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I'm tired of using Sharpies to label my cd's ...

by CandiApple / September 3, 2006 12:08 AM PDT

Is there some type of labeling program that produces professional looking labels to use on my cd's. I am constantly adding to certain cd's to keep them organized and they look a mess.

Many thanks!

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I've used this in the past
by Ed Mead Forum moderator / September 3, 2006 4:20 AM PDT
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Another question ...
by CandiApple / September 3, 2006 10:38 PM PDT

Thanks - great responses!

We use "Rimage" at work at that was exactly what I was thinking of - glad to see they have a lighter less expensive version.

Regarding Lightscribe - the guy in Best Buy said you have to buy certain cd's - you cannot just use any cd. Is this true?

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That's correct...
by John.Wilkinson / September 4, 2006 2:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Another question ...

The laser in a Lightscribe burner causes a chemical reaction when it shines on the special dye Lightscibe disks are coated in...that's what created the 'etched' look. Standard media lacks this coat of reactive dye, so it cannot be used in the same way. Lightscribe disks and software also has a 'safety switch' built in so that the software will produce an error if you try to use in on non-Lightscribe media or place the disk in upside down.


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by Ed Mead Forum moderator / September 4, 2006 6:44 AM PDT
In reply to: That's correct...

Lightscibe disks have been dropping in price if you find them on sale.

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Lightscribe is cost effective
by konwiddak / September 8, 2006 4:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Plus

Although the drives cost a bit more the extra cost of disks is less than the cost of ink using your home printer to make labels.

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Does Thermal Printing require a special media
by pacifist / September 8, 2006 4:55 AM PDT

I was looking at the Casio thermal cd/dvd printers and wonder if it requires a special type of surface on the media to do thermal printing

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Canon CD-printing printers - let me explain.
by tjkramer / September 9, 2006 12:23 AM PDT

First of all, for just putting labels on discs, there is nothing better than the Afterburner kits by Avery. And the labels are full-disc, not having that huge donut hole in the middle.

BUT, here's the big news: since Epson printers are the only ones sold in the U.S. with direct to disc printing, AND Epson printers are really bad, the great solution is to buy a Canon printer and upgrade it yourself like this: (No that isn't me selling those packages, but I did buy it for my Canon Pixma ip5000.)
It really is quite amazing! Buy yourself one of the Pixma printers, usually $100 to $200 and buy this cd-tray upgrade from Ebay. The installation was a breeze, and then you get a printer that blows the doors off the Epsons AND prints directly to cd's. You'll start buying cd-printable discs from somewhere like and you're off and running!

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Epson Printers What???!!!!!!
by jimlaubach / September 9, 2006 1:01 AM PDT

Where did you ever get the misinformation that "Epson printers are really bad?" I'm a photographer, and I can tell you that Epson printers beat H-P and Canon hands-down when it comes to quality printing. Just ask any professional photographer for an opinion, don't take my word for it.

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epson vs. canon
by tjkramer / September 9, 2006 1:50 AM PDT

Listen, a half-blind squirrel with some crayons would make better prints than most HP printers, that one I'll give you.
I am a professional photographer as well, and after years of reading all the documentation and reviews, it has been consistently held that Canon produces more true to life photo prints. Epson seems to try way to hard to make hyper-beautiful prints that really make the layperson jump outta their chair, so what they end up with are printers that produce these usually over-saturated, not accurate colors. And that is not to mention Canon's ability to put down near laser-quality text for everyday document printing where Epson seems to be completely incapable of great text printing. Epson is a big company, and they have a very respected name, and I as well respect them, because they make a good product that many average users adore. I would buy an Epson over every other printer on the market, EXCEPT Canon. Happy Canon just simply reflects real color, not hopped-up-on-the-juice color.

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EPSON vs Canon
by VDragulaV / November 27, 2007 1:40 PM PST
In reply to: epson vs. canon

Ok as far as the epson vs canon I own both and hands down Canon makes better pictures. I don't have a canon that prints direct to cd but I have seen a cd printed on a canon and I do have an epson that prints direct to cd and the epson THAT I PRINT was a much better picture than the canon one. BUT the one that was printed on the Canon may NOT have been done at it's highest quality or resolution like I do with all my epsons. I will say I get frustrated with Epson not matching the color correctly from a scanned picture to the disc. I know it's not the scanner because when I make DVD OR CD jewel case sleeves they come out correct just not on the disc itself. Not sure why that is since I am printing them on the same printer I have to assume it's the epson print CD software doing it since I use a different label printer software for the inserts. I would love to be able to use a canon printer with cd printing myself to see how good the picture can be compared to the epson because I would definately rather have a canon based on comparison of photos between my epson and canon.

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Check out Lightscribe...
by steve749 / September 3, 2006 5:36 AM PDT

Though I'm not sure how well it can be reused on a disc.


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I use LightScribe
by totosquirt / September 7, 2006 8:20 PM PDT

I use LightScibe to label my discs. Everything is in monochrome (between the colors of black and what appears to be some beige/sepia color). I usually print my labels twice so that the label appears darker.

The thing about LightScribe is that when you print large images onto the disc, I get these circular lines running around the disc, even when I print them twice. I don't think these lines show when printing out smaller images or just plain text.

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To: Tired of using Sharpies................
by 09Bentley / September 7, 2006 12:52 AM PDT

Google "Fellows/Neato" (without quotes). They make a label applicator gizmo, and with it comes a CD for "MediaFACE4". This is a CD label designer which is very
extensive and easy to use. I bought mine on "closeout"
at a local bigbox store. (I think I paid $7.50 or so.)

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try inkjet printable cd's and dvd blanks
by johnredfern / September 7, 2006 7:37 PM PDT

I use them all the time and for printing the epson 300 printer and they dont cost much more than normal blanks. To be honest i think it works out cheaper than using labels plus no messing around to stick them on.

Using inkjet printable blanks gives you the choice between a basic title for your cd/dvd or you can be more creative adding backgrounds etc as well as different typefaces (fonts).

With a little effort the boring blank can look quite professional.

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Inkjet printers for CD's & DVD's
by pilot05 / September 7, 2006 8:38 PM PDT

A few weeks ago I found an affordable inkjet printer that prints on Cd's and DVD's... I love it

So far I've used it to label copies of a video I created, and the prints look great.

It is easy to use - much easier than sticking on labels - but I probably won't retire my sharpie permanently.

By the way, clear hand-printed text on an ink-jet printable CD/DVD can look pretty good, too.

Affordable printers that handle CD's and DVD's are getting easier to find. Mine is a Canon PIXMA iP4200, which set me back AU$140.

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Epson Stulus Photo
by dpdugan / September 7, 2006 11:51 PM PDT

I bought the Epson Stylus Photo R220 for under $100. It prints directly to printable CDs and DVDs, and has the advantage of using separate cartridges for the different color inks. Unlike the more expensive dedicated CD labelers, this machine acts as a regular printer as well.

Epson supplies the software for designing the label, and it is easy to use.

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cd printing
by carthom1 / January 2, 2009 1:06 AM PST

For cost and simplicity reasons, the epson is probably the way to go. It gives a nice print but in my experience has many loading problems. If you are doing higher volume prints its probably best to check out the units made by primera or microboards. A number of small cd duplication companies will use these types to do the <a href="">cd printing</a> and burning.

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Epson or Canon
by showscots / November 30, 2009 10:24 AM PST

I'm an artist and I have both Epson and Canon professional quality printers and I also have their consumer quality printers that print on cd's. I like the Canon for printing on cd's because the tray that holds the disk is a little better than the one on the Epson. The picture quality wasn't the issue on these two, it was dependability. The tray on the Epson was too light and within a very short time the tray would not align and the print to cd would not start. The Canon on the other hand is a workhorse and keeps on printing.
When it comes to color and output, I prefer the Epson hands down. I did have professional profiles done and the Epson matches my originals perfectly, it's actually quite amazing.

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I know what you mean!
by ewlaird / September 7, 2006 11:08 PM PDT

I have an Epson Stylus Photo R200, which prints right on printable DVDs and CDs. Even though this was the cheapest model from Epson, the results are SUPER! You persoalize all the DVDs you make for yourself and family members. Newer models are available from Best Buy for less than $100.00

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by wbowblis / September 7, 2006 11:42 PM PDT

I've read quite a few articles on CD reliability and they all say NOT to use "sharpies" or other markers not specifically formulated for use on CDs. Most permanent markers are organic solvent based and can migrate through the lacquer coating on a CD and cause it to fail. I've also used adhesive labels and had a few failures as they age. Same articles recommend against using labels on CDs that you want to last. Best bet sounds like inkjet compatible blanks and a printer that will print on CDs. These can look as professional as labels and should last as long as unlabeled disks. I have no experience with lightscribe, but this sounds like another good alternative. DVDs are constructed differently and may not have a problem with labels, but I still wouldn't use them. If you have any disks written on with sharpies or adhesive labeled that you want to keep, I'd make copies asap.

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sharpies are ok
by dialdude / September 10, 2006 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Sharpies?

either you got bad info or misunderstood, while most markers are NOT recommended, sharpie brand will do no damage.

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Sharpies - You Bet!! They work GREAT!
by raichuman / September 10, 2006 11:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Sharpies?

I've got some CD's that are over 9 or 10 years old that were written on with sharpies and no problems. I've been told this farce before about writing on a CD or DVD with markers, but have NEVER had a problem due to this. I?m not talking about the premium EXPENSIVE CD or DVD disks either, I ALWAYS buy what ever is the cheapest, Great Quality is my current preferred brand (because it is always on sale at Fry?s) and have not seen any issues with marking on the disks, even music CD?s made over 8 years ago that live in the car and are subject to WILD temp ranges and changes. I have dismissed the marker on CD or DVD disks as a myth propagated by the manufactures that want to sell you THEIR expensive disks. I also have over 20 years doing technical support, and currently build servers and networks.

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Try using a china marker
by mjd420nova / September 7, 2006 11:45 PM PDT

China marker or sometimes called a grease pencil will work, and it is easily removable when the list is finalized and then you can print a label for permanent attachment. I use red for the music CD's and a black one for data CD-RW's. DVD's aren't neccesary as I usually burn them and they're done.

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No grease for me
by bpglenn / September 8, 2006 6:41 PM PDT

I would never, ever use a china marker or grease pencil on a CD or DVD. Both can get very hot while recording or playing and you could have melted grease get into you machine and maybe even on the laser and laser sensor. Stick with the pens with ink approved for CD and DVD use. I use an Epson Photo Stylus R220 printer and the printable disks now. I did use the Stomp It! system labels for awhile until I read that they could cause problems.


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Get a Label Maker Kit
by glorym / September 7, 2006 11:48 PM PDT

I have not used a marker in years. I use a label maker program (can be bought at Staples, etc.)along with cd labels. You can write whatever you want on the labels and then adhere them to the cds. This is great for composition music cds. I put the name of every song on the cd right on the label. I use Staple's program "Label Creator Pro". It works great and is not expensive to buy.

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These have a chance of coming off and will make your CD disc
by slim-1 / September 8, 2006 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Get a Label Maker Kit

out of balance.

I almost ruined a brand new car CD player with these and quit using them.

For the same price you can get an inkjet printer that does CDs.

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CD labels -pc's ok, cars not ok
by debgahan / September 22, 2006 12:26 PM PDT

I believe that CD labels should be fine for pc's or laptops where they sit in a tray but are not a good idea for cars. In cars the cd's get pretty hot and I always use sharpies for those. Labels are also a favorite for DVD's I make for family and friends that play in DVD players - again not running as hot.
"Sharpie's rule!!!"

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CD Labels
by rfr88 / September 8, 2006 1:52 AM PDT

You can download the AVERY Design Pro Limited software for free from: I then buy their CD labels and print them. Peel and stick on your CD's.

Simple and inexpensive. I also use bulk CD labels that I purchase on eBay.


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LightScribe is definitely the way to go....
by billyfox53 / September 8, 2006 3:16 AM PDT

I have had my LiteOn now for several months, I love it. Pricewise they have come down considerably, I noticed Newegg had them for the 30.00ish range recently WITH Nero OEM software and Power DVD software. Why wouldn't you get them for the same money now as Non-LS? When they first came out they burned images with light contrast, they have improved and for those with streaks, and low contrast, go to Hewlett Packards LS website and you can download a utility to improve it. Also, many early burners had a firmware update for other issues, so check your manufacturer for those as well. LS disc Media prices are still higher than regular, but they burn old style media as well as LS media so for some uses, or for old-time sharpie nostalgia, I use up my old media and scribble on them. Designing the Labels with LS is fun, you go into your Nero software and they have some templates when you select LS from options. Also the HP LS website had other free design/layout programs available, like SureThing, etc. Your discs will forever be legible and stylin' with LightScribe.

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Double ditto for Lightscribe
by pingeyez2 / September 9, 2006 5:13 AM PDT

I must agree that Lightscribe is the way to go.It will last longer than the CD Stomper I have used in the past and any generic "sharpies."The thing about Lightscribe I like best is how to use it as a personal gift. First, use the template , then browse your My Pictures folder and put it on the CD.It's personal and memorable. The effect is top notch and the label will remind not only what goes on it , but also the memories of what happened. For best results, even though its time consuming is to Lightscribe twice.Now , wouldn't you like to have your picture , family, or memory on the CD? Or would you have a sharpie, or sticky label that may cause problems with hardware?

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