CD Pressing Information

Agreed @slipmaxim! I have been struggling to figure out how to get good vinyl images (they don’t fit in my CanoScan 9000F). Every time I upload crooked images with reflections I cringe a bit, but it’s the best I have right now. I would love to hear anyone’s experience or recommendations for a copy stand.


I feel you! I have the same scanner but MK II.
I managed to scan gatefold covers like this:

But it’s very time consuming tbh, because you need to stitch pictures together.

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Me too, until I bought it… but it’s not very expensive and I will probably test it. :slight_smile:


I tend think this about a lot of tickets that are really just adding types or adding something to a list, but I really don’t know. Maybe it’s a bigger job than we think.

Maybe staff or anyone with more of a dev background could give some insight into this?
Maybe @Freso or @reosarevok have some thoughts

I always add them now because they’re part of the workflow. Also because I can’t predict what people/I might need in the future, when the past is a hazy blur and nobody is sure if there was just one run or if there’s bootlegs around :smiley:

you guys are the best!

Looking forward to some ‘copy stand’ reviews :o


I am not meaning to be negative. I know They are too busy on the complex work of running this place. They don’t see the need for these extras that only a small number of us are using. I realise adding to a list still takes hours of planning, implementing, and documenting changes.

Seriously though - buy a microscope. They are fun.


One reason I don’t typically add these myself - aside from basic laziness - is that I don’t know that much about the significance of the various codes, and no clue what should be a separate release (much less how to document those differences).

Would any of the folks who are knowledgeable and interested in this topic be willing to write this up? That could include basic documentation for what they signify as well as potential style guidelines to govern their usage.


Of course, that’s a problem. Discogs has a search engine where I can type in my matrix string and find precise instructions on what to do. There’s a complex web of linked information. Something like that would be necessary to let people know how to document relevant differences. A mandatory matrix entry is certainly not easy to set up. But that’s no reason not to implement a cover art type “matrix”.


Post a couple of examples and we’ll help decode. I read 'em at an amateur level and don’t have enough knowledge to write a How To document. I also don’t have the correct terms to explain.

Mainly you have three sets of numbers on the inside of a CD. A long waffly Matrix text that tells you where the stamper(?) that was used to press the CD was made and usually also where it was manufactured. Usually includes a company or plant name in here. For long runs you’ll also see a stamper number which explains its parentage.

Next you’ll find two other tiny numbers (after April 1994). SID codes. They are also usually impossible to pick up on a scanner and is where the microscope comes in. These both start with IFPI and are the Mould and Mastering info which basically tells you which factory and machine the CD was pressed on.

The subject is HUGE and would take a lot of writing up. Here is a useful intro from a Pink Floyd obsessive and this is only about EMI Pink Floyd CDs. The section 4 on Matrix is most relevant.
UK CDs: Pink Floyd Archives-U.K. CD Discography
USA CDs: Pink Floyd Archives-U.S. CD Discography
W.Germany CDs: Pink Floyd Archives-E.U. CD Discography
Europe: Pink Floyd Archives-E.U. CD Discography (you need to scroll the page to find it)

He has pages on most territories. It is biased to EMI Sony and Floyd, but a good grounding on what you are reading on a CD.

Some of the problem is every plant then has their own variations. Discogs is good at documenting this and “how to spot the difference”. We are trying to add some of these details here, but need to re-write it so as not to just rip off their text.

(and this is even more complex with vinyl)

The Discogs search engine is epic. Totally puts the MB effort to shame. I usually use the Discogs search, then follow the links back to MB.

As we don’t have quite so many releases here I don’t find the lack of Matrix search too big an issue most of the time. A bar code \ cat no gets me close, then usually someone has noted something in the disambig of the Release


FYI I don’t really look at or understand the matrix’s either*. But I still add the scans.

*apart from a recent interest in NZ pressing factory’s, but that’s easy, usually just the factory name in the matrix


FWIW, I am part of that “small number of us”. As you note, there are toooons of tickets, and while some of them may seem simple (“it’s just adding a new type!”) there might be non-apparent ramifications to adding this type. @reosarevok is also one of the contractors with the widest spread of tasks and responsibilities on the MetaBrainz team, so he can’t focus on Style work every day to look at tickets and make these considerations.

I feel demoralised (and I have heard others express similar sentiments) when I keep seeing you talk about us like we don’t care or “don’t see the need”. Far most of MetaBrainz staff are users of MusicBrainz too—and have been so for years. (@reosarevok is one of only 6 editors with more than a million edits in MusicBrainz!) You may not intend to be negative, yet many of your comments (esp. relating to the MusicBrainz/MetaBrainz team) come across as such. Please try to keep in mind that the impact of your words have a more direct effect on others than your intention of them.


For what it’s worth, I actually don’t know enough about matrix numbers and other pressing information to be able to tell whether they should or should not be a 1:1 match to releases.

My understanding is that the same release, with the same barcode and no other distinguishing info, can be pressed in several batches or plants leading to different matrix info, in which case I’d expect us not to split each one of those into its own release just for sheer difficulty of keeping the whole thing organized. But a discussion on this can certainly be useful.


Freso pointed me to a CAA ticket asking for a “matrix/runout” type, turns out I had even voted on it, but CAA tickets are not something I usually check so I totally forgot about it :slight_smile: I moved it to STYLE where it probably belonged (STYLE-2038) and added the type now, any improvement suggestions appreciated as ticket comments :slight_smile:


I am sorry if my words come over too harsh. They are never meant negative. I understand the team has a huge work load and we should not be hassling to get any special treatment.

When I said there is not time to do something like adding a matrix type to artwork, it is based on the acknowledgement that even a small change takes a lot of work to complete and there are far more important tasks.

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Thank you 1000 fold. This is very much appreciated.


:raised_hands: :raised_hands: :raised_hands:

And still engages with the community constantly :exploding_head:


Clearly you people have no regard for my free time. :smile:

I’ve started adding matrix to my CD scanning routine. Hopefully someone finds it usefuly.


I’ve been sitting on this link for a couple of years now, but I think everyone in this thread may find it useful:


…continuing the “copy stand post” above (as promised)

The “reprokid” has only a 30x30 base and its lighting arms have a maximum incline of 30°. This might be enough, but I’ve bought another candidate:

It has a 40x40 base. Its arms can be positioned at any angle, so it’s no problem moving the lights out of the “danger zone”.
I took some test pictures, but it will take a few more tries before I get satisfactory results. And the camera isn’t quite what I was hoping for… a Canon Powershot SX130 IS (marginally better than my own, but for now that will do)

I also added a raw image. It shows quite badly distorted edge areas, but it should be possible to improve that. I didn’t manage to set the focus manually - the pictures were taken with autofocus…


Thanks for the update. Very interesting topic and insights. The distortion issue is indeed a problem. Let us know when you have new details to share.


The distortions are due to the camera lens and the maximum resolution of 4000x3000 pixels doesn’t leave much room for manoeuvre. But it should be possible to do better. :slight_smile: