Author Topic: CDR prices too high  (Read 7419 times)

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1678
    • View Profile
CDR prices too high
« on: November 12, 2009, 02:02:18 PM »
As much as I am not against the CDR release as I once was, I am against CDR's being sold for the same price as a pressed CD.  I like the direction of the price reduction for the Hypnos Secret Sounds catalog, now at $9.99.  Seems reasonable to me.  But some other labels selling CDR's for $12.99 or $13.99 with very minimal packaging (slim jewel case, no full booklet) seems a bit much, especially having to pay shipping on top of this.  So to those label owners, I say: please consider a price reduction. Thanks.  :)

APK

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2205
    • View Profile
    • DataObscura
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 02:30:30 PM »
You do know that per unit a CDr release usually costs more than a pressed CD, and takes a lot more time to put together.

And of course Mike can sell his own releases cheaper than those from another label because there isn't the the cost of first purchasing them from another label, plus the costs of shipping them to him.

I'd rather complain about the rising cost of many album downloads !!! no case, no printed artwork, and they are beginning to be the same price as the physical album.
www.dataobscura.com
www.dataobscura.com/apk
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

mystified

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 405
    • View Profile
    • Mystified Homepage
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 02:40:29 PM »
Perhaps I am tapping into another thread here-- but, I have had very nice cdrs of my music with cool packaging turned down by distributors and catalogs because they were cdrs and not professional cds. And my old record label asked me to stop releasing cdrs and only to release cds, vinyl and dvds, which was one reason I felt I had to leave.

Essentially, what is the difference, to the consumer, between cdrs and cds? I am aware that some stereos will not play cdrs, but hasn't this changed? Is the difference, otherwise, longevity? I know cdrs can be made one at a time in an individual computer, but does this necessarily mean they are lower quality?

Maybe it does-- I am just curious.
Thomas Park
Mystified / Mister Vapor

jkn

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2693
  • cake or death? cake please.
    • View Profile
    • Relaxed Machinery
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 02:52:52 PM »
I've been buying a lot of music via iTunes and Amazon's mp3 store lately - don't really buy anymore discs unless it's from a small label in our little community.   I agree with APK on the interesting rate hike of download albums as compared to pressed cd releases and I don't think the artist themselves are directly benefiting from the costs.    It does cost money to maintain servers and accept payment - and everything - so it's a myth that selling downloads is actually 'cheap' - I'm not sure it's so expensive that it deserved to cost the same as a physical cd that's been made and shipped to at least one location before shipping to you the customer.

Anyway - basically it's coming down to the music costing the same amount whether it's through download, pressed cd, or cdr.   There are different issues with each method - from a label, artist, and listener perspective.   You get different products with each. 

drone on ...  if every small label and artist decided to post - you'll find a fairly unanimous backing of APK's comment.  It costs a lot to make a cdr - both in materials and most especially - TIME.    It's cheaper per unit to manufacture a cd at a plant.   However, in this wonderful small niche of ambient / electronic / techno / etc... music we all listen to - the reality is a pressed cd run of 1,000 units is almost totally unrealistic in today's market.   Making 50 or 100 cdr's... is realistic.

mystified ... issues with cdr's not working are truly a thing of the past unless the person making the disc was careless.   Back in the 90's - there were some cd players that didn't play all cdr's.   And then there were issues with artists/labels that used thick cdr's and then printed and stuck on thick labels on top - and those would get stuck in slot cd players (like in my car!)...   but today - most people print directly on the cdr - the cdr's are of good quality - and the players all play cdr's just fine.   It's a very solid platform for releasing music on a smaller scale.

Of course - don't leave your cdr's in the sun on the dashboard of your car.   But then... my Cocteau Twins record back in the 1980's that my friend borrowed and returned warped beyond recognition also didn't enjoy direct sunlight.

 
John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6936
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 02:55:45 PM »
Actually, you're both right! 

The unit price of a CDR is actually higher than a CD, but the investment to release a CDR album is much lower than a CD (but not as low as the investment to release a download, which is zero or close to it).  Our thinking on lowering the price of HSS CDRs is that these are basically profitable from the first disc sold, even if the price is $9.99 (or for that matter, I guess, even if they were $5.99... but that ain't gonna happen).  I just thought it was worth seeing if some of the objection people have to CDR releases would be mitigated by a lower price.  Of course the people who really HATE and mistrust CDR media won't buy them even if they're practically free, but people like me, who prefer a pressed CD but don't mind a CDR if that's how it goes, might jump onboard at $9.99 while they wouldn't at $11.99.

We'll see if this changes the sales level of Hypnos Secret Sounds releases.  It'll be hard to tell right away because the next couple releases are reissues, and reissues never sell half as well as new first-time releases.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6936
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 02:57:53 PM »
I said "you're both right" because I started writing my post before Mystified and JKN has posted!
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Brian Bieniowski

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 271
    • View Profile
    • Quiet Sounds Podcast
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 03:42:28 PM »
I will always prefer a factory pressed CD (or LP, for that matter), over a CDR or digital release.  I hardly buy CDR releases (and don't feel as though I'm really missing all that much, since there's still an unbelievable amount of music to purchase in any given year), and I'm just not interested in paying for downloadable files.

My issues with both formats stem from archival concerns.  I had quite a few problems with CDRs in the early days JKN mentions, which put me off of buying on the format for several years.  I've since gone back to buying CDRs on occasion, though I don't particularly care for the format.  I still often decide not to get releases, even by artists I enjoy, if they are on CDR.  I would say the quality of the CDR release has improved in the last four or so years, but I'm still not hot on the format.  I've had just too many of them "go bad" on me, and, as a consumer, I'd rather the artist understood that I might want a relatively stable and permanent format if I'm going to plunk down $14 plus shipping for their record.  If it means fewer discs for me to buy, so be it. 

For digital releases, I'll certainly download them when they're free, but I don't care for the idea of paying for MP3-only releases, even if artwork, etc., can be printed.  I've had too many hard drive failures (not to mention iPod destructions!), to rely on electronic files for long periods of time.  I've had CDs and LPs for decades and they play fine; not once have I ever had an issue with any of these objects.  Yet look at a recent experience (as mentioned on the Now Playing topic) with my Keith Berry disc.  Lots of effort to deal with that one, even if the end result was positive.

I think it's fine if labels want to release their stuff in these ways.  I don't "hate" CDR or MP3, etc.  I just choose not to patronize those formats if I don't have to.  There's a scary amount of "product" out there, and certainly far too much music, ambient or otherwise, made every year to enjoy in a reasonable lifetime—I can't say, in several years of avoiding these formats, that I've had any regrets.

mystified

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 405
    • View Profile
    • Mystified Homepage
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 03:45:20 PM »
We need WAV files on thumb drives!
Thomas Park
Mystified / Mister Vapor

uhurit

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 157
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 10:19:03 PM »
I am somewhat of an audiophile. My total retail price of all the music reproduction equipment I own (speakers including) is very substantial. Here's the problem: many high-quality CD Players will not play CD-r's...or as it is in my case, refuse to play them from time to time( one of my CDP's is Musical Fidelity...another Linn Akurate). I've also had more than enough occasions when CD-r's did indeed "go bad" after a year, or so. I do buy CD-r's but very reluctantly. OTH, I've never had a CD "go bad", some of them are over 15 years old!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 10:42:09 PM by uhurit »

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1678
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009, 12:07:19 AM »
Yes, this is exactly my point about CDR's--their archival life is questionable.  The archival life of a pressed CD is not questionable.  I always back up CDR releases I buy in case they do "go bad." 

Another reason to lower the price on CDR releases is the fact that people are going to be willing to shell out the cash more if they feel they are getting a good deal.  We all know this music isn't about the money.  Most of the artists making this music aren't making a living off it.  Also, some of these CDR only labels are releasing so much music it is mindboggling, and a lot of it is pretty obscure, yet they are charging close to what the more established labels (with pressed CD releases) are charging.  Music consumers on a budget who can't afford to buy everything would be less likely to buy obscure releases being sold at premium prices.

treibklang

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
    • treibklang's home
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 03:54:19 AM »
In my humble opinion, prefering CDs over downloads is some "relict" of being human, i.e., the need or desire to receive some physical object in exchange for money, as it provides the feeling of owning something. It's rather difficult to feel ownership over a bunch of bytes.
As my main objective on music is to be able to listen to it (having random access), I nowadays prefer downloads, if the audio-quality is guaranteed (although, this criteria seems to weaken with getting older ;)). Of course, downloaded releases will go into my backup as well, as any medium having the "original" music might fail over time. Physical CDs or CD-Rs will be ripped to HDD anyway, as my computer is the most used playback device for my needs.

Another argument might be the (potential) quality difference musical wise, as pressed CDs usually get selected by labels from a bunch of submissions. But usually, this selection today only means their quality with respect to marketability. It's of course nice to have someone pre-select music for oneself, especially because of the shere amount of music being released, but to me it does not matter whether it's a physical or net label, as long as I trust in their music selection. On the other hand, as I am always looking for new music for my podcast, I scan quite a lot of on- and offline labels per week to fetch my own selection, so I may not be the usual listener.
sound's good
http://www.syndae.de - your podcast on fine electronic music

jdh

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 12:18:36 AM »
I totally agree with Brian and Uhurit.
My poor experiences with CD-Rs has turned me off forever,too bad.
I use electronics by Mark Levinson,Linn,Revel,etc... and you can hear the difference between downloads and CD format,at least with I-Tunes so no interest with that though the ease of I-Tunes is impressive.Flac is much better though but still,a Flac download can cost more than a CD,sometimes 15-16.

treibklang

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
    • treibklang's home
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 02:02:49 AM »
I only bought one item from iTunes, as physical shipping would have taken too long, and will most probably not do it again. It's still awkward to make their downloads usable for any other than apple products, and the quality is still not lossless, which they do state somewhere. Luckily my taste in music lies outside of pop, so there are alternatives.
FLAC (when used on uncompressed audio like wav) is good, but also much more bandwidth consuming than MP3, so it's no wonder to be more expensive. But the ones I bought, where still cheaper than ordering CDs (including postage).
sound's good
http://www.syndae.de - your podcast on fine electronic music

jdh

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 02:02:15 PM »
I used an example on Boomkat ( a favourite site) A Flac download is 9 pounds,that is $16 CDN $.I-Tunes as far as I know says it is lossless if you transfer your own cds,if you buy their downloads,it is 256.

9dragons

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 586
  • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
    • View Profile
    • The Viatorium Press - Dedicated to the Weird
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 07:05:17 PM »
For my own buying habits, I have resisted cdr unless it's something I am extremely keen on. I've purchased a few cdrs in the past few years, among them the HSS Tones for LaMonte. As I've written here on the forum previously, I've recently been forced to sell off large chunks of my cd collection, and it was good to be able to get cash in that manner. With cdrs, the resale is more difficult, if not impossible.

That said, I am now in a position to do complete production of packaging and graphics for a music release, in effect becoming a mini, amateur label. The musician is supplying the cdrs, of which the number will be 50. We are looking at it more as a sonic/visual art piece for limited issue, due to the fancy letterpress packaging. Indeed, cdr is the only way, monetarily, that we can do this release. So I admit that I am now being a bit hypocritical about the cdr at this point, but I justify it by the fact that there is value added in the packaging. The packaging could even be considered to be on equal footing with the music (in other words we are hoping that both the music and packaging are of equally high quality). We would also like to keep the price of this release below $10. I am curious to know what others think about this direction for the cdr release.

Kudos to Mike for creating streamlined and high quality releases with HSS. The design is dsiciplined and harmonious, and I like the matte texture of the disc surface. With the new lower price, I am much more tempted to dip into the back catalogue, and have my eye on the Seren Ffordd reissues.

Can anyone recommend a particularly good brand of cdr, and where to purchase? I have heard Taiyo Yuden mentioned as good quality, is this true? And how does one go about economically and effectively printing on the cdr surface?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 07:19:23 PM by 9dragons »

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6936
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2009, 11:49:17 PM »
Taiyo Yuden is what we use, and what I would recommend.  You can save 10-20 cents per disc by buying something else but it's not worth the trouble.

There are a few different options for printing on the disc, including stick-on labels (many of our customers complain about these becoming un-stuck and causing problems with slot-load CD players such as in car stereos or Apple laptops, so I wouldn't recommend this), one-color thermal transfer printers (not too expensive, and the print they produce is waterproof, but I didn't like the look of these), and inkjet printers with a CD/DVD loading tray.  This latter is what we use for the HSS releases.  Epson generally  makes one or two models of inexpensive inkjet printers with CD/DVD capability, and we've used several of these.  The break down after a while but buying a new printer is not much more expensive than buying replacement ink, so they can be treated almost as disposable. 

And of course you have to buy discs specially designed for on-disc printing.  The discs meant for thermal printing are different from the discs for inkjet printing, or rather the printing surface is different.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

treibklang

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
    • treibklang's home
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2009, 02:41:35 AM »
An alternative to printing, if you do not care about coloured prints, which always looks self-made as of the white printing surface on media, might be using LightScribe. One needs special media, too, but no printer. Instead, a CD/DVD writer is needed that supports LightScribe. I recently bought a LightScribe capable writer, which was about 20 EUR (~US$ 30) more expensive than the same writer without LightScribe. I am not sure wrt. durability of such lasered surfaces though. What I've read is that they do not fade for about 2 years even not treating them well.

(see also LightScribe article on Wikipedia)
sound's good
http://www.syndae.de - your podcast on fine electronic music

Seren

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2009, 03:33:12 AM »
I use silver/silver discs with thermal printed black ink for my own discs - not had any yet become unplayable, or anyone tell me they have become unplayable. Personally I think they look great.

I have had experience of stuck on label CDRs becoming unplayable - I assume the glue on the label degrades the recording surface in some way.

I think the HSS CDRs are a good design, with minimal work done on the surface minimising any risks of degradation and still looking professional.

ech3

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2009, 04:52:31 AM »

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
    • View Profile
Re: CDR prices too high
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2009, 09:12:58 PM »
Joseph (9 dragons),

I think a value-added art package would be a nice way to go for a limited CDR release.  The Install label has had some success does this with their limited 3" releases (some of which are limited to 50 copies), and artwork can go a long way towards personalizing the work.  One limited art package that worked particularly well for me in this vein was Celer's "Sieline" release, a double-3" that was released in a private edition of 50 and was packaged in two small lightly-painted pyramids that were tied together with a tiny knotted string.  I bought the digital lossless version of it to boot, so that I wouldn't have to cut the string to open the package, which is beautiful in its simplicity (designed by the late Danielle Bacquet-Long).  Good luck with the project (and thanks for checking out my Sans Serif release on HSS).

Forrest