updated: April 2015. I've stopped using CD label software and
just resort to a Sharpie Pen. Printing Labels takes a lot of
time, and the labels seemed to often affect the disc in certain
players. If you have one of the thermal printers that print
direct to CD, those may still be a good alternative.
Updates: Deleted Cyberlink's
LabelPrint2 (no longer available); deleted Green Point Software
(company seems to be gone); deleted HP's Lightscribe website (website
gone, but I think the technology is still supported);
NOT use paper
DVD! Experience (as evidenced from many Internet forums)
that paper labels on DVDs can cause rotation
problems since the label can never be precisely
rotation problems can result in the DVD not being read
Also, there are some discussions on the
Internet about the glue from the label interacting with
CD's and DVD's,
unreadable. I am not convinced this is true, but if you
want to be safe
you might want to abandon paper labels altogether and go
with one of
the alternatives, at least for DVDs, which seem to be
more sensitive to
the effects of sticky labels.
1. Using Sharpie or similarly branded permanent
manually mark your discs. Sharpie even makes markers
specifically writing on CDs and DVDs. (Note I have even
of some of these inks negatively interacting with discs,
but I have not
substantiated any of these claims and I continue to use
I, for the most part, have stopped using
simply because of the time it takes, but my poor
handwriting using a
Sharpie sure doesn't look very professional!
Now that you've burned that perfect CD, you need something better to label it than scribbling with a Sharpie® pen (though see note above). There are many label programs and kits available that allow you to create your own custom labels and easily apply them to your finished CDs. When I went to purchase one back in 2003, however, none of the salespeople were very helpful at helping me know the differences between the available programs, or even what I should look for in a program. Note that some programs let you label not just the CD, but they also provide tools to make covers for your jewel cases and/or DVD boxes.
Initially, this page provided a quick review of many of the CD Label programs. Since it has been over 6 years since that initial review, however, I've decided to remove the "review" part, and simply provide links to the various sites where you can check out the features for yourself. Most of the developers provide free demos you can download so you can try the program. I do provide a list of things to look for when evaluating a program (below) to help you decide what features you want in a label program.
The basic process for creating a label is simple: import
an image to be
used for the background, apply text for the title and
perhaps the song
titles, insert your labels into your printer, print, and
apply to your
CD! If you store your CDs in Jewel cases, you may also
want to print
covers and tray lables for the Jewel case.
Some CD label kits come with everything you need: labels,
specialized software, and an applicator to make applying
the label to
the CD easier. In some cases, however, the software that
comes in these
kits is limited to using the labels made by that
manufacturer. If you
want to use labels from a different company, you need to
additional software. Thankfully, there are several
programs that are
able to handle CD labels from most of the major suppliers.
Label Program Feature Overview:
most have downloadable demonstration versions, it is
probably best for
you to try those that seem good to you. The features you
might want to
check out in each of the programs include:
LightScribe, other Direct-to-Disc Technology:
now produce products that allow you to print CD and
directly on the disc, rather than on a label. This is a
over paper labels since you don't have to worry about the
destroying your CD or a mis-applied label throwing your
balance. The brand of direct-to-disc printer or CD/DVD
burner you own
will drive the software you need.
Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker
|I really liked this program
I demo'd it some time ago - it was a toss up between this
Acoustica supports Lightscribe™ technology for printing right to the label.Also, great background images.
Avery Design Pro
|Avery provides the Design Pro
software as a free download. It is designed to support their
of mailing labels, business cards, an so forth, and includes
for CD labels. Looks good if you use Avery brand labels. I
it supports Lightscribe.
|This program runs on the
MAC (no Windows) and looks pretty nice from the web-site
not a MAC user).
In addition to standard labels, it also supports Lightscribe™, Labelflash™, and DiscT@2™ direct to disc labeling technologies
Encore Software Ltd.
The Print Shop Elements Label
Creator & Business Cards; The Print Shop Deluxe
|Broderbund makes a few
multi-purpose labeling programs. The Print Shop Elements
very low cost (around $10 as of Oct 2009). Print Shop Deluxe
layout program for brochures, letterhead, signs and more,
& DVD labels. No demos available. I don't believe that
|French Company Droppix makes
Droppix Recorder, which includes a LightScribe™ compatible
Downloadable demo available.
Memorex CD & DVD LabelMaker
|Commercial kit comes with a
CD & DVD
Label Maker Kit and applicator. You
can download the software from the main Memorex website - go
Support and Downloads section. Note this software is from
upgrade page points to the SureThing CD Labeler.
|Offers MediaFace software for
purchase, and also provides an On-line Design Software for
|While not a stand-alone CD label editor, the Nero Audio/Video editor tools include functions for CD/DVD burning as well as labeling for media and the boxes. Nero 9 provides support for Lightscribe™, Labelflash™, and DiscT@2™ direct to disc labeling technologies||http://www.nero.com
(Medea International Ltd)
|Win/MAC support. I'm not sure
the relationship with Memorex, but the software names are
similar. exPressit 3.x is JAVA software that supports
printing. Available as a free download. A large gallery of
available for free online, but you have to
select images one by one...
|The Roxio Audio/Video editor
tools include tools for CD/DVD burning as well as labeling
and the boxes. It is not clear if Lightscribe support is
CD/DVD Labeler Deluxe
|Mult-vendor label support,
including Lightscribe™ and various
printers. I have an older
version of this program, and liked it the best back when I
choose (back in 2003). Well done,