Silver or White? And which brand...Any advice?

Hey guys,
Newbie here. Just starting burning on printables and am looking for advice. I just got the Epson r200 printer (great so far for less than $100) specifically for burning printable cd’s. By the way, I’m assuming based on my research, that there are no comparitive competitor color cd printers out there for less than $200 or so. Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

Anyway, I’m printing all color photos (cd surface is pretty much 100% covered with color photos (kind of like a collage).

Here’s what I used / printed on so far…

  • Memorex white printable (that came with the printer, probably not the greatest brand) - these came out looking pretty good actually.
  • Verbatim silver printable (says photo quality print surface on the packaging) - I felt as though these weren’t as clear or as sharp as the white surface. May be an obvious observation. Also felt that it was harder at different angles to see the pictures clearly (comparted to the white surface cd’s).

Thoughts on that, or suggestions on which way to go if I’ll generally be printing all color photos?

My experience with both is that it takes a long time (greater than 24hrs to dry). After 24 hours, I was able (when deliberately trying) to smudge the ink on both of them. Perhaps I should have waited longer? Would have thought that would have been enough time for both of them to dry, but maybe that’s the way they all are.

Also, looking for suggestions on which brand makes the best quality printable media out there (for both silver and white). Is there a third type of surface? Forgive the ignorance.

I’ve seen Ritek’s white printable on supermediastore for about half the price of the Ty one’s. I thought they were somewhat on the same level, so I can’t understand the price difference. Are they relatively the same level?

Final question is does anyone know whether or not you can crop a picture (and which software is best to use) manually by like tracing or specifically outlining the portion you want. Other than by just making a box or something around it.

Thanks very much in advance for any insight / advice / help you can provide to this newbie. Sorry for the several questions, but I trust someone out there has had to deal with these things in the past and probably knows the answers off the top of their head. Thanks again.

I’ve been using the r300 for about a year, and have not experienced the problems you are having with ink. I let mine dry for about 3 hrs and they are fine. Seems like there is somewhere on the printcd function where you can control how much ink flows. You might try to back down one setting. I have printed on Prodiscf01’s, and Taiyo Yudens, and both give almost the same results. I just don’t get as good of burn quality on the prodisc’s. As for images to put on the dvd, I just scan the vhs cover with my scanner, resize it, import it in the print software, adjust size, and print. It automatically crops to fit the cd. Sure it doesn’t look exactly the same as the original, but you do get the general picture…