Labeling Disks



Right now I see four options to labeling a DVD / CD

1) Sharpie
Cheapest method
Quality (I have bad handwriting)

2) DVD / CD Lables
Probably OK for CD’s because less data on disk
Destroys Disk with time
Lable causes improper balance of media, ruins QS score, eventually you will spend hours removing the label trying to recover the data

3) Inkjet printable Disks
Printers to write on DVD / CD’s are cheap (Epson R200 $79.99 at Sam’s)
More expensive than Sharpie
More expensive media

4) Light Scribe
Quality better than Sharpee
Don’t need printer
Will get better
Even more expensive than inkjet printable DVD / CD’s
Limited media
Initial expense of drive (+$50)
B&W only

Any Comments?


Printable media can be the same price as none printable. I would go for option 3. I use both printable and none printable media, the later with sticky labels which has caused me no problems. The epson is pretty cheap to run too using compats instead of originals.


Definitely don’t go for option number 2. That has caused so many people grief. Either do a Sharpie or a printable media method.


I’m not exactly sure what a Sharpie is… but you better watch it’s not an indellible marker which has any acid components!

I use either TDK or Datawrite pens myself, as they both state they are waterbased. TDK generally has a longer lasting tip (and narrower), but are 3x the price of the Datawrite 4 packs.


Forget LightScribe (at least until it reaches 8x speed), very few people have the patience necessary for that. My only other suggestion is to improve your handwriting and stick with method 1. Grab a comic book and practice by imitating its lettering, until you can produce something similar.


Sharpie is a Sanford Corp. brand of permanent markers. They use very quick-drying alcohol-based ink that sticks well to most disc surfaces and isn’t easy to smudge.

Not many people know this, but Sharpie ink can be wiped from disc surface with a piece of tissue soaked in alcohol. Convenient for correcting mistakes on DVDs where you have 0.6 mm of plastic between you and the dye; I wouldn’t recommend it for CDs where the dye is under a thin coating on the top surface of the disc.


I would say go with Option 1. All I ever do is use a Sharpie and write on my discs. Ya, your handwriting may be bad, but I think if you just slow down and do block lettering you can do it.

Of course, the next big question is…how do you label your jewel cases? I ended-up using address stickers on the spines. An example:


For those who store one movie in one DVD, you may still manage things alphabetically but I store many MPEG4 files in one DVD.

My solution: Give a number to each disc. Store them according to their numbers. Record the content of every CD or DVD in a large text file.
I’m serious. It is the only way that allows me to find what I need within a minute.

@ Don’t forget to backup the text file. :slight_smile:



Thanks for the tip on alcohol and Sharpie…


I might have to do that, I hate searching, and searching, and searching…


Sharpie here…thanks for the tip agent009 (no pun intended :wink: )


Sharpie and some labels.
Mostly labels for kids movies.

My younger son can’t read yet so it’s easier for him (and me) to find a labeled movie from his collection. I don’t really care about damaging the media especially movies, my sons can damage them faster! Oh btw, we can still watch old (burned 1-2 years ago) kids movie that are labeled. I guess I’m using a good label, never peel off.

Here are scans of a (almost) two years old home made dvd (the label, tranfer rate, and quality scan). Media is RicohjpnR00 (2.4x DVD+R), burned with my old HP200. Not that bad for an old labeled dvd right? :stuck_out_tongue:



What brand of label do you use?

I have 2 burners, my original burner had a major difference in QS scans with and without labels. However, I recently purchased a BenQ 1620 and I’ve noticed very little difference in the QS with and without labels. I’m wondering if its the ‘sliding cone mechanism’ on the benq.


The same disk above shows better scans on my PX-716a. Yeah! I’m not worried anymore labeling dvds.

Below are Sum8 PIE, Sum1 PIF, Transfer Rate.

Edit: that’s from only 1 disk. Need to test more to say the truth.


Labels are pretty and easy to use but it only took one to come loose and now it’s sharpie for me untill I get a cd/dvd printer.


Yea I just use any CD pen I find around the house, although many times I never end up writing on the disc in the first place, I used to do a spot of CD printing on my R200 but now have a colour laser printer and you can’t just stick a CD in that!

Here is the storage solution I have started using, prefer it to the normal DVD cases:

For anybody interested, the cases used are Slimline Single Half Size DVD cases, and are around £15 for 200 at SVP. Great value :bow:


yep, if I’m not lazy I made a custom DVD case as well, especially for home movies that I send to my families.



Wouldn’t the label used on the DVD you showed be a MICRO APPLICATION label?
Just wondering…


I suspect another reason that paper labels are questionable is because the paper changes characteristics (shrinks, expands) differently than the dvd material. However, I think this impacts readers differently depending on their features.

Comparison of 2 drives with cd / dvd paper labels.
All tests were done on the same DVD, only difference is Scan 2 and Scan 4 were done on the DVD after a paper label was attached. All the tests were done today, so there is no “age” impact.

Original Data DVD was recored on Fuji TYG02 recorded at 16x on Drive 2.

Scan 1 was original DVD, no label, QS test on drive 1.

Scan 2 was original DVD, with paper label, QS test on drive 1 :Z
This scan has more spikes present, and higher Total PIE. Note I scanned three times, spikes are in different locations, however they are present in every scan, whereas they were not present in the original ‘no label’ scan.

Scan 3 was original DVD, no label, QS test on drive 2

Scan 4 was original DVD, with paper label, QS test on drive 2. Suspect the reason the drive 2 has minimal effect is “Tilt - effect” and “sliding cone” features of this drive. These features appear to help but do not totally eliminate the effect of the paper label. Note the average ‘jitter’ is higher on the DVD with the label.

If you think about it, it makes sense that you would negatively impact the read of a DVD by adding weight (possibly uneven) to the DVD with a paper label. I suspect CD’s are effected less because the data densities on the disk are much lower than on DVD’s


I stopped using labels after burning and putting labels on around 100 cd’s and DVD’s for work that go out to banks etc…I started getting some people say the disks would not play. I went back and looked at some that had not gone out yet, maybe 1 to 2 months later, and found that the disks had a very pronounced curve to them, they were actually concave. I guess the glue started shrinking? Who knows, needless to say I tossed them. I have since bought a Epson R300 and TY printables.