Disc Cover 1.2.1

Appleis iLife i06 applications make it easy to build your own music albums and DVD movies, but they lack the ability to create really sharp disc and case liner artwork. Thatis where BeLightis Disc Cover comes in. This design tool has everything you need to make great looking music CD, DVD, and photo CD artwork all in one package.

One of the great things about Disc Cover is that it saves you from having to create album artwork from scratch. It comes with a nice list of templates you can start from that include CD and DVD discs, jewel case liners and covers, and case spines. If those donit meet your needs, just start with blank templates and design your own.

Lots of templates are included.

When its time to add track names to your layout, Disc Label displays your iTunes or iPhoto libraries, or your current iDVD project, depending on what type of disc art you want to make. If you are making art for a playlist in iTunes, for example, select the playlist name, and Disc Cover adds the track and artist information to your layout.

Templates auto-fill with playlist info.

I tried to trip it up by selecting a playlist with over 150 songs in it as if I was making an MP3 CD - it imported without any trouble, and the text was properly resized for the amount of information that needed to appear on the case jacket. Nice.

Once you have artwork and track information, itis time to start fine-tuning your layout. Disc Cover lets you move and edit text and graphics both in pre-built templates and custom layouts. If you buy Disc Cover on CD instead of as an electronic download, it also includes a second CD loaded with extra clip art, which is a nice bonus if you donit want to build everything from scratch.

Coming from a graphic design background, Iim used to pro-level editing tools, so Disc Coveris editing features were a bit slim for me. For example, Iim used to holding down the Shift key and dragging an image handle to proportionally resize images, but thatis not how Disc Cover works. After trial and error, I realized that dragging a corner handle proportionally resized an image, and dragging a side handle stretched it. For the average user, however, Disc Coveris text and graphic editing features are more than adequate.

Disc Cover knows almost every CD label template.

Printing your album artwork is a big deal, too, since you want your design to look as good on paper as it does on screen. Disc Copy includes an insane number of label temples to print on, so it can place your art exactly where it needs to be on the label sheet. If you use a CD-compatible printer, it can also print your artwork directly on the disc - no label sheets required. Thanks to all the templates, thereis no guess work in getting everything to print in the right place.

One thing that is missing from the package is a printed tutorial that shows how to set up your first project. Even though it is easy enough to learn without a manual, not everyone can figure this stuff out without a little help.

The Bottom Line
Disc Label is an easy to use and learn application that makes great looking album artwork. Its no-brainer style is so good, Iill even use it for final setup and output for album art I create in InDesign, QuarkXPress, or Photoshop.

Product: Disc Cover 1.2.1

Company: BeLight Software

List Price: $39.95 (on CD)


Pros: Almost no learning curve, easy to customize layouts, crazy number of label templates.
Cons: Editing tools may be a little limiting for pro designers, no walk through for first-timers.