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

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

Buffalo & Pioneer Introduce the first BDXL Drives

Following our earlier reported post about the BDXL discs, it looks as if  Akibara News is  reporting the announcement of both external and internal BDXL drives forthcoming.

These new drives should offer much needed storage and archival expansion for medical images which continue to explode in size as newer technology utilizing multiple scans and 3d become more commonplace.

It will be interesting to see which of the three major disc publishers (Microboards, Primera, Rimage) will be the first to market with integrated BDXL drives into there systems.

-via Engadget by way of Akibara News