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Sunset Vette

23 Jun

Music Library… Now Less Filling, Still Tastes Great!

I have a fairly large collection of music compact discs. I’ve mentioned several other tools that I use to help manage my collection (including the Easy Pro disc polisher). Today I wanted to post a review about the cd storage sleeves formerly from Jazz Loft. They are attractive, reduce the amount of space required to store my collection, weigh less, and provide 100% of the functionality of regular jewel cases. For details, read on.

The first thing to know is that orders of over 1,000 sleeves are given a 5% discount. I had no problems reaching that discount level. 😳 The Jazz Loft web site is apparently not set up to expect larger orders like this. The shipping was not calculated properly. I was contacted promptly by the owner of the company who explained that the shipping would be higher than reported on the web site because bulk orders had to be shipped FedEx ground. For orders of 1,000 sleeves or under he can stuff them into a flat-rate post office box (“if it fits, it ships”). I approved the change in the charge to my credit card and we moved forward.

The order arrived in a large well-taped box. It wasn’t overly heavy, but it was bulky. The next step for me was to decide exactly how I was going to get through the process of using them. I have been re-ripping my discs at a higher bit rate, so things are a bit scattered about the house. I finally decided that I would simply start picking up cds and putting them into the sleeves.

Space Savings

The sleeves are very easy to work with. They come in bags of 100. I pulled a bunch of cds apart and set them up on a table, and then I sleeved the ones that were disassembled, and then I put them back on my shelves. The entire purpose of this exercise was to save space.

There is definitely a left and right side to the sleeve, and therefore definitely a “preferred” way to put them together. But they go together very easily. (Digipaks and some double or triple packs stayed in their original case.) I had purchased these sleeves with the primary goal of reducing the amount of space my collection was taking up, and these sleeves certainly do that! At one point I stopped to measure my improvement, and music that had originally taken up over 29′ (8.8 meters) of linear space was now taking up 10.5′ (3.2 meters). That’s a substantial improvement! Remember that digipacks or other special cds (some with reticulated covers for example to give a 3D look) were left in jewel cases, so I am not converting 100% of my collection.

I have some Ikea shelves that I am working with at the moment. Each “cube” can contain 15 normal discs or up to 16 discs if at least one is a digipak and therefore a bit squish-able. I can get over 50 discs into the same cube after switching to sleeves. Rather than pack everything completely as tight as possible, I am putting between 45 and 50 discs into each cube.

Bottom line, I am extremely pleased with the purchase. They are cost effective (even at $0.15 per sleeve), I am very pleased with the quality, and the execution of the new storage is going extremely well.

I find that the occasional digipak serves as a bookmark of sorts. In other words, when I go up to the shelves to find a disc, I can quickly scan the digipaks and get an idea of where the letter is, and from there it is very easy to thumb through the sleeved discs and find the one I want. If (when!) I ever need to buy more to store my expanding collection, I will have no hesitation to do so.

Weight Savings

The sleeves not only save space, they save weight! I weighed 25 of the cd sleeves and they came in under 6 ounces. Twenty five jewel cases weighed well over 3 pounds! In grams, 25 sleeves was 160 grams and the equivalent in jewel cases was 1785 grams. That means I’ve eliminated 90% of the weight along with nearly two thirds of the required linear footage of storage space. I purchased some CD storage boxes. Here’s what one of those boxes looked when it is completely filled with jewel cases.

Box with 114 jewel case cds

Box with 114 jewel case cds

The box is designed with 6 compartments. Each compartment will hold exactly 19 jewel cases, which makes the total capacity of the box 114 jewel cases. I weighed the box shown above and it came in at about 27.5 pounds. (The box by itself weighs about 2 pounds which is included in that total.)

Next I put 114 sleeved cds into the same box. Interestingly enough, over half of the cds I picked for this experiment are double-disc collections, so the weight is even heavier. I weighed that box, and it came in at just under 12 pounds. Less than half! Here’s a storage box with over 200 sleeved cds and you can see the box is about two-thirds full.

Box of cds packed in slip covers

Box of cds packed in slip covers

I had anticipate that the boxes I purchased would be able to store over 350 cds. I just took a sample box and checked. It is full, and has 379 discs. With jewel cases that would have weighed over 90 pounds! With sleeves the full box tipped the scales and just over 30 pounds. A hypothetical collection of 1,000 music cds would take almost 35′ of linear space and weigh almost 225 pounds. The same collection in sleeves would take 10.5′ and weigh under 90 pounds.

Wrap Up

The sleeves from Jazz Loft allow me to store 3 times as many compact discs in the same linear space and save over 60% of the weight at the same time. The sleeves store all of the original cd artwork (front art insert, rear art insert) without clipping or trimming. The sleeves are supposed to be archival quality, meaning they won’t leach the color out of the paper or turn it brown. Only time will tell on that part, but I am very pleased with the rest of the results that I am getting. I would recommend this product to anyone with a large disc collection.

As an aside, the same company makes sleeves for DVD cases. I have not yet purchased those, but the idea is certainly attractive…

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