When it comes to releasing your material, it can be a difficult decision, with lots of things to consider.
And, one of the most important things to think about is how you’re going to produce your CDs. Do you want to go down the replication route? Or the duplication one? Or do you have no idea where to start?
Well, to give you a helping hand, we’ve broken down each process to give you a bit more information and to help you decide which one is right for your release.
What’s the difference?
There are a number of differences between CD duplication and CD replication, so it’s probably best we outline a few of them below.
CD duplication is the process of burning data onto pre-manufactured discs using lasers, in a similar fashion to burning CDs onto blank discs from your own personal computer. However, CD duplication does this on a much larger scale, using multiple writer drives in large interconnecting towers. Duplication produces CD-R, with the ‘R’ meaning ‘recordable’, and are usually finished with high-quality laser-printed labels.
CD replication, on the other hand, is a physical process that manufactures the CDs from scratch. There are no pre-manufactured discs and instead data is built into the CD by pressing the discs from a glass master. The client provides the original data and a glass master is made from this, from which other copies will be made. A stamper is made after a thorough check for data corruption, and the stamper is used to create each CD disk. The result is a CD-ROM, meaning ‘read-only memory’.
When to choose CD duplication
CD duplication is a great choice for those wanting a small number of units, particularly those wanting 500 CDs or less. Because the process is much less task-heavy than CD replication, which involves manual labour rather than just burning data, duplication works out as much more cost-effective when looking for a small number of units.
Similarly, CD duplication is ideal for those people who need their products as soon as possible. As there are fewer stages in CD duplication compared to CD replication, the turnaround times are much quicker, meaning you can get your finished products in just a few days. This can be essential when you’re in a pinch, especially if you’re a band wanting some more sold-out merchandise quickly!
Similarly, if you think the data going into the discs might change unexpectedly, duplication is the best option. Because data is burned over a blank disc, it can be re-recorded relatively easily. This means you can add data, remove data, or change it completely without as much hassle than if you were using replication.
When to choose CD replication
CD replication is much more suitable for those wanting large quantities of units, specifically 500 or more CDs.
Due to the labour involved and the need to create a bespoke master each time, it can work out extremely expensive for those wanting less than 500 units, and many providers will actually refuse to produce replicated CDs under a minimum amount. On the other hand, for those wanting lots of units, CD replication is a much more cost-effective solution.
Similarly, due to building the data into the disc rather than just recording it over the top, CD replication can maintain the integrity of the data much better, meaning it produces a superior disc. This high quality that comes from CD replication is definitely something to consider when choosing your process.
When producing CD replicas, there are also lots more options available for your final product. Because many businesses, including ourselves, run at a high capacity, it’s much easier to automatically assemble discs into sleeves and cases, giving you more options to choose from.
However, due to the added stages in producing CD-ROMs, the turnaround times are usually longer than CD duplication which means it may be less suitable for those who need their products within a few days. Despite this, here at VDC Group, we strive to reduce turnaround times whenever possible.
Finally, as data is built into the disc itself, it can’t be altered after it’s been pressed so may be unsuitable for the indecisive people among us!
We hope this has given you a brief overview of the different processes involved in both CD replication and duplication and which might be better for your release. Head over to our page for more information, or get in touch – we’ll be happy to help.