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Replacement for Jewel Cases? 240

Posted by Cliff
from the something-more-sturdy-please dept.
PsychoBrat asks: "I'm surrounded by jewel cases at work and at home, and although most of them are still holding together to some extent, a lot of them have either cracked fronts, broken hinges or snapped teeth. Slim cases generally annoy me because I can't tell them apart by looking at their spines, and wallets take too long to sort through. What do you use in place of the standard fragile jewel cases to keep all your discs organized?"
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Replacement for Jewel Cases?

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  • You mean.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:43PM (#15537192) Homepage
    they make cases for these things?!?
  • 150 CD book (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dark Coder (66759) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:44PM (#15537194)
    Get one of those nylon cloth book with a thick spline and over 150 plastic pocketed pages that holds 8 CDs each in plain view.
    • Re:150 CD book (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jehdro (973004) *
      Against jewel cases, books are an even trade or worse. Frequently-played CDs are doomed from the constant friction of being pulled in and out (despite the protective pits, dust and debris do get in and do some damage); not a lot of artists clearly label the CDs themselves these days; and if you actually fill one of those books they begin crumble under the weight of the CDs. I struggled with books vs. jewel cases vs. slim cases for years. The only viable solution I found was made by Apple and cost more th
      • The clothbooks are horrible on CDs that are used often. However for some system restore cds you never touch it isn't a bad option. Just be aware of the scratching problem before use.
    • Re:150 CD book (Score:3, Informative)

      by sconeu (64226)
      RTFS. He said that a wallet wasn't an option.
  • Storage (Score:3, Informative)

    by z3r0n3 (665185) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:50PM (#15537222) Homepage
    100 Capacity CD-R spindles for the cheap guys, and the huge super-100 capacity cd/dvd binders. You can get a nice binder for $15 these days. Both ways are very efficient and save much more space than jewel cases.
  • Rip them all?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by riprjak (158717) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:51PM (#15537227)
    Do away with physical storage beyond backups of your library... Ok, thats a little facetious; but it *is* the solution I selected.

    As an aside, where the hell did the name "jewel case" come from. Its cheap arse polystyrene with some coloured paper and a lump of polycarbonate and aluminium inside. There is nothing even vaguely jewel-like about it?!!?

    err!
    jak.
    • Re:Rip them all?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:25PM (#15537421) Homepage

      From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

      Origin of the name: the case does not derive in any way from containers for jewelry. Instead, the name apparently originates from watchmakers' use of the term jewel to refer generally to a polished hemispherical bearing used in a mechanism (high-quality mechanical watches and clocks commonly use gemstones, typically rubies, for such bearings because of their low friction properties). A jewel case has two moulded hemispherical plastic bearings, in its hinges, hence the use of the term "jewel".

    • polystyrene? polycarbonate? aluminium?

      What kind of jewel cases have you been looking at?
      • AFAIK : The polyer used to make the "Jewel case" is PolyStyrene.

        I DEFINATELY know that the material used to make CD's is PolyCarbonate (ok, occasionally PMMA) and that the back is an aluminium mirror... unless Im wrong :)

        And thanks for the wikipedia reference earlier!! I really should have thought of looking there if it bothered me so much :)
        • My mistake, I'd thought we were just talking about the case alone.

          I should have clicked when you said polycarbonate that you were including the CD.

  • Paper Sleeves (Score:2, Interesting)

    by azrane2005 (860037)
    I use different colored paper sleeves. Those packs of 50 in 5 colors from Memorex are great and disposable
    • Added advantage is that paper is much more environmentally friendly than oil burning plastics. I've started using card in cases for demos that I send out from my band for this reason.
    • by RedBear (207369)
      I use different colored paper sleeves. Those packs of 50 in 5 colors from Memorex are great and disposable

      Paper is made of wood fibers and will scratch CD and DVD coatings. If you keep discs in paper sleeves you can end up "fogging" the disc with micro-scratches to the point where it won't be readable anymore, at least not without being repaired by something like this [cyberguys.com]. (Just for reference I have had great results from that particular unit, and it doesn't leave radial lines like the "Skip Dr." units.)

      Instead
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Use CD cases for CDs, and jewel cases for jewels.
  • Depends on ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bad D.N.A. (753582) <baddna @ g mail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:53PM (#15537239)
    what it's for. If it's DVDs for the kids it goes in a folder. If it's essential backups they go in hard cases. If it's one of the zillions of other backups I make I simply title them, date them, and drop them right back on a spare spindle. They take up less space, they are as protected as any other method, and I know before hand that chances are I wont ever need to look at them again, but just in case, I've got them.
  • Spindles! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrismith (911614) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:55PM (#15537255)
    Personally, I use CD-R spindles...the big ones can hold 50 or 100 discs each. Sometimes more if you take out those little foam things they use as padding.

    It makes for efficient storage, but when you actually need to find a CD, it's even worse than thin cases or binders, because you have to shuffle through a huge stack of discs to find the one you're looking for...and that's assuming that you know which spindle it's on in the first place.

    So...basically, for ease-of-location, spindles are a bad idea.

    • I use spindles myself, and the very basic supercheap trick I use is to cut out some CD/DVD-sized pieces of paper with a 'tab' on it to write a genre/series title/whatever - you can even color-code if you want to get fancy like that. Furthermore I have three different spindles: one for movies, one for all computer software, and one for photo archives+recorded TV shows+whatever else.

      So if I'm looking for e.g. War Games, I merely have to grab the Movies spindle, open it up, look for the SciFi tab, and it's on
      • I do something similar...I use multiple DVD spindles to hold movies/tv seasons, but I just keep them in alphabetical order. I made up a spreadsheet with a listing of all the movies I've got, followed by sections for location (dvd rack for retail, spindles for uhhh movies without cases, cabinets for VHS), format (actual dvd, divx, etc), then genre and sub-genres. So when I want to watch a comedy, just use the auto-filter deal in excel to show only comedy movies.

        This way saves on digging through spindles
    • The problem with spindles other then actually finding one disk is that if you twist them, the CDs or DVDs tend to get scratched axialy which is the most difficult orientation for the error correcting code to recover from. This is the same reason they recommend cleaning them in the radial direction.
  • I feel your pain (Score:5, Informative)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:57PM (#15537267)
    I feel your pain, man. I've moved several times in the last 5 years and jewel & DVD cases have been big problems for me. Here's a couple of things I've done:

    1. Ive purchased a few of those Nylon CD case thingies at Best Buy. Okay, I'm an idjit for not knowing the proper name for them, but hopefully you get the idea. I intentionally bought ones that are very different in design so I could tell them apart. I have a grey one that I keep the DVDs in and a black one for backups. I also have a blue one for some of my PS2/Dreamcast games etc.

    2. I have a big hard drive that I've copied a number of the CDs to. Nearly all of my driver and application installs are there and I can just browse to the folder and get it started. I've also downloaded cracks for a few of my games so I could do that as well. (I love how that makes me a pirate even thoug I own the game.) Every year or so I buy a new hard drive and move the data over. Lately I've been using external drives so that this process would be a little more laptop friendly.

    Eventually I'm going to rip my DVDs and do the same little trick I mentioned in step 2. I have a DVD +RW DVD burner that my DVD player happily plays, so on movie night I can just get a burn going and play it. (More specifically, start the burn the night before... but you probably get what I mean.)

    With hard drives as big as they are these days, physical media is becoming more and more of a nuisance. Netflix is looking awfully good to me right now.
    • Re:I feel your pain (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Calmiche (531074) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:28PM (#15537439)
      Regarding # 2

      I've actually taken this a step farther. I've pieced together a RAID 1 array, using an old computer, stuffed with a high powered power supply and lots of 400 gig harddrives. (They are cheap. Yes, I know there are bigger drives, but I can afford $150 out of a paycheck easier than $400+.) I have about 2 terabytes so far, but I figure that with PCI expansion cards, I can get up to almost 3 terabytes, with fairly secure data, easily. If you want to ommit the redundency, you can hit 6 terrabytes+.

      I've got it hooked up on my LAN, where all my computers in my house can access it. I've ripped about half of my 300+ DVD collection so far using Nero Recode. I've got subtitles, alternate language tracks, and extras.

      Coupled with a couple of fairly simple little sub $300 computers hooked up to my televisions, I've got access to my entire colletion anywhere in the house.

      I've done the same thing with much of my software and CD's. (Daemon tools is your best friend!)

      What's nice about this system is that it's cheap and you can buy in installments. The computer I use is a VERY low end system. All it has to have is the ability to network share. I've got an old Pentium Celeron at 1.0 ghz. Buy one hard drive and you are in business. As you need space, buy more. Hard drives are getting cheaper and more spacious every month.

      I'm going to upgrage systems again and turn my current computer into a second server. Maybe then I'll get the rest of my DVD's ripped.
      • That's neat! Ever thought about getting a wi-fi enabled PocketPC with VNC and making a remote?
        • that's a great idea. I had plans to do something similar once I"m out of school and have money, only using my ibook. A PPC or something like it would probably work better.
      • I've actually taken this a step farther. I've pieced together a RAID 1 array, using an old computer, stuffed with a high powered power supply and lots of 400 gig harddrives. (They are cheap. Yes, I know there are bigger drives, but I can afford $150 out of a paycheck easier than $400+.) I have about 2 terabytes so far, but I figure that with PCI expansion cards, I can get up to almost 3 terabytes, with fairly secure data, easily. If you want to ommit the redundency, you can hit 6 terrabytes+.

        Redundancy and

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I've also downloaded cracks for a few of my games so I could do that as well. (I love how that makes me a pirate even though I own the game.)

      Right there with you brother.
      I started downloading the game cracks to avoid the hassles of the CD checks. With the CDs off in some never never land & the pirate checker on, I could never just play a game on a whim. I had to go dig the actual CD out of whatever plastic bin (toddler proofing)I put it in.

      The problem is once I learned to download the crack, I had als
  • by shack420 (821947) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:01PM (#15537287)
    http://www.papercdcase.com/images/cd.pdf [papercdcase.com] Can knock em out in 30 seconds once you get the hang of it. Good for mailing and scratch protection, maybe not so great for rough environments.
    • Would be nice to get a version of that that doesnt assume that you already know origami (For instance, wtf is the 'Fujimoto technique'? Or a 'mountain fold'?

      It also seems like it would be easier if there was an 8 1/2 x 11 PDF that was actually a template for the folding, you know with lines and whatnot on it.
      • This will produce a different case than what is described in the pdf. I have been using these steps since 1997 or so to make quick CD cases.

        1. Orientate the paper so the short edges are at the top and bottom (portrait).
        2. Place CD/DVD centered along the top short edge.
        3. Fold the extra paper on the left and right over the CD using the left and right edges of the CD as a guide. This is a straight vertical fold.
        4. Create a horizontal fold at the bottom of the CD. Use this fold to cover the CD
        5. You shou

  • It Depends (Score:5, Informative)

    by hahafaha (844574) * <lgrinberg@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:02PM (#15537293)
    It depends on two factors:

    1) How many CD's there are
    2) How often you expect to use them

    If there are many CD's, your choices are either thich jewel cases or the circular stacks with the pole in the middle, that come with a bunch of CD's. If you expect to look through them, you should buy the thick jewel cases (or a binder, actually). If you do not, storing them on the large circular things is great, because it does not take up too much space. Essentially, if you want to have it, *just in case*, go with the smallest, least obtrusive method. If you want to use them, then go with something that is easy to look through.

    Having said that, I suggest you stop using CD's. Buy a large USB disk, create a backup directory with a bunch of subdirectories, and use that instead. Or even buy an external hard drive for backups. If it's really that important to you, it's worth the cost. Also, consider backing up over a network to another server, as opposed to physical media (or along with physical media).
    • Re:It Depends (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bergeron76 (176351)
      For smaller CD arrays, we use a used CDR spindle. Once the CD's are gone, it makes for a nice holding area for discs. That said, don't put your only copy of your most valuable disc (which you shouldn't have... - ...[the single copy, that is]) on it. When seeking a disc, you just dump the discs into your hand and shuffle through them. It's not as efficient as a CD case, but it's the smallest form factor you can get.

      86 the Jewel cases. Unless you're shipping a CD, or using it in some other light industri
  • Own any CD-singles? These come in a slim package similar to jewel-cases. Unlike most "slim" cases you find CD-Rs in, these have an enclosure for J-shaped paper inserts, designed for titles to show through the transparent spine.

    So, versus jewel cases, you gain saved space, keep the ability to scan through a stack of them for the right disc, but also keep the fragility of plastic.

    I can't imagine you'd find any enclosure system not based on a plastic package that lets you scan through a stack of them.

  • by horn_in_gb (856751) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:02PM (#15537297)
    I think it helps to think about this problem and identify some basic constraints:
    1. You want to organize a great number of physical items. This means you simply need a proportional amount of space, unless you use a more efficient (i.e. physical volume per byte) storage medium
    2. You want a system that allows for easy access and identification of these items. This will require even more space, unless you offload access and/or identification to magical computer land.

    Just writing those two things out has led me to think of a number of possible solutions outside grappling for some magical panacea to CD storage:

    As for constraint #1, consider buying a hard-drive and migrating CD contents to the drive.
    As for constraint #2, there are a couple of ways to go. You could buy/build some sort of system that stores and retrieves CDs for you. Then you wouldn't need a bulky jewel case, just a bar code. In a similar but simpler vein, just make a database of all your CDs. There is a surprising amount of information present in the cases, which is why you want full view of them. But get that information in a database and you can use a simple UID to identify CDs. Then you can store CDs in small cases or even a binder.

    In fact, if you go to a UID system, you can put all your CDs in one of those big binders. If you keep them ordered by UID then you can access via binary search -- get your big O down to log(n)!
    • by terry (89685)
      Either print the barcode directly on the disc with an inkjet or use the Avery labels for CDs. They even make printable labels that go on the little portion of the CD in the center (not the hole).

      I went the no-tech and lazy way. I bought a bunch of the tyvek sleeves. I don't write on the sleeves, but I write directly on the disc with a marker. I throw the CD in any available sleeve, and put it in some reasonable order. I can usually find something quickly, but sometimes it takes a while.

      Unless you're so
  • Incredible (Score:3, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:04PM (#15537310) Homepage Journal
    Just incredible. Over a dozen posts, and not a single person has stated the obvious.

    Amaray DVD Cases [usplastic.com]

    They come in regular size and super-slim. You can place artwork inside that covers the front, back, AND spine. If you don't want artwork, you can get them in clear form. They fit on a standard bookshelf. They're made of durable, flexible plastic so they won't wear to anywhere near the same degree as CD cases. They can hold manuals, and other materials on the inside. You can get them in forms that hold multiple disks. Etc., etc., etc.

    Basically, they're the nearest thing to a perfect case.
    • Excuse me Mr. Moderator, but how can the first person to suggest the use of Amaray DVD cases for CDs be "Redundant?" Yeash.
      • by OldMiner (589872)

        I'm wagering the reason you're getting no love is that you linked directly to a page to buy the thing. There's a fair bit of anti-commercialism on Slashdot, and some might feel you're sort of astroturfing.

        And, sometimes, "Redundant" is the best way to mod down a post if "Troll" and "Flaimbait" and so on don't work. It comes with the added bonus you're a lot less likely to get hit on M2 with it, because who's going to read all of the comments to see if you're really and truly redundant?

    • Re:Incredible (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Myself (57572)
      I've never understood how "fit on standard bookshelves" was a feature of DVD cases. They're bulkier than jewel cases, which fit just fine on bookshelves and in a variety of other places that DVD cases do NOT.

      I'm not trying to defend jewel cases here, they're obnoxiously brittle and the little disc-hub latches don't work very well. But when people talk about DVD cases fitting on bookshelves like it's something new, I want to smack them.
      • I've never understood how "fit on standard bookshelves" was a feature of DVD cases.

        Simple. They don't just fit on bookshelves, they fit on bookshelves well. When you pack a large number of CDs next to each other, the weight and friction places a great deal of strain upon the cases. This dramatically reduces their life-expectency, and may lead to scratching, chipping, and cracking. Even worse, the edges of the CD cases can cause even more friction when trying to add or remove a jewel case from the shelf. Thi
    • Re:Incredible (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iainl (136759)
      Not that they need to be Amaray ones. Personally, I prefer Alpha's locking mechanism, as I've had fewer discs pop out in the mail.

      But yes, DVD cases are better than CD cases because the plastic isn't as brittle. They even make them at CD height, for those that don't like the "looks good on a bookshelf" thing.
  • A Few Solutions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miyako (632510) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <okayim>> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:07PM (#15537327) Homepage Journal
    There are really a few solutions, depending on how many disks your trying to keep track of and how often you actually need to get to them.
    If you are talking about a relatively small number of disks that you are going to access often, then the best solution is probably just copy the disk images to your hard drive. It's pretty simple to mount an image under Linux, and I believe there are programs available to do it under Windows too (though some games I think break this programs to prevent piracy). I'm not sure about OS X, since I've never actually had to do it.
    If you don't feel like (or can't) rip disks to your hard drive, and are still working with only a couple hunderd disks, then you might consider one of those holders that hangs on the wall. Not sure what they are called, think geek was selling them a while back. Basically, it's a big thing you hang on the wall, and put your disks in them so they face out. These work best if you don't have a bunch of disks that look the same (though you could always use a bit of tape and marker to label them).
    If you have a lot of disks that you need to get to occasionally, then the best solution is probably just to buy replacement jewel cases. They are pretty cheap in bulk and you can just transfer the liners into the new jewel case when the old one busts. This scales pretty well and you can just stick them on a shelf and quickly find what you need.
    Finally, if you have things that you almost never need to get to, or if you need to get to a bunch of cds at the same time (say, an OS disk, plus all driver disks, and software) then CD spindles seem to take the least amount of space. Just group the disks by task or category, then label them.
    If you go the replacement jewel case route, you might just consider getting DVD cases. I find that they are a bit more sturdy than regular jewel cases, and still fit well in rows on shelves.
    • I'm not sure about OS X, since I've never actually had to do it.

      The OS X disk tools make it incredibly easy to rip disks, then use the virtual media as if it were real media. For example, the Super Wing Commander disc I acquired was in serviceable condition, but I wouldn't trust it to continue operating for the long haul. So I ripped the disc, and stuck the physical media into storage. Whenever I want to play a game, I simply double click on the disk image to mounts it and go.
  • Ejectors (Score:4, Informative)

    by squisher (212661) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:11PM (#15537346)
    They are slim cases, but otherwise they are really great: Ejector CD cases [google.com]. I don't know if they have them in full jewel case width though, probably not, but that's the best I'm aware of.
  • A disc carousel (Score:3, Interesting)

    by agm (467017) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:11PM (#15537352)
    • "A disc carousel?"

      Why, oh why, won't someone come out with a disc carousel with a CD/DVD ROM drive integrated into it.
      Something like Sony's 400 CD/DVD changer, but that will handle CDROMs too.

      Load up your CDROM game disks into the thing and never search for the CD again when you want to play,
      and don't have to hassle with game cracks. Seriously, how hard can that be?

  • Spindles (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MikeDawg (721537) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:18PM (#15537385) Homepage Journal
    I have more spindles laying around my work and home than you can imagine. They are cheap and plentiful, and I have a million of them. The only bad side comes to the true organization of CDs. If you are somewhat good with "poor" organization, you can keep different CD/DVDs in different spindles.
  • How come the cases are snapped or broken? Do you want to put all the CD's and DVD's in a big envelope, or would that be at risk to be damaged as well?
  • Tell ya what I do (Score:2, Informative)

    by svunt (916464)
    I use catalogs and cases. For my 1300 data-filled dvds (legitimate backups, honest!) I use a nifty app called SuperCat which lets me browse all of my discs in an explorer-like interface, and is fully searchable. My discs are all in label order, so on average it takes me 30 seconds to find what I'm looking for in SuperCat, find the disc, and get it in the drive. For proper audio CDs or film DVDs, duh, store them alphabetically, in wallets or slimlines, or use another of many available catalog apps.
    • Indeed, SuperCat [no-nonsense-software.com] is a wonderful program. Each index for a CD/DVD is a standalone file so it's easy to put them on a shared LAN drive and move them around as needed.

      I use the 128/192 CD binders that hold (4) CDs per page in a 2x2 grid (8 CDs per leaf). Each binder holds a category / classification and I simply store them in calendar order (these are data archives where the disks are named SYS2005[ABC] or BKP0512[ABC]). Works fairly well and lets me pull data off the shelf behind me in quick order but w
  • Univenture (Score:3, Informative)

    by smilinggoat (443212) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @12:02AM (#15537614) Homepage Journal
    I used to DJ for a college radio station [kcsb.org] and I found my CD's would get scratched using a big binder because of tiny bits of dirt would make holes in the data layer from the weight of all the other full CD pages on top of each other.

    Now I swear by the Viewpak XG by Univenture [univenture.com] (bottom of the page). They are heavy duty vinyl slips with a soft backing for 1 CD/DVD, a slip for the front cover of the album, and a back slip behind the CD for the back cover of the album.

    They have packages without the artwork slips if you don't need them.

    These things are real slim, robust, and if you need to order alphabetically or whatever, it's very easy to add or subtract from your collection without having to mess with everything (ie, in a binder).

    They also sell Storage Boxes [univenture.com] that are just the right size for the packs, or course you can just use shoe boxes or home-made wood crates like me.

    Univenture has at least one customer for life. Long live physical media!
    • I have no relationship with Univenture except as a satisfied customer. Like the parent poster, I strongly recommend Univenture products for CD/DVD storage.

      The main advantage of Univenture disc sleeves is that they don't scratch the disc. This holds true whether you leave the discs in the sleeves for a long time or constantly take the discs in and out of the sleeves. I have been actively using them for YEARS with no visible disc scratching. In addition, their disc wallets have paper labels on the spines, w

  • by ecloud (3022) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @12:07AM (#15537633) Homepage Journal
    If you have the old caddy-type CD drive, a big pile of caddies is a good storage option. That way you never touch the discs themselves, so avoid the scratches and fingerprints. But those drives are getting hard to find. Personally I got a lot of caddies on ebay, but have had too much trouble with the drives (and besides, SCSI is its own hassle). I also got a rack-mount box with 8 caddy-type drives in it, and my plan was to put a low-end motherboard inside and use Linux to serve up individual NFS and Samba exports; but then I would have to deal with issues like automounting/unmounting on access, and a software eject mechanism that works across the network. I haven't gotten around to it so far. By the time I do, CD's may be obsolete.

    I also got an NSM 100-CD jukebox on ebay. It has SCSI for the drive, and RS-232 to control the robot. I managed to find specs for the control protocol on the net, so wrote a program to control it. At one point I had an automount lashup that would automatically load the right disc when it is accessed, but it didn't work quite right, so I was going to reimplement it using FUSE. I haven't gotten around to that project, either.

    Nowadays hard drives are just too cheap. Might as well consolidate all those discs in one place.
  • Paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by value_added (719364) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @12:31AM (#15537730)
    Inexpensive, biodegradable, and easy. Also helps you rid yourself of the notion that CDs/DVDs are anything more than bits of plastic that somehow merit being displayed on a shelf.

    I went through this a couple of years ago. I had just under 2K CDs and spent a few weeks investigating storage alternatives which included everything from the consumer oriented 100-CD display racks for your living room, to large capacity wooden shelving, to painfully expensive specialised office cabinets. Complete waste of time.

    Now, everything gets put into a paper window-less sleeve. Each CD gets a number, the relevant info is keyed into a database, and a simple label is applied to the outside of the sleeve. I figure it takes me about 20 seconds for each CD. Compare that to the time and expense of designing/printing/cutting up inserts for jewel cases (slim or otherwise), and you get the idea. If a database isn't your kind of thing, grepping a simple list should work just fine. As a side note, I entertained the idea of printing on the sleeves directly using a LaTeX template, but decided against it and use simple adhesive labels exclusively. Note that I opted for window-less sleeves to avoid having to design and print and insert for each CD.

    As for "storing" all the CDs, I just modified a drawer by sectioning it off so that each section would hold exactly 100 CDs. The CDs are stored upright (to protect the CD) and arranged front to back, so finding and retrieving, say, CD number 0983, is quick and easy. Two drawers == 2K CDs. Easily expandable.

    As for the old jewel cases, well, they were in mint condition so I gave them to a friend that collects music. Last I heard, he gave them away to a friend of his. I've reclaimed a huge amount of space in my office, and the clutter is gone. I have no "dusting" or similar nonsense to contend with, and made my life is a bit more sane by sticking a few plants on the shelves that were once reserved for CDs. Knowing that my CDs are protected in a cool dry place doesn't hurt, either.

    You can buy sleeves directly from any paper manufacturer. There's plenty that offer specialised CD selections that will be happy to sell to you. Alternatively, you can buy a box of 1K from a reseller on eBay for just a few bucks.

    As a final note, you may want to investigate something similar ready-made in the form of small metal or plastic boxes that resemble miniature hanging file folders; you can find these in most office-supply stores. The problem I've found with that approach, however, aside from the price, is that each hanging insert is prenumbered (a problem if for large collections) and requires you to squeeze 2 CDs into each. Hardly a safe approach considering how tightly they fit, not to mention that if you remove the entire insert from the box, you'll be carrying around 2 CDs instead of just the one you wanted.

    YMMV.
  • Hard plastic boxes (Score:3, Informative)

    by eric76 (679787) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @12:34AM (#15537747)

    I buy the hard plastic boxes that hold 10 cds each from rima.com, Hard Plastic Box for 10 CDs, 20-Pack [rima.com]. Of course, I put each CD in an individual CD sleeve.

    In some cases, I put the device driver CDs together in boxes. In other cases, I'll put the various CDs for a particular CD in a box. And just slap a label on the front.

    They take up a whole lot less room than individual cases and are much better at grouping things together.

    • Music CD's: Spindle in the closet.
    • DVD's: Case Logic [caselogic.com]320 CD case. (which you can get refill pages for and put in more than 500 easily. See 8 disks on a page removable pages make it easy to keep them organized.)
    • Backups, software disks, etc: Spindle in the closet.
    • Disks I use regularly (Game CD's for copy protection, PS2 games, etc): 5 inch [5inch.com] trigger cases.

    I love the trigger cases, keep extra ones on hand to send when clients need CD sent to them. Paper sleeves don't protect in the mail, and jewel cases

  • Library CD cases (Score:2, Informative)

    by rapjr (732628)
    Library supply houses have a variety of improved
    CD cases. Demco (http://www.demco.com) used to
    sell polycarbonate ones (i.e., bulletproof glass)
    which were fantastic, though expensive,
    but don't seem to carry them any more. They do
    have a selection of polypropylene ones that are
    still better than the usual polystyrene (enter
    "cd cases" in their search engine). This
    site has links to a few other vendors:

    http://www.dansdata.com/discsavers.htm [dansdata.com]
  • Build a cabinet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eric76 (679787) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @01:23AM (#15537932)
    Back in the punch card days, you could buy cabinets with drawers that were made for storing punch cards. They were just the right size for punch cards and not much use for anything else but storing punch cards.

    I've thought about building a cabinet for storing CDs along the same lines as the punch card cabinets. Build drawers that are just the right size to store jewel boxes.

    Right now I just stack them up in file cabinets. A CD cabinet would be a whole lot better.
  • When CDs first came out, there were some very low cost breadbox-like plastic boxes with slots for jewel cases. I bought about twenty of these boxes, for about $35 or so, and still use them. Then came all those more-expensive ways of storing discs; padded cases, flip racks, and other overpriced dreck. Try to get low-cost boxes for dead storage now.
  • by dcapel (913969)
    Title says it all.

    This is serious advice; using it.
  • I've been trying to find the CD storage case in the CSI episode "Random Acts of Violence" where a man is killed by a single blow to the head (by what turned out to be a hammer falling through a vent overhead) in the server room of his company.

    Anyone seen that episode and know who makes the disc holder the victim owned?
  • If your discs are valueable to you, then you should make backups of them in any case. And for these copies of discs that you will need to make, HDD space is cheaper and more convenient to use than plastic CDR's and DVDR's.
        Mount the disc images from your HDD - you can easily sort them there - and put your original discs in storage, you won't need to access them often.
       
  • by ceeam (39911)
    a) If you have several dozens CDs then go with those CD-bags (I don't know what you properly call them) with book-style leaves inside where you put in those shiny discs.

    b) If you have several hundreds/thousands of CDs/DVDs then just store them on spindles - those usually transparent cylindric boxes they sell blank media in. Keep a database though so you have some chance to find what you need! :)

    I also have a dozen or so empty slim cases for moving things in and out.
    • I don't like spindles because they are sequential access. For the slim jewel cases I use the database / numerical location technique. Even regular size jewel cases are a pain when it comes to finding them because it isn't a lot of fun scanning the titles on the spine. For disks that I don't access very often I use binders that hold about 500.

      Again these are indexed in a database.

  • DIY (Score:3, Interesting)

    by salec (791463) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @04:44AM (#15538399)
    Slim cases generally annoy me because I can't tell them apart by looking at their spines,
    You can colour-code them, using coloured stickers or permanent markers. Other thing that comes to my mind is to DIY a device similar to slide-projector feeder (in line, not drum) that prods up one case a time so that you can see that half-inch wide clear part of case that can hold a paper ribbon with info on it. That way you would operate the lever and vrrrr, fast browse thru them (it is assumed that holder is horizontal, i.e. in a drawer ). Or, even simpler, if the rack is made such that it could be tilted back (or if bottom of the back of rack could be pulled forward so that only the back is tilted), to force cases form a staircase, you could see them all at once.
  • Truly this [scarybear.org] is the only way to go.
  • I use "flight case" style boxes for storing CDs. You can get ones made for CDs, with plastic inserts to put them in. Then you can flick through quickly. Good ones have a bit of paper in the lid where you can make an index.

    I use CD Index 2 for keeping track of all my DVD-Rs, BTW: http://home.so-net.net.tw/minghsiu/ [so-net.net.tw]
  • ...a beowulf cluster.
  • Get a DJ's CD flight case. They have an index and thumbs so you can quickly find what you're looking for, and they're roadie proof, so your discs will be plenty safe enough. Leave the silica gel in there to help stop condensation ruining your precious discs.
  • ironic solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yagu (721525) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ugayay]> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:20AM (#15539692) Journal

    It's kind of surprising, but the cost of storage per disc can be less by storing them in a carousel cd-changer than in any shelf designed to hold cds (or any other shelf for that matter). For a long time I had two, both capable of holding 400+ discs. Each player cost less than $250, and for shelves capable of holding that many cds I found those to be typically more expensive. Kind of weird, but true.

    And, even though you may not be playing discs anymore (assuming you tote your music around as mp3 or some other non-cd format), these carousel players typically support display information about each disk (though mine required typing the info in via a keyboard), so you can easily get to specific discs.

    I don't know if these changers are still made, but I'm betting you can find them on ebay for an even better price anyway.

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