Looking at your sizeable disc collection may make your eye gleam, but managing and sorting it can turn out to be a veritable nightmare. For those who are meticulous and like their archive sorted properly, labelling discs by hand can quickly turn this enjoyable hobby into a torture. Luckily, there are programs that help us easily create our own disc labels and let us enjoy the content of the discs, instead of working to keep them sorted. Below are the best four programs, in no particular order.
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AVS Cover Editor (Free, $39 for 1-year activation, $59 for lifetime activation)
This handy little program installs without a hitch and offers a pleasantly clean working environment. Note the oft-lauded “ribbon” bar at the top that provides easy access to all commands. There are 22 image presets available, but you can import your own image and stretch, rotate, zoom and crop it to your heart’s content. The free version comes with full functionality and without time restrictions however, all covers produced by it will have a watermark. Also, note that by purchasing one activation code you unlock the full AVS software bundle.
The image grid offers unparalleled precision and allows you to place your image on the cover down to the exact pixel. AVS Cover Editor supports seven languages, including Russian and Cyrillic characters. Text size, color, opacity, font and tints can be easily changed and the cover can be resized to fit any media category. Overall, there are a lot of options in this program and they are laid out efficiently.
Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker (Free, $21.95 to remove ads at startup)
As its name implies, this label and cover maker is specialized for music CDs and DVDs and is hands down the best in that category. It will make your life so much easier with its integrated support for Winamp and iTunes – Acoustica will import playlists and information so you don’t have to spend hours tediously copy/pasting data. The system requirements are extremely low and the official website even lists Windows 95 as a supported operating system.
The free version comes without any restrictions except purchase suggestions when you start and exit the program. Though they can be easily dismissed with a single click, it can quickly turn into a chore to constantly close them. Also, this program is perhaps a bit too simplistic for its own sake, but for the music enthusiast, it’s the best possible solution.
SureThing Disc Labeler Deluxe 6 (15-day free trial, 34.95 for full version)
This is the most complete label and cover creator out there. At the very first run, you will encounter a staggering amount of choices. There are 13 different media types you can make covers for and each category has at least a dozen subtypes. This means you will never again have to make a cover that will stick out from the rest of your collection. SureThing is the absolute champion of cover creating and if you’re looking for the most professional solution, this is it.
On the other hand, if you’re just looking for the simplest possible solution and aren’t very experienced with computers, this is not the label program for you. It does produce professional results, but it also requires professional handling and expertise.
Label Design Studio (Free to try, $29.95 for full version)
This is the most interesting entry in the label-making market. This program offers a wide variety of templates, ranging from business cards to barcode stickers. With the help of Label Design Studio, you can create everything you need for your own enterprise. It is a surprisingly wholesome and rounded product.
Unfortunately, it has several serious issues of its own. The problem is in the unorthodox setup and installation routines. Because this program isn’t installed as an application and doesn’t behave like one, you may run into problems if you try running it on Windows 7 or 8. For example, Avast recognizes Label Design Studio as a harmful application and insists on running it with restricted privileges. If you don’t freak out when you see the word “virus” and are willing to struggle to make Label Design Studio function on your computer, then it’s the perfect solution for you.