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Dec 12th, 2022

Over the past several weeks, I've been working on a project to “back-up” our pretty large collection of movies, recorded as MP4s, onto physical DVDs. If one of these mass storage devices, which we use to store our digital media, ever fails, we'd lose a lot of content. For many movie titles, since letting go of our extensive VHS collection before our last move, these digital copies are all that we have left of them. More about this project can be found on my Retro Tech Blog, if you're curious.

Although most of these discs will be stored in a huge DVD organizer/binder, some of them I want to keep in on the DVD shelf, along with the collection of retail DVDs. For this purpose, I purchased a dozen or so 3-disc keeper cases for them. Now for covers of these DVD cases, I could have chosen to print elaborate, brightly coloured labels with production quality images of the movies inside. But, you know, that really wouldn't fit the “retro style” I had in mind for this collection of movies.

The movies I want to put onto the shelf are some of my favorites from the 70s and 80s (and a few from the early 90s). These would be movies I would have recorded from VHS at the time. And, back then I made my VHS labels using my C128 and dot matrix printer. So, sticking with the 80s theme, this is how I wanted to label these DVDs, as well.

I decided to write a simple program in BASIC to make the printing process a lot easier (and I enjoyed tinkering in BASIC once again). The program prints a “Volume Number” on the spine of the label, then a list of the movies on each of the 3 DVDs inside the case. I had some extra room on the bottom portion of the disc index, so I added a place to record any special notes I may want to record.

The program then produces a “print preview” and, if all looks good, then prints the index cover sheet out on the printer.

DVD Index Printer Disc Info DVD Index Printer Notes Screen

While I was at it, I also wrote up a shorter print program to produce labels for the DVDs, themselves. I have some of the three column envelope sticky labels paper, so I customized the program to give me the option of choosing which label to print on (column one, two, or three). Then, all I need to do is line up the label page in the printer and off I go.

The only problem I've come across with making labels like this is, the label paper doesn't play all that nice in the Gemini II. If you fidget with the lining up of the page too much, the labels start to peel away and then get stuck in the print rollers when you go to print. So, load the paper, roll only forward enough to line up the labels, then print. Keeping the backwards and forwards on the paper adjuster to a minimum seems to help. But, you can see a remnant of the label issue in the photo of the DVD-R; King Solomon's Mines label got a little “crinkled”.

DVD label Printer

After all is said and done, I think the finished product looks pretty good. It certainly looks like something I would have done for my VHS tapes, back in the day.

DVD Index Cover Sheet before I added the Notes section DVD Printed Labels

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blog/2022-12-12.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/08 00:40 by David