CD and DVD Duplicators

Category: Hardware

So your garage band is ready to release its first album; congratulations! Or perhaps you've filmed a documentary, or developed some software that is to be distributed on CD. Either way, you need to duplicate CDs in mass quantities; say, 500 copies at a time. There are several ways to duplicate CDs or DVDs...

CD Duplication

Options for CD/DVD Duplication

There is an old saying in the dry cleaning business that applies to CD or DVD duplication: "We do things fast, cheaply, and well. Choose any two."

The free and slow way to duplicate a CD or DVD is built into most computers sold today. A basic consumer-grade CD or DVD drive that writes data to disc will do the job. Many consumer CD or DVD drives tout speeds of 48x or higher, but don't think you can write at those high speeds reliably.

The faster you burn a CD or DVD, the more likely you are to get write errors. That means the disc is unreadable in whole or in part; you've wasted a blank disc and you have to do it all over again. The optimal write speed for a CD or DVD drive is about 16x. At that rate, it takes several minutes to copy a single disc. But the "CD burner" drive is included with most computers, or costs as little as $30 new. It's the "cheaply and well" but slow option.

If you're opting for the do-it-yourself method, keep in mind that not all discs are created equal. See my article Lifetime of a CDROM Disk for some tips on selecting a high quality disk.

To duplicate CDs or DVDs fast and well takes a lot more money: $200 to $700 for moderate volume dedicated disc duplicators. These devices are essentially stacks of multiple disc drives that allow you to burn up to a dozen copies of a disc simultaneously. Higher priced systems ($1100 and up) can burn over 100 copies at once.

Each drive in a CD or DVD duplicator is enhanced to burn reliably at higher speeds than consumer-grade drives; 22x versus 16x is typical in the lower price ranges. CD and DVD duplicators include larger memory buffers for more reliable write operations; bins that automatically feed blank discs to the drive; pass/fail counters; and other features to make high volume CD or DVD duplication easier.

CD Duplication Services

There is a lot more to CD or DVD mass production than just burning discs. You will need to design, print, and apply labels to discs; stuff each disc into a paper sleeve or plastic jewel case; even insert cardboard case covers; and keep inventories of blank and finished discs. If you don't have the time or space of all of that, a CD or DVD duplicator service may be your best option.

For example, offers duplicator services as well as DIY hardware systems. They'll help you produce your master CD or DVD, optimizing its data for best playback and most efficient burning. Then they'll churn out however many copies you want at a cost as low as $0.25 per copy. They'll even label and package finished discs for you. Turnaround time is as fast as 48 hours. is another CD/DVD duplication service. Friends of mine have told me the quality is excellent, and you can get a CD duplicated, labelled, and placed in a shrink-wrapped jewel case for about $1.

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Most recent comments on "CD and DVD Duplicators"

Posted by:

Linda Brain
11 Nov 2015

Brilliant explanations about the DVD duplicators and the services. The most efficient and reliable DVD duplication service I know is DVD Duplication you should give it a try.

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