Sunday, June 10, 2007

CD packaging

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If you bought cd's back between the mid 1980's and the very early 1990's then you probably remember those carboard longboxes that the cases used to come in. They were a waste of packaging and probably a pain for record stores to display. I guess the original idea was that CD cases were too small and they needed the long box to better display the cover. Then they did away with those longboxes around the time vinyl was really being pushed out (or so we thought at the time). So then it was plastic CD cases until someone invented the cardboard digipack thingy. Okay, it won't crack like a plastic case, but much like vinyl covers it can get rubbed, scraped and worn because it's a paper product. The CD booklet used to be maybe a bit more standard as early on not many had a lot of pictures or details, but for the most part they have gotten better. I for one look at the booklet quite a bit depending on what's in it. Oftentimes I look at them more than once. I like the booklet to look at, I like credits, photos and artwork. The plastic CD cases can take up some room, but I like them. However, now with downloading music growing in popularity we could be looking at the ultimate end of CD's as we know them. Jeff over at wrote two posts on this topic and you should really check them out. I guess I fear change in CD's because I have become comfortable with them and have quite a few of them. Here are some CD questions for you.

-Do you prefer plastic cases of digipacks?
-Do you replace your plastic cases when they crack?
-Does the thought of CD's as we know them coming to an end bother you?


Blogger BeckEye said...

I don't have a problem with jewel cases, but it annoys me that I always seem to break the "hinge" doohickey off of my favorite CDs, so every time I pick one up off the shelf, the cover falls off, usually cracking it or doing more damage. I kind of dig the cardboard cases, like Pearl Jam has been using.

It bothers me to think that everything will be mp3s one day. I am one of those people who LIVES for liner notes. They are very important to me. I like having the whole physical package that the artist intended. Even when I make my own CDs, I try to package it professionally! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to buy all the CDs I want so I understand the appeal of mp3s, because then you can just buy the songs you like rather than wasting money on CDs that end up only having one or two good songs.

9:07 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I prefer the jewel case to the digipak, but even the jewel case is a pretty bad package. They break easily and the booklet often gets dinged by opening and closing the case.

I only replace the jewel case if it's really screwed up.

I was pretty upset when I thought vinyl was coming to an end. I held out on buying a CD player for a long time. I really don't think we'll see the end of some tangible format for music. I think vinyl will be around a long time. If something better comes along, CDs could go the way of cassettes since they don't have the charm of vinyl, but I still think there's enough of us music nerds out there who want to collect the things and look at them while we listen.

9:12 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I also think MP3s will have more effect on Top 40 releases than on rock releases in general. The crowd who just listens to whatever they're sold don't care that much about music, so they'll just by the songs they know and MP3 is a great format for them. But I do believe there's enough of us to sustain CDs and vinyl for the foreseeable future.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

1. I prefer the jewel cases.

2. I used to replace broken jewel cases once a year, usually on my vacation on 4th of July week. Now I replace them when I acquire them.

3. I would be disappointed if computer files replace concrete media. If I am forced to just by a file rather than an actual physical product, I'll be upset. I don't think that will be the case. There are many people out there without a computer and they would be alienated from buying music. Record companies are not going to let go of any demographic.

People are also creatures of habit, we are used to possessing physical objects. There is a satisfaction in it, a status attached to it, and gratification from it. I just don't see it happening on a total scale anytime soon.

10:43 PM  
Blogger dschalek said...


I threw out all jewel cases, including slimlines, about 2 years ago. I keep all of my CDs in mylar sleeves. This can be a bit problematic for including all inserts, thick booklets, etc., but it certainly saves you a LOT of space. I purchase these sleeves from Sleevetown and I do recommend them.

Also, commercial CDs will eventually disappear, but I prefer to have "hard copy" of my music, so all of my albums are on some form of CD. I'm slowly digitizing all of my music and storing it on an external hard drive. Presumably, I can keep some version of an external hard drive around my entire life.

9:46 AM  
Blogger captain corky said...

Mostly when I'm listening to music these days it's on the computer. That's just the way the world works now I think. But when the plastic cases crack as long as they're usable I don't replace them.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

1. I actually like the plastic CD cases. I enjoyed sliding the sleeve insert out of the case to take in all it had to offer.
2. Yes.........I can't deal with cracked cases.
3. I still buy CD for the reasons mentioned in #1. I like having something to hold and look at, not just a digital file on my computer. I will miss them if they go the way of the 8-track.

10:45 AM  

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