Blank discs -- blank on top, not in the data recording area -- are not exactly useless but they can certainly be inconvenient. If you have ever searched through a collection of discs that have not been labeled, looking for one particular disc, or even trying to decide what data is on each of them, and haven't kept them with some external identifying mechanism, such as a labeled jewel box or sleeve, you understand completely why customizing has become an issue of much discussion among users.
This article does not review any specific products. Rather, it examines the various customizing methods available today in a general way.
An exception to the statement above is found in the latest article in this section, about ePrint-Network, a new click-and-mortar company who provide online design capabilties for discs, combined with media customization services.
While the usefulness of labels is very obvious, there are some valid concerns over the methods used. We will review the options, and discuss the pros and cons of each. There are presently five methods used to label CDs and CD-Rs:
The concerns over each of these methods range from questions over the long-term effects on the media, cost, convenience and economy of use.