Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to create my own master video, audio or artwork files?
By burning your own master that you have tested on your own DVD player, prior to mailing, you can make sure you don't end up paying our mastering fee. For us to create a master (physical disc recommended, uploaded ZIP file is acceptable) there is a $25 charge. Our production tech will do this on a specialized desktop computer, test and ensure the duplication process is verified.
Can I send my Master CD or DVD in a standard envelope?
USPS, UPS and FEDEX utilize automated sorting equipment. This equipment is big, mechanical and unforgiving. Make sure your masters are secured in some form of inner packing medium such as bubble wrap and shipped inside a corrugated packaging envelope or box (even better).
We can provide you with packaging and a pre addressed, paid shipping label for a small fee.
What audio files do you support?
We can work with .AIFF, .MP3, .WMA, .WAV and a number of other file types.
How should I send in my disc or packaging artwork?
A simple way of handling the disc artwork is to send a high resolution file for the background and what text you might like printed on the disc. We can do simple stuff like this free of charge. If we have to create or manipulate artwork (Photoshop in additional materials) there will be additional charges ($90/hr). Just make sure that the files you send are what we call "camera ready" or "ready to print". Our printers work best with images at 300 PPI resolution.
- Make sure images are high resolution: 300 PPI for images, 1200 PPI or more for line art. For video files, at least 720x480 resolution.
- Graphics and photos dowloaded from the Internet (PNGs, GIFs or JPEGs) will most likely produce poor, fuzzy or pixellated results. In addition, there could be possible copyright issues.
- Sizing down an image improves print quality but sizing up an image reduces print quality. If you are not sure, leave the image as you have it and we can assess file quality.
- Submitted RGB images will be converted to CMYK for printing. Be aware that color shifts may occur and what you see on a monitor is not exactly what you will see in print.
How are Turnaround Times calculated?
Turnaround times begin when deliverables (master/artwork etc) are received and refer to the time taken to produce a project. So for example, for a 3-day turnaround project, if we recieve your artwork and files Tuesday (with no issues or revisions required), we will have your project finished by the end of Friday. Turnaround Time DOES NOT included transit time. Some areas of the country can be up to 5 business days away via the most economical shipping practices. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your future projects.
We can expedite shipping and even ship your items to a forward location if you have a pressing deadline.
What is FTP?
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is another way to deliver/upload your digital files – you can download a free FTP client like filezilla. Or you can contact your sales rep to get FTP information for larger file uploads or upload your files here.
Helpful Hints & Common Misconceptions in Disc Publishing
Track information displayed in software such as iTunes is duplicated onto and pulled from the disc.
The Truth: Track information is pulled from a variety of sources, one of which is the Gracenote Database. It is important that artists upload their track information directly to Gracenote to make sure that incorrect information is not listed.
We can provide this service for a fee ($35.00).
Tracking or adding ID3 tags is included
The Truth: Adding track information to a master is an additional step that increases the chances for data error. We have to double check your information against the information we are submitting and that takes time.
You can save these charges by providing us with a physical master that includes ID3 Tags.
I can use my own media and save money.
The Truth: We print and duplicate over a million CDs/DVDs each and every year. We only utilize the highest quality media because, frankly, we can’t afford to have hiccups in our production lines. Adding your personally sourced media increases our chance for downtime due to burning errors and poor printing performance.
We can use your media if absolutely necessary; costs may exceed quoted prices which include our media.
Not understanding the difference between CD, DVD and Blu-ray Formats
The Truth: CD, DVD, Dual-layer DVD & Blu-ray are all very different products with very different price points and capacities. Video quality on Blu-ray is much higher than DVD, but you need a high quality 1080p video to start with (or you'll see no difference). When we quote a DVD price or turnaround time that reflects the production costs of a DVD and we receive a digital file that requires a Dual-layer DVD or Blu-ray, not only are our costs off but our production time is grossly underestimated. This can potentially result in missed deadlines.
Always determine or ask your sales rep about capacity limitations of media in regards to your next project.
Digital video exported from a program such as iMovie can be viewed on a DVD player
The Truth: Many editing programs save their project files in proprietary software to speed up the process. Or, when the final movie is exported, it is in a format viewable only on a computer. Many video editing programs do have a "burn-to-dvd" or similar option that does create the proper DVD master. Standalone programs like iDVD will take your digital video from your camera or computer and burn it to a DVD in the correct format as well. If you can burn your video to a DVD and it plays in your DVD player, you most likely are good to go.
We can create a DVD or Blu-ray master from your digital video file for a fee ($35.00).
Print graphics such as logos pulled from the web are suitable for printing on disc surfaces
The Truth: Web graphic standards are 72 dpi, but our printers need at least 300 dpi to yield the best results. Downloading graphics from the web for printing on a disc will create fuzzy and pixelated looking graphics. Whenever possible, send artwork in high resolution layered PSD (Photoshop) or Adobe Illustrator format.
If you lost your logo master or don't have a 300dpi version, we can recreate and/or digitize your logo, for a fee. For a professional looking project, it is well worth the money.
Replication is always better than duplication
The Truth: We duplicate hundreds of thousands of discs every month and rarely run into any playback problems. Duplicated discs did have compatibility problems with the very first CD/DVD players, but now it is essentially a non-issue. Replication requires the creation of a glass master which can increase the price of your publishing job significantly.
We understand, there is always an exception to the rule. We can replicate your discs if you deem it necessary, a 10 day turn-time is required.
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