as CD/DVD, UDO and Magnetic Media please stop back often.



Rimage is now Qumu

rimage now qumu copySignaling their commitment to the growth and future viability of the online video market Rimage today announced the change of name.

Minneapolis, MN – June 17, 2013 – Rimage Corporation (NASDAQ: RIMG), the leader in secure multimedia content management and delivery solutions, today announced that it will change its name to Qumu Corporation. The change will take effect in the third quarter of 2013.

The name change reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to the growing multi-billion dollar market for enterprise video and rich content.


Rimage or rather Qumu will continue to offer its award winning line up of CD/DVD/BluRay publishers under the Rimage name.  The name change will take effect in Q3 2013.

For more information and up to date news on the state of the disc publishing market please bookmark our site or stop back often.

To learn more or purchase a Rimage CD or DVD Publisher.

The “Next Big Thing” Nobody is Talking About at CES

This year the electronics industry at the CES show unveiled their “Big” plans for the future, and when I say big – I mean BIG!!

4 inch screens on mobile phones now seem like postage stamps with Huawei’s introduction of a gargantuan six inch OLED android smartphone.  While that phone made quite a splash, it seemed like nobody came to the party without a smartphone with a 5 inch screen capable of HD resolutions.  It looks like the living room is coming to your pocket in a hurry.

The other cannonball dropped by manufacturers across the board was the move from 3D and smart connected televisions to smart connected televisions that capture reality or near reality.  These TV’s feature 4K resolution screens or what they have now branded UltraHD.  Sonys chief executive Kazuo Hirai put it best when he said

” I hope you can see that 4K is not the future, it’s now, and Sony is leading the way”.

But the other “BIG” thing that isn’t discussed much at these launches – BIG DATA. 

These big devices require BIG data, and BIG data isn’t cheap.  Many providers cap your data; a quick search for instance showed that Comcast, Century Link and Mediacom may limit, throttle your connection or charge extra once you reach 250-300 GB per month.  To the average user that seems like an unreachable amount and at current consumption levels it is a healthy level.  But as we move into the future we need to look at the cost of data and how much we may consume – the first 4K movie available for download was 160GB!!  I don’t know about you but I plan to watch more than 1 movie per month.  So what’s the solution?

Well the solution is two fold.

First, compression will shrink the files to more manageable chunks.  Sony claims to have compression available that will shrink the files.  The belief is that 4K or UltraHD will be able to be compressed to somewhere between 25-50GB.  While this is a significant reduction it still would chew through most ISP data limits quite quickly.

Which brings us to the second part of the solution: back to the trusty optical disc.  It just so happens that that 25-50GB is just what will fit on a current Blu-ray disc.  Surely data pipes will expand and compression will improve but we believe that the initial expansion of 4K content will be distributed on optical disk and potentially hard drives/server based solutions.

So while the electronics manufacturers at CES made a lot of BIG splashes this year, we in the optical storage business are excited about the BIG opportunity that these high resolution data hungry devices demand.  Here’s to the future!

CD and DVD disc maker CMC Magnetics expects 10% growth in 3rd Quarter revenues

Optical disc (CD, DVD, Blu-ray) maker CMC Magnetics expects its third-quarter revenues to grow 10%.  CMC also expects to turn a profit as second-tier disc makers are gradually phasing out of the optical disc market. First-tier manufacturers like Ritek and CMC have reduced their disc capacity by 30-40%, allowing the supply of optical discs to decrease which has helped to boost optical disc prices.

Optical disc prices have risen by as much as 40% since February of 2011. (Source: DigiTimes)

Our take on the CD-r and DVD-r market is that these increase prices are here to stay for at least the next 2 to 3 quarters as oil prices remain higher, and poly carbonate supplies remain tight. We are seeing these increase prices being passed on to users of CD-r and DVD-r media, as well as customers of disc duplication and printing services.

Blu-ray Disc Regional Codes Explained

DVD and Blu-ray disc media make it very easy to play, store, and transport movies. Unfortunately, this convenience also makes optical discs a popular format for movie piracy. In an attempt to prevent Hollywood movies from being illegally distributed, region codes, were built into the DVD and Blu-ray disc formats.

The region code system requires the cooperation of hardware manufacturers worldwide as well as the cooperation of movie studios and disc production facilities. The original system for DVD replicated discs divided the world into 6 geographically-oriented groups of countries. Discs produced in one region would not work on hardware in a different region, and players would not be able to read discs from more than one region.

The reasons behind the region code system are primarily economic. Movie studios needed to be able to control the release of films at different times in different markets throughout the world. A movie might be released to video in North America at a time when it is not even in theaters in another country elsewhere in the world. Region coded-DVDs help keep movies from being shipped to another country and sold at a discount rate – or at a vastly inflated price.

Blu-ray discs also have a system of region codes, although it is much simpler than the system used for DVDs. All Blu-ray Replication discs contain a code for Region 1, 2, or 3 that determines which hardware it is compatible with. The corresponding hardware such as a Blu-ray player, computer disc drive, or video game console, will identify the disc as invalid or valid for its correct region.

One interesting thing about region codes is that they only apply to manufactured discs – those which are stamped or pressed in a disc replication factory. Duplicated Blu-ray and DVD discs that are duplicated are free of regional coding, which means they are able to be played on any machine worldwide.

This is good news for home users who transfer their own home movies to DVD and Blu-ray discs for safe keeping. Their DVD-R and Blu-ray media will play back on set-top players, computers, and video game systems in virtually every country.

Unfortunately, region codes also have some drawbacks as well. Frequent travelers, students trying to learn a new language, people who enjoy movies from their native country, and foreign film fans must all live with or work around region coded movies. Thankfully, the new system in place for Blu-ray discs is much more forgiving.

Please contact us with any Blu-ray duplication, replication or printing questions that you may have.