MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART > Other Ambient (and related) Music

Digipack vs Jewel Cases

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| broken harbour |:
I'm curious to know what people prefer when buying physical CD's these days.

I know the prevailing attitude is that Digipacks are superior, friendlier to the environment, and makes the artwork look nicer (no weird reflection from the case), but I've found the even though my CD's rarely leave the shelf (they're all ripped to my computer anyways) after 10 years or so some of them look like hell, wrecked corners etc...

At least with a jewel case when it gets scratched, busted, set on fire, whatever, you can just replace the case and it looks like new again.

I'm curious to know what collectors prefer, especially as I release albums in the future, I'd rather produce them in packaging that people want.

I've always felt as you did about digipaks -- that is, that they look very nice at first, but tend to show damage over time. For that reason (and also because digipaks used to be much more expensive to manufacture) I stuck with jewel cases for Hypnos releases for a long time.

Many people over the years suggested Hypnos should try digipak releases, and finally after the price was closer to the price for manufacturing jewel case CDs, we decided to try. Since the change, I'd say the feedback has been almost 100% positive.

Another nice side benefit is that digipaks are lighter and less expensive to ship. At the time we made the change, this wasn't such an issue, but since US Postal Service rates went up by approximately double for overseas shipments, it's much more important.

I used to favor jewel cases, but have gradually come to appreciate digipaks more. A nice digipak--with a matte finish--can really bring out the artwork in a way that a jewel case cannot. One of my favorites is the Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces collection. Something about the 2xCD sized digipaks rocks my world.

There is a lot of variation in digipaks, however. I'm not a huge fan of the sun-worn, recycled cardboard look that has characterized some of the 12K releases of late. I also don't like the envelope-styled packaging, such as those that Kranky uses and some of the Projekt releases.

Hi Blake,

as a huge collector, I definitely prefer digipak packaging. You have done nice job with "The Geometry Of Shadows" release, so keep on it, if possible, that's my opinion.

I protect each CD release, no matter if digipak, jewel case, wallet..., with resealable outer sleeves from Elusive Disc (based in Anderson, IN), so you can avoid unwanted damages:


Scott M2:
I prefer any case with a spine for clearly printing the artist and tile. I strongly dislike envelopes, sleeves and such.

I appreciate jewel cases for replaceability and protection of the CD.

Without going the extra mile, like Richard, to protect your digipaks, they certainly can get dinged, gouged and bent around the edges but I "like" them too.
The digipaks can also let in dust and grit more easily than jewel cases, particularly in transit and the car and such, but I haven't had any problems yet.
They can be a bit thinner for getting more CDs on your shelf, and as Mike stated, for shipping.

IMO, a tie!


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