Duplication is the process of burning a copy of your master to a CD-R, DVD-R or BD-R. Replication is where the copies are manufactured or “stamped” using a glass master. Replication was the original and only way to make copies before the CD-R was developed. Duplication came along after the CD-R made its debut. Back then, most replication companies did not do short run. You had to order at least 1000 copies to order CDs.

Duplication came along to fill the gap. With duplication you could order fewer copies of your project. With the advent of recording technology, more and more local bands were able to record their music easily and then needed a way to get their music out to their fans. In many cases they didn’t need  1000 copies, especially at the cost of replication back in those days. Before duplication, cassettes were the only option since there were plenty of companies that would do 100 or 250 cassettes making it the most cost effective way to distribute your project.

When CD-Rs first hit the market they were expensive and there weren’t any print systems to print on the disc in small quantities. Printing was expensive and the cost per disc was high, but you could do a small quantity and at least have your project on a CD. As prices came down and technology improved it became a viable alternative. The only catch was that some players didn’t playback CD-Rs very well and you never knew when a customer was going to have a problem. It wasn’t a huge percentage but it was an issue you had to be aware of.

Today, CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and BD-Rs work in almost all players without any problem. There is, however, the risk that certain players, especially older players, may have a hard time reading a disc correctly. The type of compatibility problems range from the player not seeing the disc at all, to the player having a hard time reading portions of the disc, resulting in glitches or dropouts etc.  It is a very small percentage and many of our customers don’t get a single occurrence, but it is not 100%

The number of players that reject these discs is always declining, but we want you to be aware of the possibility of certain players not reading the disc correctly. Often when someone calls and thinks the disc is defective it actually is not. It is the player they are using that is giving them difficulty. We stand behind our discs and will replace them if they are defective but if they play in most players, they are not considered defective. In these cases, replacing the disc with a new one will not solve the issue.

Replication typically has no such issues. Replication is only superior in this aspect, 100% compatibility. The actual sound quality (or video quality) is the same as long as the player is compatible with the burned disc.

Yes it is! As far as the sound quality or playback quality of the finished copy, it will be the same as your master! CD-R and DVD-R technology has rapidly developed into a huge market over the last decade. It has brought CD duplication down to reasonable prices for short run or small quantity jobs. Before duplication, you didn’t have a choice but to usually do a minimum of 1000 discs.

The only real difference is compatibility. Duplicated discs (CD-R, DVD-R, & BD-R) are not 100% compatible with all players. A very small percentage of players (especially older players) may have trouble reading duplicated discs. It is a small trade-off for the ability to do short runs of your project.

There are a lot of graphic design programs out there and while I have my opinion of which one is best, it is just that… my opinion. I use Adobe Photoshop for all of my graphic layouts. Occasionally if I have a multi-panel booklet with a lot of text I will use Adobe Indesign since I can flow text from panel to panel but that is about the only time I don’t use Photoshop, Photoshop Is a very deep program that is feature rich. You can do almost anything with it if you know what you are doing. It is available as a free trial here . If you are good with computers then Photoshop is worth a try. If you aren’t, you may want to use our design service or find a friend who is design savvy. You can find basic tutorials on you tube for Photoshop.

Some free programs that you can use are Gimp, Draw Plus, and Ink Space . Any of these programs will require that you learn the basics to get decent results but if you search you-tube you should be able to find some tutorials for any of these (and other) programs.

I often get asked if we accept files from popular CD programs such as Memorex, or CD designer etc. These are programs designed to lay out and print from the same computer. they are not good portable files and we do not accept these types of files. However, you can use these programs and then use a PDF printer to save them as PDF files after you have everything laid out. You can get a free PDF Printer here. Basically, a PDF printer allows you to use one of these consumer programs and then export it as a PDF File. You install the PDF printer and then when you have your design the way you want it you go to File – Print in the program and then select the PDF Printer as your printer. There are printing preferences you will want to set but this will make a PDF file that you can send to us for your graphics as long as they follow the basic package specification.

It is important that you use our templates for specialty packaging such as ELS Eco-Packs, Digi-Packs, Eco-Wallets and Eco-Jackets. If your art does not fit our templates we will contact you and give you the option for fixing it yourself or letting us do it for a nominal charge. If you are adventurous and don’t mind spending some time learning a program and the basics of layout (bleed, safe areas, etc.), you can save yourself some money. But if you are not comfortable with computers, it might just be worth it to hire us or a graphic designer to do it for you.

The easiest way to send us your art files is to use our upload art files page. Just drag and drop your files to the box, fill in the form with your information and then click send. It’s easy and fast. It is important that you fill out the form so we know who the art is for and what job it should be used on. We’ll contact you with any questions or problems after we’ve had some time to check them. The other option is to burn your files to a disc and send that in to our physical address which you can find here at the bottom of the page.

Turn time is the time it takes to produce your product. Our normal “turn time” for duplication is three business days. Shipping time back to you is not included in turn time. UPS Ground is our normal shipping method and it can take between 1 and 5 business days to get to you depending on your location from us. If you have a specific date you need your product, it is always best to call us so we can figure out the most economical way to get it to you in time.

Turn time begins once we have both your artwork files and your master or content along with payment. If we receive everything before 01:00 PM on a normal business day then the product will ship two days later. For example if your project arrives before 01:00 PM on Monday, it will ship on Wednesday. However, if it arrives after 01:00 PM on that same Monday in the example, it would not ship until Thursday. We must have everything in hand by 01:00 PM for that day to count as day 0. If it is received after 01:00 PM then it will be processed the next business day.

UPS Ground shipping only delivers  on weekdays. So if you need you project for a weekend show, it will need to arrive to you on the Friday. If it isn’t there on Friday, the next delivery day is Monday NOT Saturday. We offer all shipping options including Ground, 3 Day, 2 Day and Overnight. It is almost always cheaper to use our Rush feature to save time versus changing shipping methods but obviously sometimes it requires both. Call us if you have specific needs before you roder so we can help you get your product on time, the least expensive way possible.


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