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Impress with a stomp
CD Stomper Pro
Member Name: partyspice
CD Stomper Pro
Date: 05/03/01, updated on 05/03/01 (1958 review reads)
Advantages: Good software, labels and stomper for excellent results
Disadvantages: A bit pricey and so are the refills
My mate was up from London recently and we went out on a bit of a spree. He advised me that PC World had a decent selection of CD printing stuff. Dixons had only one kit (PC Line) and just refills for other kits.
His advice was productive. PC World stock about four different types of kit. He uses CD Stomper and recommended that because the software was decent and the CD Stomper itself was the best he had used. The cost was £24.99.
The kit itself includes:
CD Stomper machine, which gets the labels you create on to the CD evenly and easily
Labels of various sorts (10 x Jewel Case and 50 x CD labels)
CD with software to create jewel case and CD labels
Small booklet to get you started
CD Stomper Machine
Round and plastic with a pop-up spindle in the middle. The spindle is in two sizes – the lower half being larger in diameter than the top part. The knob in the centre turns and locks down. You twist it the anti-clockwise to make it pop up (ooer). You then take a CD label and turn it so the sticky side is facing up and place it over the larger of the two spindles – it is a perfect fit. You then take the CD you wish to label and place it (the right way up!) on the smaller of the two spindles (which is the size of the CD hole). Then press the CD and spindle down firmly and release. The result is a perfect CD label. The only time it could go wrong is if you don’t get the label down properly in the first place.
The label sheets are quite clever. The jewel case label sheets contain a front cover and a CD tray cover.
The jewel case label sheets come with instructions on them, like an arrow show which way the sheet has to be inserted into the printe
r and clear borders. They are also perforated for easier separation.
The CD label sheets include 2 CD labels on each sheet. They also include two Mini Disc covers as well. If you need to only print one label then you can. You then re-use the same sheet to print a different label. The software guides you through this process, although I have to say the printing bit is not that simple.
The CD sheets are sticky one side. You just peel them off when you are done and then use the Stomper to apply it to your CD creation.
The software itself is fine. You are able to select templates (A4 or US style) and apply designs to each. The way I did it was to do the case covers first and save the result. Then I did the CD design, which was a little more intricate.
When designing your labels you can add text, images and Word Art type text as well. The tools available are quite powerful for the purpose and allow you to do some nice effects, such as radial fills and shading effects. Nothing to get excited about but enough to do nice labels. Anything extra, such as image design must be done in other packages, such as Paint Shop Pro for example. You can then import them in to your label design using the image tool.
Designs are saved in the native extension that the software can read.
Ooh the biggy!!! When you come to print you will see an option called calibrate printer. As all printers are set up slightly differently when printing labels, the actual design may not match up with the label. This little option aims to help by setting parameters to compensate for printer alignment differences.
Does it work? Dogs doodahs it doesn’t!!! When you ask for a calibration print you will get a sheet of paper with a cross on it identifying horizontal and vertical axis, negative and positive. Instructions say fold the paper in half, then half again. Unfold and note where the creases cross
the axis. Along the axis are numbers (+ and -). Input these into the offset fields on the calibration option. Hey presto!
Not!!! Ensure you have plain paper to do this and ensure your printer is in economy mode and not high quality printing! Even when you think you have sussed it when you do a real label it throws the alignment out again. In the end guesswork and experimentation cuts in.
I did get some very good results in the end, still slightly out of line, but not bad for a first attempt. Once the weird calibration option is sorted out the package is so simple to use and very, very good like my mate said it was. Funnily enough he had not had as much trouble as I have had setting the printer up. Weird!
The software is friendly enough to work with and the paper for labels is very good. Bad side is the refills cost £19.99 each from PC World. If anyone knows where they are cheaper then comments are welcome!
The CD Stomper itself is excellent with neat results each time so you don’t waste labels that way for sure!
Practice with the software. It may take a little getting used to. Check out the site (included on the packaging) for software upgrades and free stuff like templates and graphics.
Before printing the real thing, use plain paper to print out your labels, then align them by hand to a real label sheet (hold to the light) and see where the errors are in calibration.
You don’t need to use 720dpi. Lower resolutions seem to work rather well for this sort of printing. Unless you are out to do professional labels don’t bother using loads of ink.
If you are into writing your own music and/or software and want to impress, then making your own labels is a sure-fire impress technique.
You can get pens to mark your CDs and that is ok for general use or back-ups, etc. If that is all you need to use CDs for then investing in a kit like t
his may not be worthwhile. For me I do find it worthwhile and the results please me!
Do check the other makes out though. There are others that are cheaper and may fit into the budget more readily than CD Stomper…
Overall I am glad I got this. It is nice to have something recommended that does work, even if the printing option is not exactly simple to sort out in the first five minutes. Persevere and the results will be good. From then on – up to you! Get labelling!