[MacDV] Re: 2 questions

Derek Roff derek at unm.edu
Fri Jul 3 16:35:49 PDT 2009

Given the eighteen day delay that email messages seem to be 
experiencing, I'm not sure if any answers are still useful.  But I will 
give it a try.  I'm responding on July 3rd to this message, whose 
header indicates that it was posted to the list on June 15th.  I 
received the message today.

I would never put a DVD with a paper label in any slot-loading drive. 
I don't like them in any case.  I print labels on my CDs and DVDs with 
an Epson Photo R300, which I believe cost me $66, on sale several years 
ago.  I also have an Epson 900, which cost me $42 on sale.  The point 
being, if you watch the sales, getting an inkjet that will print CDs 
and DVDs doesn't have to cost a lot.  These printers will print 
photographs and other graphic images, along with text.  I use Taiyo 
Yuden white inkjet printable DVDs and CDs.  The text looks great.  The 
graphics look fair to very good, depending on how much time I spend 
preparing the images, and adjusting the colors.  And the quality of ink 
cartridge that I buy.

Ink cost is always an issue with inkjet printers, but a DVD is fairly 
small, compared to a sheet of paper.  Hence, you can print more DVDs 
than letter-sized graphics or photos, with a given amount of ink.  I 
have felt that printing DVDs uses the expected amount of ink per amount 
of text and graphics that I use on the label, and is not a particular 
problem for me.

Printing is fairly slow with these printers, perhaps two minutes per 
disk.  Although this is lightening-fast, compared to LightScribe.  The 
ink needs to dry about an hour, before putting the disk in a drive. 
Sooner, and you sometimes get spin art, with the ink migrating to the 
outside edge of the disk.  Drying time depends on humidity and 
temperature, of course.

The Epson label printing software is fine, and fairly easy to use, for 
simple labels.  It is annoying, if you want more control and less 
repetition of steps in preparing new labels.  There are some templates 
on the web for label printing with Photoshop and InDesign.  Probably 
others.  I finally created a template in my favorite graphics and text 
program, Canvas X.  It took about half an hour to get the alignment 
right with the printer.  Since then, my labels have been much easier 
and better.  So if you have a favorite graphics program, don't be 
afraid to use it for preparing your labels.

Mini-DV tape is nearly dead, but it is still the kind of camcorder that 
I would buy.  I like the ZR-900 pretty well, for a low-end camcorder. 
If you are comfortable with the ZR line, then the 900 is a good choice. 
Hard drives and memory cards have too much compression for my tastes, 
which leads to transcoding issues and delays.  I keep hoping that soon 
we will be offered a codec and format that could last a while, like 
mini-DV did, but I haven't seen it yet.  I think the current tapeless 
systems are all going to fade away quickly, when something good appears 
on the market.


> DVD label printer
> 1. My students produced a video yearbook and decided to burn the
> copies at school instead of sending them out to be duplicated. We
> used paper labels (DVD laser ones), but they caused a few problems.
> Some folks reported they had to take the label off to make it play or
> play correctly.
> Looking ahead, if we decide to do this again, can someone suggest a
> label printer that would do more than just letters, and would not
> cost thousands of dollars?
> On the same topic, is using a great quantity of ink an issue for
> these types of machines?
> Advice appreciated.
> Mini-DV tape vs. hard drive camcorder
> 2. I am about to buy a new mini-DV camcorder. I've settled on a Canon
> ZR 900. I like that the tape loads from the top, and it seems
> familiar to me as I'm replacing a Canon ZR 80.
> My husband can't believe that I don't want a hard drive camera or a
> flash drive camera instead. My reason is that I've heard that these
> cameras can't (or have problems) importing to either/both iMovie and
> Final Cut Express. But I'm pretty vague on this.
> Can anyone confirm/explain that staying with mini-DV tape is the way
> to go when you have importing and editing as your objective?
> Mary Ann

Derek Roff
Language Learning Center
Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek at unm.edu

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