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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Archival Copying Of Optical Media Made Easy

Optical media, like CD's and DVD's, has been becoming cheaper and cheaper over time. Most computers come with optical drives and drives that allow writing to optical media, so the fact that media for these drives is getting cheaper is good news.

Optical media has also advanced in many ways. Only a few years back, writeable DVD's were quite expensive and it was almost impossible to get dual-layer DVD's. Even if you could get them, dual-layer DVD-writers were quite rare too. Now, most computers, even laptops, come with fast DVD-writers that are capable of working with dual-layer DVD's.

If you want something with a lot more capacity you can go with blu-ray DVD's that have 25 GB capacity. Dual-layer blu-ray DVD's can store up to 50 GB. This is more capacity than most hard drives had just a few years back!

There are several sources of optical media out there, but I have found that most big box stores sell them at pretty high prices. If you use a lot of optical media in your business (if you are a video producer or software producer and you distribute your products on optical media), you should go online and buy your media from a good source like

GotMedia has all kinds of optical discs from CD's to DVD's to dual-layer DVD's to blu-ray discs at low prices. They also have brands of optical media that you would not normally find in big box stores (such as Taiyo Yuden, MAM, etc.).

If you find yourself copying optical media manually using your computer's optical drives one at a time, you should also consider getting optical media duplicators. Duplicators enable large-volume production of CD's and DVD's from a single source disc so that you can distribute your product in larger numbers without the production speed being a bottle-neck.

This simple DVD duplication guide explains the logistics, economics and logic behind using a duplicator instead of trying to burn discs one at a time. Doing the latter puts a lot of strain on your DVD burner, and can lead to significantly shortening the life of such burners. Most of them are not designed for heavy-duty use or constant use, so you should use them sparingly to make initial copies and then use duplicators to produce the volume runs.

GotMedia sells several lines of DVD duplicators that make acquiring one quite affordable. Most duplicators can produce dozens of copies of a DVD automatically. You just load them up with blank media, and out comes copies of your source DVD, ready to send out to your customers. Many duplicators come with both PC and Mac-compatible software. Most of them also have built-in printers that enable you to label your products professionally.

If you need a stand-alone solution just for printing labels on optical media, GotMedia also has CD printers that make it easy and inexpensive to produce professional-looking optical media without using sticky labels that are just plain tacky (no pun intended!). The printers can print in full color, in 4800 dpi resolution, on both CD's and DVD's (and practically any kind of optical media that has the same form factor). The printers, once again, are mostly fully automatic, and can handle high volumes with no manual intervention once the job is set up. These printers can be used with both Windows and Mac PC's.

CD's and DVD's are the most convenient media for distribution of video, computer data, software and other material. If you have the need to produce such media in high volumes, duplicators are the ideal solution. And if you need your media to look their best, a high-volume disc printer is the ideal solution. The advance of technology has made these quite inexpensive and affordable. The question has changed from "can you afford to have one?" to "can you afford not to have one?"!

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