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© 2013 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. Sound familiar? Mark Twain said it well, but in this case it applies to CD and DVD media. It seems Apple has taken a position that such media is history, when no practical replacement exists. Note, I said practical! In my opinion CD’s & DVD’s will coexist when new practical storage formats evolve. To eliminate reader/writer disc drives from computers is a big mistake, but this is a topic for another article.
Label printing breaks down in two general categories; paper labels or direct media surface printing. Either is generally accomplished with specific label design software that is often included with a printer capable of printing on discs directly, or other printers that can only print on paper label stock.
(TIP: The use of paper labels, such as those made by a program known as CD Stomper, should be avoided. While they can produce beautiful labels, they can easily peel off over time due to the heat generated in the player or jam in the playback device and thus cause serious damage to the player. Address labels should totally be avoided as they can cause an imbalance of the disc resulting in playback issues. Of course, there is always the felt tip marker, but how professional does that look?)
If you purchased a multi-purpose printer capable of printing on the disc’s surface, label creation software was probably included. My experience with such software supplied by Canon and Epson for example, left much to be desired. While you can create and design basic labels, the process is crude and can be time consuming to say the least, not to mention the amateur appearance. After much testing and hundreds of labels later, I found DISCUS, a dual platform program, created by Magic Mouse Productions, to be an excellent alternative to printer manufacturer supplied creation software.
DISCUS offers drag/drop and paste capabilities. It offers quick access to a library of commonly used symbols and a wide variety of backgrounds, and offers a large library of fonts. It also includes commonly used logos such as the DVD symbol. Size and position adjustments are quickly accomplished with the use of the cursor. Numerous effects are possible. Even a crosshatch design is provided that offers assistance in positioning graphics and verbiage. Label creation literally is fast. Changes are equally as quick to accomplish. Compatibility is limitless as it works with most printers and label stock, and you can easily adapt files to other printers since numerous models are supported. I will discuss printer results in next month’s article. Naturally, you can incorporate files from Photoshop and Printshop, too.
(TIP: Print settings on most printers is not what you think it should be. While simple when known, can be a frustration if you do not go to the DISCUS web site shown below for the explanation and exact settings.)
Label printing is a great way to maintain organization of your media library. If you produce software the end results are most professional in highlighting and promoting your programs. DISCUS is an outstanding software program. Stateside email supported by the creator results in a quick response. Domestic phone support is also available, but is provided on an “as time permits” basis.
(TIP: DISCUS is available as a download from the Magic Mouse web site. An optional disc copy is also available at time of purchase. I always make it a rule to purchase such backup discs in the event future availability disappears and you need to restore the program. DISCUS is not available in stores. It is, however, sometimes supplied with the purchase of certain printers.)
MSRP: $39.95 (incl. shipping) $5.00 for a disc copy (downloadable, FREE demos available)
For more information go to: http://bit.ly/ZVKPX
GADGETEER’S RATING: *****
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.