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Old 03-01-2002, 08:35 AM
Bob Womack's Avatar
Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Default Product review: CD labeling system

I recently discovered something: If you label your home-made CDROMs with a permanent Sharpie pen, the ink eventually seeps through and corrupts the data on your disk, making it unplayable.

So, as I got ready to make my submission to the Taylor Forum CD project, I decided to familiarize myself with the CD labeling system we have at work, “CD Stomper Pro”. When I was finished, I figured you folks might want to benefit from my experience. I ended up buying a copy for myself at home. I bought my copy on sale at CompUSA for $19.99 and it came with A $10 off coupon. Not bad! The system comes with a large mechanical label applicator, Windows and Mac software and art on a CDROM, a supply of CD labels and jewel case inserts, and printed quick-start instructions.

The software is both flexible and intuitive and the online help will answer most questions. For anything else, full documentation is supplied on disk. I was able to dive right in and begin designing labels for my CD. The program comes configured to provide several examples and variants of those examples which you can use as the basis for your work. It also comes with hundreds of pieces of art with which to customize your design. I imported my own pics as JPEGs to use as backgrounds and used the fonts on my computer to customize the project. The program allows you to stretch text around the label of a CD in several ways and provides enough tools to make just about anything possible. It’s flexible enough that a quick tour through the menus before you start will really reward you. The program output to Epson Stylus 850 and Epson Stylus 600 ink-jet printers very neatly, with no registration or adjustment necessary. The designs were easy to save to hard-drive and the art can be integrated so that the project becomes one file. I successfully transferred my designs via email.

How did it do? It performed wonderfully! My project came out pretty much as I desired. If you follow the instructions, the applicator centers and applies the labels very well and the process is pretty easy. The results look professional and can be just as fancy as you wish. The j-card products easily detach from their sheets and fit nicely. Any caveats or tips? Sure.

1. Like most of these systems, the program is set up to use the company’s proprietary label products. No surprise there. You can create custom layouts to go with others, but the onboard printing templates are designed for their own products, which, like everyone else’s, are not cheap. Example: Refills on jewel card inserts run $19.99 for fifty, or forty cents apiece. You can cut your costs by printing all your proofs on regular printer paper.

2. Though the program is configured to allow double-sided printing, the current templates are currently only configured to print a single-panel, one-sided, front-of-case card. I do wish a single-fold card was offered but here’s a little tip: You can create a separate inside design. After printing the outside, turn the sheet over, load your inside design, and print it as a second run.

3. The system comes with matte-finish CD labels. If you want a really professional-looking CD label, pony-up the extra bucks for the gloss-finish CD labels.

Well there you go. Have fun with your own.

CD Stomper Pro Website with photo of the applicator

Bob
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Old 03-01-2002, 10:13 AM
BobS BobS is offline
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Bob,

I am interested in your assessment here. Last year I was looking for a simple labeling program that would let me print the round "on the CD" label. All I want is to be able to print the track list. I dont really care about graphics and such. The other thing I wanted was to be able to paste or import a text list of the track listing into the tool so I don't have to re-type all of the song titles, etc. I gotta tell you, I must have downloaded 12-14 labeling packages and NONE of them could do this simple job. Oh I found several that would let ME type the titles but for some reason they couldn't import a text list or even allow me to past the entire list. Can CD Stomper do it? Cause I'm there if it can!!

Bob
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Old 03-01-2002, 01:27 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Yes, you can do that. You just need to create a text block, locate it on the label, select you font style and point size, and cut and paste away. Now, the next question: Do you want the list straight up and down, in a circle around the label, in paragraph form, or what? To make sure I didn't lead you astray, I just did it in a line down the label and in a circle around the label. You have to format the text differently (returns after each item for a list down the front, spaces for a circle) and you use separate tools (text block for list, text effect tool for circle).

On a MAC, the program will read the disk's VTOC and offer that as a contents block automatically.

Good enough?

Bob

Ps. When not on sale, the systems sells for $29.99 and has no rebate. It does come with j-cards and labels, though.
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Old 03-01-2002, 03:19 PM
BobS BobS is offline
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Bob.

That sounds great, I dont care if it is circular or straight. I really like the MAC feature of reading the VTOC!. You see.....basically I am lazy.


Thanks

Bob
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Old 03-02-2002, 06:52 AM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Bob
I've been using the same program for a long while now and relly like it. I also just recently have been scanning and printing the original cd when I copy it for an extra disc for my car and sticking it on the disc. I just got a really hi quality printer and some of these really look like the real deal. I've got cd's like Wood and Steel 1 and 2 that I never play the original only the copy. I guess I'm weird that way. Anyway good tip as always.

Ciao Ron
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Old 03-06-2002, 05:25 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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A wee little update:

I've been phutzing with the program for a little while longer, and the more I work with it the better I like it. While it is fairly intuitive when you start, you can learn more and more and go back and tweak your designs. Marvy!

I also received a flyer showing the system, along with the supplies on sale at Mars. Having the supplies on sale is virtually unheard of. Pile on while you can.

Bob
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