Disc Customization Service
I'm told that the term "labeling" is really incorrect when used to refer to the art of printing directly on CDs. Mention "label" and most people think of adhesive paper stuck to a disc, but that is not what we mean here. Instead, "customization" is the currently accepted terminology, and in the case of making many discs with the same artwork, but perhaps a different serial number or title on each, we refer to it as "mass customization."
Creating custom discs was something that early CD-R users found to be an excellent application of that technology. Today we can carry the concept even further, by printing unique images (I almost said labels) on each disc with one of the several disc printers available today. But while these days many more people have disc recorders, not everyone has a disc printer. They are still rather expensive, some costing several times as much as a recorder, and unless one is a truly dedicated hobbiest or in a business that requires a professional-looking presentation, such an investment might be considered excessive.
There is now a workaround for those who don't have their own disc printer, however. A new website at http://www.eprint-network.com offers the service of printing your deisgn on optical discs - CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and even some sizes of Optical Business Cards or CD Business Cards. (Philips, the controllers of the trademarked term "CD" prefer that these un-round media NOT be called CDs, even though they use much of the Compact Disc technology, because of their non-standard shapes and sizes.)
Not only can you have discs printed ("customized") on demand at ePrint-Network; you can upload your own graphics to use for background images, select from a growing collection of text layouts, and choose to have a set of discs serialized (using your own selection of serial number pattern). The site offers interactive online design and proofing, so you can see what you're doing when you do it. You can return later to make more changes or place an order if you recorded the layout number, or if you created a free account and logged in, you can easily locate all your "draft" and completed designs. Once you are satisfied with it, you can save a layout (perhaps to show to someone else for approval first), then buy it in any quantity using the site's secure ordering system. The discs will be customized and shipped to you using your choice of shipping method.
In the interest of responsible journalism, I should mention that I am involved in this company, and have even contributed some graphics for the site. Here are a couple of samples I've made entirely on-line and with my own graphics. My photo of Sunset Beach, California is now used to demonstrate how to prepare an image to upload for use as a custom background. OK, I'm a sucker for sunsets.
Perhaps we should also mention that the founder of ePrint-Network is someone who has been involved in the CD-R industry since it's early days, too. This is one of the "cool new things" Neil Enock has been up to since last I updated his biographical sketch in this site. So you can be assured that the products you buy from ePrint-Network are made by people who care deeply about optical media, and know a thing or two about how to do it right.