Just-right CD labels

Jason Parker

If you're going to all the work to create an excellent mixed CD, don't dumb it down by just scribbling the name on it.

I have a fairly large MP3 collection, which includes all types of music. I like to keep a wide variety because I never know what mood will strike me. Also, a big collection lets me create all different types of mixes for almost any occasion. But one of my favourite things to do with my music collection is create CDs.

When it comes to creating memorable mixed CDs, I believe the label is almost as important as the music, in terms of making the CD unique and classy. With all that great music, it just wouldn't do to have Parker's Mega Mix hastily scribbled on the CD. That's why I look to downloadable software for creating my CD labels.

To me, good CD labelling programs need to have a bunch of preloaded designs from which to choose, the ability to use your own images, and fully customizable layouts. When I'm making a CD for a friend or myself, I want to have complete control over the design because, after all, I'm customizing the track list, so I should be able to customize the whole project.

To get you started, here are three CD label programs that let you present mixes to friends with some added style.

Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker lets you create cool-looking labels for your CDs, with a ton of preset designs to choose from. You can also import your own images and add song lists so that you know exactly what's on every CD. (Shareware/Windows)

SureThing CD Labeler offers tons of professional-looking designs for your labels and jewel cases. It also has support for Zip and Jaz disks if you want to add your creative flair to different types of media. (Shareware/Windows)

AudioLabel CD Labeler is my favourite for creating custom CD art and images because it's incredibly easy to use. This app gives you complete control over layouts, designs, and every other aspect of CD case design. (Shareware/Windows)

A good CD label is the icing on the cake when making mix CDs. If you want to make your CDs unique, try one of these programs.

What do you think? Would you be happy with a CD if it didn't have a personalized label? Have you found a better program?

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dbasspr posted a comment   

How safe are these labels? I use them, and have never had a problem. However a friend of mine borrowed couple of mine to play in their car cd player. This player includes a single player and a multi-disc stacker (within the same in-dash unit).

The borrowed cd's (with labels) jammed in the stacker. Upon contacting the car dealer (the car was only a few weeks old) the first comment from the dealer was "Were they home-made cd's? Did you stick on a label?"

On confrmation of this, the dealer then advised that "CD-R's are thicker, and with the label are even thicker still. Too thick for the stacker - only use them in the single player."

I've never heard of this being a problem, though they are thicker. Has anyone ele struck this?

By the way - it is a good quality brand-name car (not a cheap one with an even cheaper system, although the system may well be a cheapo). Also it was replaced under warranty as there were no advisories in the car's handbook regarding home-made cd's or labels etc.

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