Super Short Run Physical CD Manufacture

I mentioned this in passing a while ago, but I just now set up and placed an order with for a very few – five – CD albums of the 10 tracks my band Ginger Ibex wrote and recorded in February for the RPM Challenge.

Unlike our professionally-recorded 2009 album Firefly, these pieces were written quickly, in styles different from the band’s usual sound, and all recorded in my office-studio with GarageBand, MIDI patches, Apple Loops, and one Snowball USB microphone. The resulting music is fun, but not anything on which we wanted to spend a thousand dollars or more to master and press more crates of CDs to keep in my basement!

How did it work and how did it turn out?

CD caseYes, that is a full-spine jewel case and on-disk printing. The process is:

  • You download their small .exe (yes, Windows only). It guides you through:
  • providing the album and track information.
  • either letting it create a default text layout over your supplied image, or
  • allows you to add your own pre-formatted tray, insert, and disk images
  • uploading your tracks (which it would ONLY read from my CD drive, so I had to burn a music CD-R in order to add them).
  • It bundles all of that into a packaged file.
  • You upload the package to their site as part of creating your account.
  • They store the bundle indefinitely, as long as someone orders at least one album every 6 months.
  • They will include a free UPC bar code if you want. The CDs are shrink-wrapped.

I created the above album and disk art in Photoshop and Gimp (a free Windows PS act-alike) following their image specs. I suggest that you read their “Questions and Answers” carefully before starting the setup process – it may save you from formatting mistakes.


– It can take several hours for the package upload to finish – it is transferring the audio and album design information bit-by-bit to be loaded into their automated facility.

– Proofread everything very well, because there is NO editing after uploading. If you find a mistake after that you must delete the uploaded project and start from scratch with the package creation app.

– Take advantage of their offer to send you one free copy of your first uploaded project, to make sure it is what you intended before ordering a quantity.

The price for one to five is $1.00 plus shipping. You can order more than five, but then the price varies from $0.75 to $1.75 each depending on their current demand level, plus shipping.

You can also set up a page where fans can order for themselves, and the net from the price  you set (after they deduct $1 per CD – they charge the ordering party shipping on top of the retail price)  goes to your Paypal account.

This is not an appropriate service if you want ANYthing other than a duplicated CD in a standard black-tray jewel case with two-sided front card plus rear tray card (though they do also do DVD replication). But if that suits your need for creating a small inventory of CDs to sell at your shows/busking/etc. that can be replenished in short order (manufacturing to mailing turnaround is usually one business day) at low cost then Kunaki is a good option. They will also drop ship directly to CD Baby and Amazon if you stock albums on either site.

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  1. Pingback: A New Album In 28 Days! | Ginger Ibex

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