CIGM: Project CD #Week 1: Research and Development

My god! there is not much help on the subject… There are plenty of outlets catering to this need, but no real DIY solution. Seems that the music industry needs you to be rich before you are famous… So I thought I would share my R&D into project CD, this way if I have any fellow souls trying to do this, they can benefit from my research, my successes and my failures (hopefully not too many of them).

Here is the brief I am laying out at this stage:

Project CD’s aim to to create a small production facility for promotional CD’s.

  • The finished product shall consist of a printed label CD, in a plastic wallet, with a printed insert.
  • The printing should allow for a logo, a QR code, website address, and CD information to be printed on the front of the CD.
  • The insert will contain a standardized press release including logos and full web addresses, QR codes and any other information on 1 side of A4 that is folded and placed into the wallet with the CD.
  • The CD should be able to be played in a standard CD player without special modification. 
  • all information must be able to be edited at the facility, if not all assets editable at the facility.
  • The facility should be able to produce CD’s at a sufficient rate, that for 30 mins of production time, it makes enough full promotional units for a small event.
  • The facility should be operational by one person, with sufficient technical expertise to use a computer, using basic UI’s (no hard coding). 
  • The facility must be able to use a large range of file types that can be editable into what goes on the CD’s.
  • The facility must be sustainable from a running cost perspective, and must be equal or less cost to a service offering a 100 CD promotional package with a printed CD, Data loading, Insert making, with design service. 
  • The quality of the finished product must be of good quality.
  • the utmost must be done to reduce failure rates of CD’s, and have consistent and well defined images on printed materials.
  • The facility must be able to test CD’s before declared good to use.
  • Be able to work offline

That’s what I am aiming for.

The goals of the project are as follows:

  • Identify the physical and technoligical needs of the project
  • Build a working prototype
  • Test prototype to see if it meets production standards as outlined, using output, quality and cost as success factors.
  • Assess results, make improvements for MRK II design on the basis of success factors. Review production techniques and apply them to Mrk II layout and design.

So 1st point, design a prototype.

Rather than go through the rigmarole of my reasoning and such, lets just get to bear bones. Items I need to make it and what I have:

  • A computer (my old uni laptop should suffice, should have enough life left in her)
  • a number of CD drives (USB ones, around 5 to start)
  • Powered USB hub (with as many slots as possible)
  • A Printer (got to have one around somewhere…)
  • Plastic wallets
  • CD printing paper
  • Regular paper
  • Templates for printing
  • various programs for editing, printing & CD burning.

I have a few Ideas that I need to look at, some old resources I need to dig up and remember where I put… some modifications that I need to look into and some other small prototypes that I need to test. I will be documenting it all on here. I’ll be segmenting the project into sections after the collection phase.

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