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Ken Dryden

Labels Only Issuing CDRs

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Many of us have been burned when buying a CD online, only to discover it is a CDR. Several labels in the UK have seemed to gone that route exclusively for new products or repressings, including:

Acrobat / Acrobat Music

Sounds of Yester Year

Squatty Roo (notorious for reissues of horrible sounding 1970s bootleg LPs)

Feel free to add any labels that have gone exclusively to CDRs.

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Begrudgingly, I guess I don’t really blame them — but I absolutely loath this trend.

Then again, with physical releases seemingly going the way of the dodo, I suppose it’s better than nothing.

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I have returned several products to Amazon and written scathing comments on line for deliberate mislabeling of products as CDs.
If any label is going to sell inferior CDRs, at least it should be at a lower price and with proper labeling of what it actually is.

 

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Will ask again.  As a CD owner/listener, what is the downside of them producing CD-R's instead of CD's?  Would really like to know in order to make good purchasing decisions.  

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8 minutes ago, felser said:

Will ask again.  As a CD owner/listener, what is the downside of them producing CD-R's instead of CD's?  Would really like to know in order to make good purchasing decisions.  

FWIU, CD-Rs can be problematic as they age as they can have advanced deterioration. Also, if one holds onto CDs in hopes of future re-sell (at loss or gain), then you have that option. CD-Rs basically have no resale value. 

I think the main issue with CD-R production is the lack of transparency about their use on the part of sellers. Those who sell them and openly state they're CD-Rs - fine, and the buyer can make an educated purchase. No disclosure results in unhappy customers who were expecting a different type of product. 

Edited by Dub Modal

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31 minutes ago, felser said:

Will ask again.  As a CD owner/listener, what is the downside of them producing CD-R's instead of CD's?  Would really like to know in order to make good purchasing decisions.  

This is entirely anecdotal, but I’ve had 20+ homemade CDR’s become unreadable after 5-10 years — where I’ve only had 2 real CD’s (out of over 8,000) fail in 30 years (for reasons other than scratches, etc).

My concern is not that “most” CDR’s won’t last for 20 years or more, but that any particular CDR would seem to have a much higher probability of failure over time.

We don’t own any cars any more (hello city-living, since 2011) — but I especially wouldn’t trust a CDR to stand up to lots of playing in a front-loading car player, nor to the extremes of weather. No idea if they’re especially susceptible to heat — or cold (or both) — but I just don’t trust ‘em, like I do real CD’s.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Not to mention the fact that inserts are just folded over page with no information but contents of CD.

I have to admit I've never backed up a CDR purchase or burned it twice to be on the safe side.  I've also never purchased anything without noticing its a CDR so I've never felt misled like Ken has.  As long as the price fits the product (say around $8) I am cool with it if its the available option.

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My understanding/experience is that my own CD-R's may fail over time, but have never seen a commercial one fail.  Also, for a label like Acrobat, their packaging is great, very complete with liner notes and discographical/chart info, put many other labels to shame.  

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With Acrobat, some of their releases are significant on any format and would otherwise be unavailable. I’m thinking here of their live Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott and Dick Morrisey/Lennie Best releases. Shame really.

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10 minutes ago, felser said:

My understanding/experience is that my own CD-R's may fail over time, but have never seen a commercial one fail.  

You do understand though that these aren't imprinted or pressed CDs. I don't know for sure but I wouldn't at all be surprised if there's some Amazon dude at local distribution centers who get these orders, find the audio and artwork on a server, Print and assemble the jewel box artwork, and burn the CD just the same way that you or I do on our PCs.

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V.S.O.P. Records  as it seems is on the same road

BTW my own homemade CD-Rs for transferred  radio broadcasts ( analog and / or digital)  are all fine now and the oldest are more than 5 years. Have all the Information needed for these printed in my own covers. Using a DENON CD recorder/player and only name brand  blancs and working CD-RW's for editing. (TDK /Verbantim/FUDJI/Maxell).

 

Edited by jazzcorner
more text

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I have some CD-Rs that I burned almost 25 years ago, so they can last. The problem with most modern CD-Rs that I've gotten from labels is that they use the cheapest blanks they can get and I have had at least 4 of the cheapie CD-Rs from record labels fail.

I have only had one manufactured CD fail and that was an early Nimbus CD made in the UK that "bronzed", which was a known manufacturing issue that was cleared up quickly.

These were the best CD-Rs in those days:

The rarest/most obscure recordable medium - Blank Media - Club Myce -  Knowledge is Power

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Bresna,

Does "bronzed" mean discoloration on the front or on the burned side? I have bronzed CDRs that still play fine.

Right now I am wondering about my Verbatim CDRs, recently burned, and my Sharpie on the label side is clearly visible from the rear, burned side. I've noticed this on other ones too, I think the last spindle before this was TDK.

 

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Storyville sell some cd-rs for the early Duke Ellington Treasury Show cds (I think I guessed up o around Volume 11 or 12 but I can't be sure). I haven't had a problem when buying any new release Storyville cds (and this makes me much more inclined to buy them sooner rather than later).

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

Bresna,

Does "bronzed" mean discoloration on the front or on the burned side? I have bronzed CDRs that still play fine.

Right now I am wondering about my Verbatim CDRs, recently burned, and my Sharpie on the label side is clearly visible from the rear, burned side. I've noticed this on other ones too, I think the last spindle before this was TDK.

 

Bronzing may happen with CD-Rs but I've only seen it on a manufactured disc. The one I had it on was made in England at the Nimbus factory, It looked like this:

CD bronzing on the topside only? | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

And I guess PDO? https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/pages/bronzed.asp

Here's a Nimbus pressing:

My U2 UK PDOs are rotting away | Page 2 | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

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Steeplechase

Black Saint

Soul Note

Any Fantasy titles repressed by Concord

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I have yet to see a single SteepleChase Release as a CDR.

I did get sent a CDR of Cal Tjader’s Monterey Concert from Walmart online and I returned it.

Edited by Ken Dryden

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1 hour ago, bertrand said:

Steeplechase

Black Saint

Soul Note

Any Fantasy titles repressed by Concord

Yep .... unfortunately true ....

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I recently bought all of the Dexter Gordon w/Tete Montoliu series on Steeplechase, first two were CD-Rs, rest CDs ... got another couple of CD-Rs by Gordon.

Add Storyville to the list, at least as far as earlier Volumes of the DETS series go (Duke Ellington Treasury Series) - I've got about half a dozen which I'd love to replace by the real thing, eventually. At least they (both Steeplechase and Storyville) do offer properly photocopied booklets (on somewhat thin paper, but back in the day of the RVG series, Blue Note CDs used to come with booklets printed on really thin paper, often with traces (folds) from manufaturing/slipping booklet into case over here).

What really puts me off is the fact that most of these labels don't bother to declare what's CD and what's CD-R - so you can't even blame the vendor (how is he to know what a sealed jewel case contains if the label doesn't tell him?)

It's a dilemma really: those of us who still buy physical product don't want CD-Rs, the labels need to keep in print a reasonably attractive catalogue so we don't fully forget about them, they can't afford to keep CDs in print, they end up pissing off the few customers left ...

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2 hours ago, king ubu said:

I recently bought all of the Dexter Gordon w/Tete Montoliu series on Steeplechase, first two were CD-Rs, rest CDs ... got another couple of CD-Rs by Gordon.

Add Storyville to the list, at least as far as earlier Volumes of the DETS series go (Duke Ellington Treasury Series) - I've got about half a dozen which I'd love to replace by the real thing, eventually ....

It's a dilemma really: those of us who still buy physical product don't want CD-Rs, the labels need to keep in print a reasonably attractive catalogue so we don't fully forget about them, they can't afford to keep CDs in print, they end up pissing off the few customers left ...

Meanwhile - If available - best to go the "japanese way" in this regard ....

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Doesn't work for the DETS series, alas :(

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24 minutes ago, king ubu said:

Doesn't work for the DETS series, alas :(

😥 ....

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Real CDs encode the data as physical pits in the media, which will theoretically last a long time.

CDR and other recordable media encode the data using, among other things, colored dyes in the data layer. These dyes are light sensitive and will tend to fade over time, so you don't expect CDR media to last as long.

These days I copy most of my disks to my computer and then make multiple backups ... before I did this the only "real" CDs that I ever bought that failed were from the Mosaic Art Blakey set, which apparently had some kind of widespread manufacturing problem because I've even tried to buy second copies of that set ... and those disks were bad too.

 

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20 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

Not to mention the fact that inserts are just folded over page with no information but contents of CD.

I have to admit I've never backed up a CDR purchase or burned it twice to be on the safe side.  I've also never purchased anything without noticing its a CDR so I've never felt misled like Ken has.  As long as the price fits the product (say around $8) I am cool with it if its the available option.

My issue has not been failing to notice that an on line purchase is a CDR, but the deliberate mislabeling by the seller, typically Amazon, that does not let me make an informed decision. I have absolutely no use for on demand CDRs, which are typically missing most of the information found on the original CD.

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