DVD Labeling

We have quite a collection of CDs and DVDs. Every since they became affordable we have been using them in place of floppy disks for storing data, audio, and video. They work for backing up small hard drives too.

When you have more than one disk you need to identify it. Label it.

There are several methods of labeling that provide professional results. Perhaps the most professional is the Lightscribe system. This takes a specially equipped CD/DVD writer and uses its laser to ‘write’ to the flip side of the CD/DVD leaving a visible etching identifying the disk. This takes a special drive and (I believe) special disks. Costs money. Not sure how much but if you do as many disks as we do, even a dime would have a significant effect.

A second way to identify is to use stick-on labels. First you print the label on an inkjet (most economical) or laser printer then you apply the label to the disk using a fixture to align the disk with the label. Works fine but has some limitations. CDs are not effected by paper labels, but DVDs can be damaged by paper labels. Evidently the higher density of data on a DVD combined with the higher temperatures inside DVD drives tends to play havoc with adhesives and paper that has a different coefficient of expansion with heat than the disk. In other words, you have to use special vinyl labels on DVD disks. Special meaning expensive.

After you put all that together, buy all the supplies (about 20 bucks for 50 labels, 50 bucks for inkjet cartridges), design the labels, then finally print and apply them to the disk, you are looking at a significant amount of investment in time and money.

You ask yourself, ‘is this trip really necessary?’ The answer is NO.
Save your money and time. Invest in a two dollar laundry marker, a sharpie works well, and learn penmanship.

Fancy labels are marketing tools. As long as you are not trying to sell your disks, you don’t need fancy labels, just legible identification.