I remember when I got my very first CD burner. It was so exciting because I was so used to creating mixed tapes. I would listen to the radio, put in a cassette tape, and push record anytime my favorite songs would come on. Unfortunately the quality of the tape recordings were so terrible with the hisses and pops. So getting a CD burner was definitely a huge step up in quality with the digital stereo sound!
I would take all my favorite songs on my computer hard drive, put them in some kind of mixed order, and burn them freshly onto the Verbatim CD-R. When it was finished burning, the drive would eject the blank top CD and I’d have to come up with a way to differentiate this CD-R from others!
Of course, the first and most basic way to do this was to use a Sharpie. I would write all the songs in a small list on the CD to remind myself what exactly was on there. After burning a couple more CDs, I grew tired of writing down every single song title! To remedy this, I began giving my playlists themes and I would write the title of the theme onto the CDs, themes such as “Love songs,” “Angry Music,” “80’s rock,” “break up songs,” etc. I know when I exchanged them with girlfriends of mine, they were drawing little flowers with the Sharpie.
As evolution went on and CD and DVD burners and related burning software became more popular, I found hundreds of differently colored Sharpies being used. Little pictures being drawn of all the generic girl art there was (hearts, stars, smiley faces, etc.). Then print packs became available for the household computer.
The CD print programs came packed with software, CD sticky paper, and a little mechanism you put your CD on so the sticky paper connects flat to the CD without any air bubbles. The most powerful feature was the CD and DVD Label software. You could grab clipart, different fonts, pictures, and do just about anything artistic to the cover. Once you hit print, the printer would use a pretty good amount of ink, and create a near-professional style cover for your CD. This became an awesome, affordable way for musicians to make CD demos to buy at a cheap price!
For my early anniversaries, I cut little pictures of my girlfriend and I and taped them on the CD with a list of songs. If it’s a birthday CD, find the goofiest picture you can of the person, and tape it to the CD with a funny quote, and a list of funny songs.
The great thing about CDs is you can put a wealth of information on them and do tons of stuff to make them personalized. Whether you spend hours on a design or just a few minutes, you’re only limited by your imagination. You can start as basic as a black Sharpie, move on to colorful Sharpies, to markers, to computer software printed CDs, to pictures taped on the top! There are even more ways if you’re creative enough. The Verbatim CD-R is more affordable than ever, and you can get 100 CDs for less than 20 dollars if you know where to look. So what are you waiting for? Go create!