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How to Prepare a CD or DVD Disc Master

Jul 18, 2008
The preparation of the CD or DVD disc master for a duplication or replication project is the most important part of the entire 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.

Quality media like Mitsui, Maxell, Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim should be used for the mastering process. If you try to save money and use one of the many brands of very cheap discs that are on the market, you risk the quality of your copies. Your project is going to be an exact copy of the master and if you used cheap media there is the chance your audio and or video quality will not be as good. Spend a few extra cents and get the good media for producing your 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. With all the different masters that arrive on a daily basis, if your master is not correctly labeled, it may sit until it can be determined what customer owns it. This could cause a huge delay in getting your project in a timely manner.

Most duplication houses will not test your master on various CD or DVD players. They will instead will use a bit by bit verification system and test the copies to the master to assure that they are an exact copy of the master. This is why it's important for you to test your master in several different players to assure it plays as expected. Don't just test it in the system that you burned it on. In some older burners, they can produce a master that will only play well in the system it was created on. If you test it other systems, you will assure it has no playability issues.

If you follow these very basic steps, you should not have a problem with getting your project completed. Remember the vendor performing the service is there to help you and if you have any questions preparing the master, ask them for direction. They would much prefer to help you do it correctly so that there will be no delays in completing the project. Their goal is to make you a happy customer so you use them again and tell all your friends and business acquaintances to use them when they need that type of work done.
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Look at this very informative site for more information on DVD Duplication mastering and services.
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