For what it’s worth, I have a small audio company and our bread and butter is live CD sales. I’ve been using Epson Stylus Photo R220’s for a very long time and I must say they hold up well. I have many of them, too. Yup, hand loading discs sucks real bad, but I don’t usually pay more than about $50 for a printer plus the cost of a CIS. I generally run either 3 or 4 printers simultaneously, most often with a completely different disc printing on each printer at any given moment.
If you’re on top of it you can keep a fluid pace and re-load discs in each of the printers one after the other and be hitting the feed button before the printer’s even ready to suck the next one in, it works out to about 240 discs per hour and it’s the kind of job you can train someone to do in a few minutes then just turn them loose for long periods with little if any real supervision. (In this economy I love being able to justify the cost of giving someone some much needed work too)
I’ll tell y’all something I probably shouldn’t. If you REALLY want to fly with these R-220’s, run them under Linux with gimp/cups drivers. They’re crazy fast then, (About 30 seconds per disc), and you use less ink to boot, which means faster dry times and less discs sticking together on the spindle.
The Primera makes some great looking discs, let me be clear about that, but it’s also a flakey POS that you have to babysit, and the ink costs are completely out of line.
If I were going to plunk down the cash for a fully automated printer, (which I may well be doing before the 1st of the year), the ONLY printer on the market that I’d consider is the Epson PP-100AP Diskproducer. Really, you can have the rest of them so far as I’m concerned. I’ve got some good guys on my crew and any of us standing around feeding discs to printers is really sort of a waste. I can’t really use any additional help at this point, so I’m thinking about adding the Diskproducer as an option. If I ultimately decide to go that route I’ll keep my 220’s as I’m sure the need for them will arise before long.
[Forrest Gump] And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. [/Forrest Gump]