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corplhicks
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PostSubject: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:29 pm

So yesterday I received Helloween's latest in the mail and at the same time read Ken's latest kickstarter post and it made me think. I can't get over how weak the Helloween packaging is. Thin cardboard, the booklet loosely sitting in a small niche, the label on the CD, the photoshop art job (although conceptually everything is neat), etc. Now, obviously bands are struggling more now and things are more difficult for impressive presentation, but I thought, hell, it makes for good discussion.

The worst offender so far is the 2010 Steamhammer release of Sodom's work. I received Agent Orange in the mail and Good Lord. For one the compression level is strong, and I was able to confirm there is a low DR score for the album (wish I would have checked beforehand). I have to back the bass off by a wide margin. But my main beef was the packaging. Again, think cardboard, small niche for booklet. Also the booklet has barely readable, "handwritten" lyrics, a very conventional message from Tim, and little else for a collector's edition. The front cover has a black spot that has "2-discs" written in it that I figured was a sticker when I first got it, but it's not, just sits there like a sore thumb.

I dunno, not a huge complaint (except for the compression), but it just seems sad that CD packaging has been getting so frail. I miss how sturdy and elegant things used to be, especially good old reliable plastic cases.

Another phenomenon is the design of the actual CD itself. I've always been cool standard type (screenwritten?), kind of like the early Sabbath releases. Now it's a label of artwork slapped on the CD, or at least that's what it looks like. And I hate it when there's no textual indication of what the CD is...
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:33 pm

Increased international shipping costs have probably forced distributors to reduce costs to a bare minimum (and jewel cases weigh more than cardboard digi packs), couple that with ever-shrinking demand for physical product and you have a recipe for mediocre packaging.
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007
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:36 pm

And I'm okay with that. Probably because I don't really handle my cds much anymore. Basically, I get the cd, open it, read it over, load into the computer to be put on the ipod and then shelve it.
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:45 pm

I don't care for the increased usage of cardboard sleeves and digi-packs, but I don't rekon their is anything I can do about it.

Aside from complaining about it on an internet message board that is. The data is still being compiled, but preliminary reports show that all my b*tchin' and whinin' are having little-to-no effect. Time will tell however.

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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:46 pm

I don't like digi-paks much either. I have digi-pak CDs that are only a few years old and they already look more worn and beaten than jewel-cased discs I bought 20 years ago.

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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:12 pm

I'm actually of the opposite. Straight Out of Hell was a good packaging. Nowadays they actually put some thought into the CD packaging. Previously it was just a disc, standard jewel case and a booklet, sorry, a one-page leaflet, that had the songwriting credits in it and nothing more.

Now you get a digipak that represents the album (as opposed to standard off-the-rack jewel case) and a booklet with lyrics, pictures, credits etc. And a lot of times a bonus DVD or other swag.

However, speaking of Helloween, I was disappointed by their 7 Sinners CD. No lyrics, just a tiny booklet. Now you can download and print a proper one if you go to their websitel
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:42 pm

Straight Out of Hell had a nice concept but I feel it was just put together on the cheap. I like the thick booklet and the cover art looks good from a distance, but I feel like the thing is gonna turn into powder in my hands.

I should say that none of this affects my perception of the band or how the music sounds (apart from the bloody loudness). I've been spinning Straight Out of Hell all day and I love it.

MetalGuy71 wrote:
I don't care for the increased usage of cardboard sleeves and digi-packs, but I don't rekon their is anything I can do about it. And honestly, to augment what S.D. said, it's not going to get any better (sorry idealists and positivists).

Aside from complaining about it on an internet message board that is. The data is still being compiled, but preliminary reports show that all my b*tchin' and whinin' are having little-to-no effect. Time will tell however.
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exact33
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:07 pm

i think jewel cases are getting cheaper and more flimsy too. I don't care for digis much but these newer jewel cases break pretty easily.

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SwordsChains
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:07 am

I think the packaging with major labels is getting cheaper but with underground labels i feel it is superior, just look at Stormspell Records, Eyes Like Snow, or The Church Within Records. All high quality releases, sure they cost a little more but they are more than worth it.
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:23 am

SwordsChains wrote:
I think the packaging with major labels is getting cheaper but with underground labels i feel it is superior, just look at Stormspell Records, Eyes Like Snow, or The Church Within Records. All high quality releases, sure they cost a little more but they are more than worth it.
Stormspells releases are always top notch.

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mlotek
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:44 am

MetalGuy71 wrote:
SwordsChains wrote:
I think the packaging with major labels is getting cheaper but with underground labels i feel it is superior, just look at Stormspell Records, Eyes Like Snow, or The Church Within Records. All high quality releases, sure they cost a little more but they are more than worth it.
Stormspells releases are always top notch.
yes ! It seems the quality INCREASES every year with Stormspell Records and the prices stay the same or seem very low, while other very well known (ex-indie, now major?) labels just get worse!
and
I always hated digipacks since the few times I got them home only to find the spokes inside broken, resulting in a scratched disc.
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:49 am

mlotek wrote:
MetalGuy71 wrote:
SwordsChains wrote:
I think the packaging with major labels is getting cheaper but with underground labels i feel it is superior, just look at Stormspell Records, Eyes Like Snow, or The Church Within Records. All high quality releases, sure they cost a little more but they are more than worth it.
Stormspells releases are always top notch.
yes ! It seems the quality INCREASES every year with Stormspell Records and the prices stay the same or seem very low, while other very well known (ex-indie, now major?) labels just get worse!
and
I always hated digipacks since the few times I got them home only to find the spokes inside broken, resulting in a scratched disc.
That's my main gripe with digis. I pretty careful with my cds in general, so the outside usually holds up pretty well. It's when the spokes bust and can't be replaced because the tray is glued on. Thats what irks me. Or when the cd just slips inside a cardboard sleeve. Hate that too.

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ZombieHavoc
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:57 pm

I have not ordered CDs or not bought them from the store, when I know the packaging is a cardboard sleeve or digi.

At the end of the day, if the only way to get music I really want is in crappy packaging, I will buy it. But I'd rather just buy the iTunes album then get something in a crappy cardboard sleeve. I hate those so much.
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A Handful of Wayne
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:44 pm

I got the Japanese version of the Helloween album and its top notch

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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:04 am

exact33 wrote:
i think jewel cases are getting cheaper and more flimsy too. I don't care for digis much but these newer jewel cases break pretty easily.
Methinks you are right. I remember ordering titles from the BMG music club and early Amazon and they came just fine. Now every damn CD I buy ships broken.
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SwordsChains
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:59 pm

I am not a fan of digipaks either however there are some labels that have super high quality ones that dont seem to wear easily or break, such as: Van Records or Church Within Records.
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mikeinfla
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:22 pm

Hate Digi-Craps. Journey Eclipse is the absolute worst and cheapest one I have ever seen. Jewel cases all the way for me. But out of all the digi-craps I have seen, The Beatles Remasters are the nicest. They have an LP feel to them (if that makes sense). High gloss and nothing falls out of them. So if I had to like any it would be those.
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Alex Dee Rokket
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:36 pm

I generally don't mind digipacks or jewel cases - with digipacks I have these protective sleeves I bought from Japan (via ebay) that do the job just fine at protecting against dust and any other potential degradation.

The standard jewel cases are my favorite except I don't like the fold out with 2 disc trays. I prefer the bulkier (now unfortunately obsolete) CD jewel cases for 2 disc albums.

The type of digipack I dislike most are those extremely thin ones - the vinyl replica digis where the disc slides in an insert. That is by far the worst packaging nowadays. I have a few albums that came like that and it is almost impossible to take the disc out.

But I agree, CD packaging is getting cheaper - more albums are being released or released as digipacks than in jewel cases and I think, as pointed above, it's to keep shipping costs low.

In any case, the CD is a dying format. I think right now, the only physical format that is worth having and is still of some monetary value is vinyl. It's no longer mass produced yet it holds appeal among music collectors as you get the full artwork, larger booklets / lyrics inserts, vinyl discs come in various colours and patterns, and arguably the sound quality is better than CDs.

Vinyl versions of new releases tend to be double, if not triple in price if you factor in shipping costs compared to the CD alternatives of those albums. Even used vinyl has a relatively high price, depending on the rarity and age of the album in question. Certainly anything released on vinyl from the 70s and 80s, that is in good shape, costs a pretty penny. I was recently looking for Running Wild records on ebay, and though all are used, you cannot find anything for under 30 bucks (not counting shipping which adds an extra 20 bucks).

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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:43 pm

I prefer digipaks. I always seek them out. Jewel cases are boring and a have a terrible hinge design to boot.
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Boris2008
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:05 am

I don't really care, I only rip the CD and put them on the shelf. I'm not sure why I buy CD's these days because they have none of the romance of vinyl and you can get good quality downloads of most things.


I will however always buy vinyl Very Happy
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mikeinfla
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:32 am

Boris2008 wrote:
I don't really care, I only rip the CD and put them on the shelf. I'm not sure why I buy CD's these days because they have none of the romance of vinyl and you can get good quality downloads of most things.


I will however always buy vinyl Very Happy
Me too. The only CD's I buy now are the ones that might catch my eye in the $5 dollar bin. Saw Surfing W The Alien in the $5 bin the other day but I kept walking by... Maybe I'll grab it next time.
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:17 am

My favorites will always be the Atlantic titles with the white spines, print in red (and that unmistakable typeface). They look so rad when lined up in a row.
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ZombieHavoc
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:19 pm

Alex Dee Rokket wrote:
IThe standard jewel cases are my favorite except I don't like the fold out with 2 disc trays. I prefer the bulkier (now unfortunately obsolete) CD jewel cases for 2 disc albums.
It was weird. I recently got the 10th Anniversary edition of Andrew WK's I Get Wet. It came with a second disc of extra stuff, and it came in one of those old style double disc cases.

I have not seen a newly-made release/set in one of those in a long time. I like those better, too, actually...especially when it is for an actual double album, like Springsteen's The River. It's a better physical representation for your collection. It says, hey, here are two CDs.
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Alex Dee Rokket
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:20 pm

I gotta ask because I feel like I'm missing something...

Everywhere I turn vinyl costs a lot! As I mentioned above, it's like twice the price of a CD sometimes more. I even saw some records that cost 50 bucks! and those weren't even by an older band or an older pressing it was some new album...

For those serious about collecting vinyl, is this the normal asking price? I mean it's almost like you need to have won the lottery to afford a vinyl collection
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Boris2008
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PostSubject: Re: CD packaging getting cheaper?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:52 pm

Alex Dee Rokket wrote:
I gotta ask because I feel like I'm missing something...

Everywhere I turn vinyl costs a lot! As I mentioned above, it's like twice the price of a CD sometimes more. I even saw some records that cost 50 bucks! and those weren't even by an older band or an older pressing it was some new album...

For those serious about collecting vinyl, is this the normal asking price? I mean it's almost like you need to have won the lottery to afford a vinyl collection
That is expensive, but it seems to vary country to country. I spent about that on the new Blood ceremony vinyl but that was a box set with lithograph and belt buckle included. (I was also pretty safe in the knowledge that I could sell it for more if I needed the cash)

The most I have spent on a newish release is $230 Aus, but that was a real rush of blood to the head as I was determined to get it, a bit silly really! In the U.K £15-£20 ($30 Aus) is about standard for new vinyl
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