We've all been there: trying to get those last few demos done and in the mail for a publisher/venue/A&R rep. You carefully peel off the CD label so it doesn't curl ... lay it as flat on the thingamagig as you can ... center the CD and then carefully ... lower ... the CD ... onto ... the ... label ... and ... voila! There is a wrinkle or it's off kilter or an edge rolled back or you put the label on the data side of the CD! You throw another page of (expensive) label stock in the printer and voila! The black in cartridge runs out! Then it's off the Staples or Office Max for another package of expensive labels/ink/CDs. Yes, we've all been there ...
But now there is LightScribe, a brand new burn-it-right-onto-the-CD labeling system that uses your computer's data drive to create labels. WIth LightScribe products, we can throw those labels and thingamagigies and ink cartridges - no, we'll keep the ink cartridges for those cover letters to that publisher/venue/A&R rep - away and start a brand new day of CD labeling!
LightScribe, my dear MusicDish readers, is an answer to our collective prayers! Utilizing specially coated CDs, you can now burn a "silkscreen quality" label on your CDs or DVDs, and it is as simple as "record, burn, flip, burn."
Learn about this terrific new product developed by Hewlett Packard scientists in my interview with [Kent Henscheid], Marketing and Business Development Manager of LightScribe:
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Kent, let's start with the basics of who, what, when, where and how, although not necessarily in that order. Who came up with the idea of burning labels directly onto CDs, a wonderful idea, by the way!
[Kent Henscheid] The technology was invented by HP scientists. The idea was born out of frustration by an HP engineering manager who was transferring his vinyl album collection to CDs. While attempting to apply adhesive labels, he thought there had to be a better way. To his surprise, he realized that there wasn't and he developed a technology that used the drive's data laser to burn labels directly onto to the disc.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Our thanks to the engineer who came up with this great tool! How does LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling work at the consumer end?
[Kent Henscheid]You can burn labels directly onto your CDs and DVDs using the same disc drive that burns your music or other data.
Hardware: LightScribe-enabled drives recognize and read special LightScribe media to ensure precise, consistent imaging on the disc surface.
Software: LightScribe-enabled software from various software companies works in concert with the drive and media.
Media: A thin dye coating on the label side of LightScribe discs absorbs laser light, which triggers a chemical reaction to give you a silk-screen quality reproduction of your artwork, text and photos. Because the labels are laser etched in a coating applied during disc manufacture, no ink or adhesive labels are required.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] I understand that I can purchase an HP computer right now with LightScribe technology already installed?
[Kent Henscheid] Yes, you can find LightScribe-enabled products from HP either at hpshopping.com or your favorite electronics dealer that carries HP products.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What about Macs?
[Kent Henscheid] LightScribe has partnered with LaCie to provide the first direct disc labeling drive for Macintosh users.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] And what about all those folks out there who already own laptops and desktops can we use LightScribe disc labeling on our current systems, and if so, what specs are required?
[Kent Henscheid]LightScribe-enabled external drives that connect to a PC or Mac via USB and FireWire are already available. LightScribe-enabled internal drives that can be inserted into a PC drive bay will be available in early 2005 as well. In order to find the exact specs, customers will need to refer to the manufacturer of those drives. Information about manufacturers is available on the "Looking for LightScribe" page.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Does installation of the external drives require a trained technician or an HP service center or can I, as a non-technical PC user, install the external drive myself?
[Kent Henscheid] Simple instructions guide the non-technical computer user through the installation process and most manufacturers provide live technical support as well.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] I understand that a beta test was conducted recently where folks like our MusicDish readers used the new LightScribe technology. Did some use the external drivers and what were the overall results of the beta test?
[Kent Henscheid] We conducted a beta test using a LightScribe Advisory Squad. They were all sent a pre-release external drive. The results were phenomenal. We were able to get some great information about product use and future enhancement ideas. You can even see testimonials from these Squad members on the LightScribe site.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] As you mentioned, the LightScribe technology requires using specially coated CDs. Where are these CDs available and in what quantities can they be purchased?
[Kent Henscheid] LightScribe CDs are available today under HP and Verbatim brands. You will soon be able to find LightScribe-enabled CDs from Memorex, TDK, and Imation. Look for the LightScribe logo on these brands at your favorite retailer.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Musicians and songwriters would most likely be using LightScribe to burn demos or short-run quantities on their computers for promotional CDs, EPs and singles, and this would be a great tool for songwriters burning demos for pitching. I can see publishers using LightScribe Technology to put together song pitch CDs for record labels and management companies, and not have to deal with labeling. None of us would have to deal with labeling, for that matter!
[Kent Henscheid] That is a perfect example of how LightScribe can help people create a professional image with their creative work.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Do the CDs require any special handling, and do they require special CD covers? Can I use any CD cover packaging available today?
[Kent Henscheid] Like any other disc, to ensure maximal life for both data and label, hold the discs on the outside edge or through the center hole to prevent fingerprints. Keep discs away from extreme heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. Ideally, you should keep discs on a spindle, in a disc sleeve, or in a jewel case, and then store them in a cool, dark place. And be sure to use polypropylene disc sleeves rather than PVC sleeves; PVC sleeves will cause images to degrade over time, while polypropylene does not adversely affect the coating or images.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Kent, what steps would I take to actually make a label on, say, my song demo CD using LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling?
[Kent Henscheid] You would burn your music on the disc, flip the disc and then burn the label using a LightScribe-enabled software package.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] It's that simple?
[Kent Henscheid] Yep, burn, flip, burn.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] And what can I burn? Words only? Artwork? Photos?
[Kent Henscheid] The various LightScribe-enabled software packages allow you to get completely creative. You can use some of the pre-loaded backgrounds, import your own photos or artwork, and enter your text. The sky's the limit.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Let's talk a bit about the actual look of LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling burned CDs. The website says that the labeling process creates "silkscreen quality" labels. What does this mean and why is it important?
[Kent Henscheid] Throughout consumer research that we've run over the last two years, consumers have frequently described the quality of the label as "silk-screen quality" and "just like volume manufactured labels." It's important because LightScribe drives burn the label directly onto the disc, alleviating the need for messy markers or sticky labels that may go on crooked or peel off and get gummed up in the drive.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] The current technology uses black ink only. Any plans to expand into color in the future?
[Kent Henscheid] It's important to remember the process does not use ink. It creates a chemical reaction that creates the black color. The first step into color will be background colors.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] What about recording speeds and CD quality? What options are there currently?
[Kent Henscheid] The data recording speeds and CD quality will remain the same as other media. The LightScribe coating does not impact the data side characteristics or performance.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] I could imagine a touring band, a performing songwriter, or an indie record label wanting to use LightScribe technology to produce batches of CDs for various reasons. Can this technology be installed on towers with multiple CD burners?
[Kent Henscheid] The technology will be first found in personal computers and external drives, aimed at individual disc labeling needs. It is possible to configure multiple drives on a system to produce CDs in batches.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Kent, this is great stuff a great tool for songwriters, performers, bands, publishers, labels along with those of us who have vowed to get "stuff" organized as our New Year's Resolution (myself included)! How can we find LightScribe products?
[Kent Henscheid] You can check out the Looking for LightScribe page on the LightScribe website. It has a list of brands that will have LightScribe-enabled products and links to their websites for further information.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] How about tech support?
[Kent Henscheid] The tech support will be provided by the manufacturer of the LightScribe-enabled products.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Is there anything else on the LightScribe website that we should know about?
[Kent Henscheid]Check out the Be Bold section of the site for some fun interactive tools and articles about enhancing your digital lifestyle.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Kent, thanks so much for this interview. Finally, will there be any special launches or events coming up that folks should know about, and do you have a news list that folks can sign up for get stay informed?
[Kent Henscheid] We have a lot of exciting news coming up. LightScribe will be attending the South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas, in March. You can sign up to receive LightScribe product news.
[The Aspiring Songwriter] Thank you, Kent, for this interview, and thank you to the HP scientists and engineers who developed LightScribe!
Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2005 - Republished with Permission