yes, that's true, this topic keeps on returning, but I don't care when it can bring some new ideas or improvements based on these discussions, when fans, artists and label/mail-order owners are involved.
My point of view as of a big collector of physical CDs was already presented several times on this forum. And I will repeat again and again, when it comes to a physical product, it should be presented as "all-inclusive" package, to me I will always see each physical product as piece of art. At some point I can accept even a CDr release, but it definitely has to come with more attractive packaging. And the slim jewel case it's at very end of the attractiveness, at least to me. Yes, it probably saves your space on shelter, but I don't care about that if I can't locate it without the spine... I have maybe around 30-40 of these slim jewel case CDR editions in my collection, but there are still many good releases available on this format that I don't buy beacuse of this packaging. Just like "Drone on" said, they somehow slip to the bottom of my want list. I like the music, but I am simply unable to accept this packaging. I think it ruins the music or devaluate, as mentioned by Anthony. Maybe my words are hard, and yes, I understand, the CD sales are very low during these times, however I think this product has much lower chance to be picked up by some other, even small distros/mail-orders. There are many of them across the globe trying hard to spread the music they love and survive. No matter how difficult are the economics during these days, I would never go this way as a label or artist. Well, I am not in their shoes, if I would be, maybe my view might be different, but I hope not!!!
Speaking about CDR editions with slim jewel cases, there are still some other choices, for me much more attractive. For example slim poly case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, with a spine, as used by Anthony and his DataObscura label. Or the older type of slim jewel case with spine, used by Databloem's Practising Nature or Bluebox editions. Yes, I understand the later is not easy to buy and replace when it arrives broken during the shipping.
10,00 USD for CDR in slim jewel case or 15,00 USD for CD (CDR is acceptable too) in digipak, eco wallet, standard jewel case... My choice is definitely 15,00 USD. Yes, I understand, maybe there are many people who rather prefer cheaper product and don't pay any attention or pay less attention to packaging, 100 people, 100 tastes, however, this is my point of view. I think we are here quite strong community on Hypnos (or Relaxed Machinery), no matter if artists, labels, small distros, reviewers, radios, fans..., so why not to search for the best solutions that will evaluate physical products. I am quite sure there are some printing plants that are able to offer good or acceptable prices for smaller runs of 100, 200 or 300 copies with nice packagings. There are labels and artists going and using this way. So therefore they have some experiences that might be shared with other artists or labels searching for these choices, hopefully these helpful infos would be not "top secret"...
I agree with "Drone on", paying 10,00 USD for download instead of 10,00 to 13,00 USD plus shipping for CDR edition in slim jewel case, is much more reasonable. Bad luck for me, I don't buy any downloads, only physical products...:-( However, I think 10,00 USD per download is too much when comparing to physical product.
Please don't get me wrong, I didn't want to sound bad about these packagings, my big thanks and deep respect go to all those labels and artists releasing CDR editions with slim jewel cases, I know they work very hard, but the bottom line is that I am simply unable to identify with these products.
Keep on enjoying great music!!!