CD PACKAGING

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CD PACKAGING

I have just received, from an on-line seller, a copy of the new Abbado recording of Fidelio. And I am appalled at the cheap and nasty, totally inadequate packaging. It is not a plastic jewel case as was once used, nor even a cardboard box, but little more than an thin cardboard envelope. Utterly unsuitable for being posted and yet I suppose that a majority of CDs purchased these days are bought on-line and will thus travel to the buyer by post. I don't hold either the on-line retailer nor the postal service responsible for the condition in which my copy arrived. The recording doubtless cost a fortune to make and yet the end product does not, apparently, deserve qualty marketing. Yes, I know one doesn't play the packaging - but to have a proper container in which to keep the recording for years to come I cannot but think collectors would be prepared to pay whatever small increase in price might be involved. Perhaps the recording company is trying to discourage any form of purchase other than down-loading from the web?

RE: CD PACKAGING

So CD packaging is getting even worse? It is surprising that after nearly 30 years of the format no really satisfying form of packaging has been found: jewel cases are too fragile; in the case of twofers and digipacks it is often very difficult to prise the discs out. The only decent jewel cases I have come across are those used for SACDs, made of thicker plastic and which release the disc easily.

Adrian

RE: CD PACKAGING

I like the Harmonia Mundi style where a cardboard case/booklet folds open to reveal the disc embedded in the middle like a still unravished bride of quietness, as Keats said when he bought his first one.  I don't mind too much cheapie discs with cheapie packaging, but three boos to Soli Deo Gloria's Brahms symphony cycle - nice booklet again with the CD packaging an integral part of it, but this time just a cardboard sleeve from which the disc can only be extracted by gripping both surfaces in the little cut-out half-moon left for the purpose, and pulling hard, leaving thumb prints on the playing surface every time.

DF

RE: CD PACKAGING

As I rip every new CD to hard-drive storage and digital streaming, the quality of the packaging is not an issue for me.  I keep them on display for selecting what to listen to, and occasionally to refer to the booklet.  Cardboard packaging is fine as long as it has a spine for the title display.  It does its bit for the environment too, of course.

Downloading, or continual streaming (like Spotify) will take over eventually, I guess, and companies are gearing up for this by the trend to ever more flimsy packaging.  It is less of an issue for them if you select music on-line.  You see the picture but don't handle the product.

Losing decent jewel cases is reminiscent of losing vinyl sleeves - regretable but inevitable. 

Vic.

RE: CD PACKAGING

Totally agree with the comment on SACD packaging.

I realise that CDs will cease to be marketed at all in time; meanwhile I don't see the connection with the demise of LP sleeves that surely only disappeared as a result of the demise of the format - they didn't suffer a gradual downgrade in quality while the format was still being marketed as the principal music carrier. I had not imagined that the move to poor quality packaging was to help save the planet. But surely classical music CD purchasers are not habitually throwing them away and thus creating a threat to the environment from plastic jewel cases?

RE: CD PACKAGING

Yes, the packaging of the new Fidelio is very poor - the cardboard case is not sturdy enough and the booklet falls out too easily.  The record companies will cause their own demise through treating their customers so badly - particularly with cheap packaging for a prestige release like this one.  SACD cases are definitely better.  The trend towards cheaper packaging is very disappointing.  The only reason the record companies do it is to cut costs.  Incidentally, good packaging enhances and promotes records - one has only to look at the many excellent Harmonia Mundi releases.  Now there is a label worthy of support with many superb performances often of non-mainstream works and always superbly presented.  Why would anyone wish to download when the pleasure of owning a beautifully presented recording is part of the experience?

RE: CD PACKAGING

I can't understand why some recording labels are so defeatist in deciding that the future is digital only. I agree completely with what Scoastlistener says about Harmonia Mundi. My main area of interest is early and baroque music, so the label is of interest anyway, but I find myself buying more H. M. releases than those of any other label because they take such care with every aspect of their releases. I am also very impressed by the packaging of releases on Alia Vox and SDG. If labels show that they care about the way their releases are presented, then I feel sure that they will continue to have strong CD sales. I am in my 40s, but I have never bought a download and I hope that CDs will continue to be produced just as vinyl still is. In fact sales of recordings on vinyl are increasing (although in the areas of dance, rock and experimental music rather than in classical).

RE: CD PACKAGING

I have built up over the years a substantial stock of spare jewel cases.

Buying most of my CDs online it is inevitable that the odd one turns up in a damaged jewel case.

As for the new Abbado Fidelio, if bought, I would immediately transfer the discs to jewel cases.

RE: CD PACKAGING

I've always thought that if I taught product design (which I don't and am never likely to) the first assignment I'd give students would be to design a proper CD case.

All of the numerous 'jewel case' variants have significant weaknesses - one or more of:

- can't be opened easily

- won't stay shut properly

- can't be shut easily (the front cover somehow jams open)

- don't have deep enough 'tabs' on the front cover to hold a decent booklet

- have a 'rose' (the thing that's supposed to hold the CD) from which it's impossible to remove the CD

-  have a 'rose' on which most of the 'petals' snap off the first time you press it (or have even mostly snapped off when you buy it).

 

In short, I hate the CD jewel case more than pretty much any item of modern packaging other than, perhaps, the heat-sealed blister pack.

 

 

"Louder! Louder! I can still hear the singers!"

- Richard Strauss to the orchestra, at a rehearsal.

RE: CD PACKAGING

troyen1 wrote:

I have built up over the years a substantial stock of spare jewel cases.

Most of mine are from old Gramophone covermount CDs!

P

RE: CD PACKAGING

phlogiston wrote:

troyen1 wrote:

I have built up over the years a substantial stock of spare jewel cases.

Most of mine are from old Gramophone covermount CDs!

P

As are mine;-)

I find that it is the "rose petals" that are the most vulnerable for some reason.

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