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Preparing Your CD or DVD Disc Master

Jul 2, 2008
The preparation of the master for a duplication or replication project is the most important part of the process. Prepping the master correctly will eliminate any problems or delays in completing the project. The master is going to be copied exactly as it is submitted so it's important to make sure it is what you want. This includes testing it on several different plays to assure playability by various players. Older software can create a master that only plays on the system they were burned on, so playing the master on other systems will assure it works as intended.

There are many brands of media to choose from. With so much low quality cheap media on the market, it's easy to try and save a few cents and use the cheap stuff. Remember, the master is what your copies are going to be made from and low quality media might not produce the best result. It's best to spend a few extra cents and buy higher quality media like Mitsui, Maxell, or Taiyo Yuden. The company performing the work for you should be able to recommend a quality brand for you to use for the master.

After you have completed the master, it's important that you clearly mark it with either a label or marker that is approved for writing on the surface of a disc. Duplication houses work with many different customers that send master on a daily basis. It's important your master is clearly marked to avoid a delay or worse some sort of mix up with another project.

Testing is the most important step in the whole process. Once you have completed your master, you need to test in several different target media players to assure it behaves as you want it to. Listen for the sound quality, playback speed, etc.. Whatever you see and hear on the master, is going to be what you see and hear on the copies. Some burners produce masters that will only play well on the system they were produced on. This is why it's important to assure your master plays across various systems. Duplication houses don't play them on players; instead they verify the information with bit to bit verification against the master. So, if your master has playability issues, so will your copies.

Vendors are in the business to perform a service for you and if you have any questions about the mastering process, ask them. Taking a few extra moments to produce and test the master correctly will assure that your project is as trouble free as possible.
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Take a look at this site for more information on DVD Duplication mastering.
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