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What KIND of disk do you give to a Client? DVD/CD

Chimera H , Jun 17, 2009; 11:15 a.m.

I just saved some images to a CD-RW after my DVD-RWs weren't working on my computer.

I've had people in the past have difficulty opening both kinds of disks (especially DVDs).

So, what kind of disk do you give your clients?


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Steve Nuzum , Jun 17, 2009; 11:19 a.m.

We give DVD's. Image files are too large. One wedding spans 6 DVD's. If we gave them CD's they would need an entire CD Wallet to hold them all. We use Toast 10 for MAC to burn and it creates a little menu that pops up and shows them which files are on which disc and is searchable. So no looking for were the reception pictures are. You know exactly which disc they are on. It also has a restore feature which will rebuild the exact file structure on their machine with a click of the button and it then starts to copy files to their machine, telling them when to switch discs.

Sheri Johnson , Jun 17, 2009; 11:28 a.m.

dvds normally are required if you have too much data to copy to CD

Sheri Johnson , Jun 17, 2009; 11:29 a.m.

maybe the problem is in you using rewriteable discs

Natalie L , Jun 17, 2009; 12:23 p.m.

Maybe this is a dumb questions, Steve - but do you use blu ray discs for Toast 10 or anything specific?

William Porter , Jun 17, 2009; 12:25 p.m.

I generally give a data DVD. I can usually get my pick of the images (say, about 200 files) on a single DVD: 200 10MB files = very roughly 2 GB or about half of the capacity of a DVD. Sometimes I provide an "outtakes" selection as well that might go on the same disk if there's room or another disk if there's not. I'm impressed with Steve N.'s needing SIX disks. That's a heckuva lot of files!!

My image files are usually sorted into four folders: Prelims, Ceremony, Formals and Reception. I provide hi-res jpegs, not raw files.

I use LightScribe to burn nice titles on the disks. The titles say something like "John & Jane's Wedding Photos, 2/14/2009." and in smaller print on the label "Copyright (c) 2009 William Porter Photography, Dallas, TX." The disk also includes a text version of the end-user license.

Along with the license, I also provide a document - both printed and on the disks - suggesting how people care for their disks and warning them that digital archives require maintenance: there's no guarantee that today's DVDs will be easy to read in, say, 40 years (or even in 10 years). I have boxes full of disks from the 1980s and 1990s that I can't easily access now: Sony 3.5" microfloppies, Zip and Jaz disks, even old hard disks with hardware interfaces that none of my current computers support. I think it's important to warn people that having their wedding photos on a disk in many ways is a BAD TECHNOLOGICAL choice. Prints made on good paper are a much more reliable data format.

As for the difficulty your clients have had opening disks, this is a real problem and a bit too geeky for this forum. You'll have to review the options your CD burning software gives you and perhaps do a little reading. Then spend some time (probably many hours) burning disks and testing them on different computers. The jpeg format for individual files is universally supported (at the present time). But it's the disk format that can be a problem. I'm giving serious thought to NOT providing disks in the future and instead uploading image files to an online file service, letting users download them if they want and burn their own darned disk. Haven't made that decision yet (I'm still giving out disks) but I'm thinking about it.

Steve Nuzum , Jun 17, 2009; 01:06 p.m.

Natalie, Not yet. We are looking at it, but the technology hasn't spread enough yet and it is still pretty costly. Right now something like $20 per disc. We have discussed this as a solution to backing up the files for ourselves. Right now we just use standard Memorex Printable DVD-R's for the couples and we print the discs with some of our favorite photos from each wedding. We have blu ray in our sights, but still on the horizon.

Steve C. , Jun 17, 2009; 02:01 p.m.

DVD-R is preferable for distribution to users with unknown computer configurations. Even so, I occasionally run across folks who cannot read them on their older computer drives.

I use archival grade glossy-surface (Watershield) discs from Taiyo Yuden that are hub-printable and inkjet compatible. I run them through my Epson R280. The hub-printable ones have a printable surface right down to the hole in the center, so you can compose a photo background from the event to cover the whole disc surface. Unlike the Lightscribe, they're full color.

Gregory C , Jun 17, 2009; 02:32 p.m.

"""I think it's important to warn people that having their wedding photos on a disk in many ways is a BAD TECHNOLOGICAL choice. Prints made on good paper are a much more reliable data format."""""
OK, here we go,,
that is what I like about film, there are plenty of 75+ year old negs around still producing good images

Marcus Ian , Jun 17, 2009; 02:56 p.m.

I use MAM-A DVD-R Archival disks, never (ever) had a problem w/ a customer loosing data from a bad disk of this type. (though my understanding is that most (except belkin) archival grade DVD-/+R disks are just as reliable)
considering the 'normal' life span of a 'standard' DVD-/+R is somewhere around ten years I think this will shortly become a serious issue. I know I had numerous 'standard' DVD/R failures from disks less than two years old (stored properly, but I do live in the south) before I switched to archival grade disks.

If there was a lightscribe disc available that was of archival grade, I'd pay twice for that since I think it looks awesome... but, I'm not willing to compromise the data!

I'm confident in my choice of media, even though an archival DVD may (in 15-20 yrs or sooner) be utterly useless to a client someday, negatives already are . However, just as you can take negatives down to any print shop and make as many prints as you like, so I predict obsolete digital media will be. Or, worst case, you send off the DVD to a 'specialty' shop that copies your files into the current digital media. I'm much more worried about disc failure, which I've done everything in my power to mitigate w/ archival grade media. If better quality stuff becomes available, I'd switch in a heartbeat...

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