Rereleases on CDR medium

I have received 4 re-releases of older (sometimes out-of-print) audio CDs that arrive on CDR medium. On 3 of these, the original package had a pressed CD, on the re-release the CDR medium silkscreen , the booklet, the front/back art were exactly the same as the original. The 4th one I got from CDbaby was a new package with a cardboard sleeve, no booklet or liner notes as in the original, since CDbaby did not label it as CDR they refunded my money.

The last one I purchased from amazon at is “Carolina Blue” by “Lou Reid, Terry Baucom & Carolina”, with a amazon release date of July 29, 1994, labeled as “Audio CD”. Clearly this is not the release date, and the manufacture date of 1993 on the package and CDR is the original “pressing” date.

Using cdrecord on that CDR of 1993 WEBCO (now Pinecastle Records) release.
$ cdrecord -atip
Device was not specified. Trying to find an appropriate drive…
hm, 1, 0, 0
hm, 1, 0, 0
Using drive: L:
Device type : Removable CD-ROM
Version : 0
Response Format: 2
Capabilities :
Vendor_info : 'ATAPI ’
Identification : 'iHAS124 F ’
Revision : ‘CL9M’
Device seems to be: Generic mmc2 DVD-R/DVD-RW.
Using generic SCSI-3/mmc CD-R/CD-RW driver (mmc_cdr).
Supported modes: TAO PACKET SAO SAO/R96P SAO/R96R RAW/R16 RAW/R96P RAW/R96R
ATIP info from disk:
Indicated writing power: 4
Is not unrestricted
Is not erasable
Disk sub type: Medium Type A, high Beta category (A+) (3)
ATIP start of lead in: -11077 (97:34/23)
ATIP start of lead out: 359848 (79:59/73)
Disk type: Long strategy type (Cyanine, AZO or similar)
Manuf. index: 11
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

The CDR is not an Amazon “Created On Demand” product which I would never buy.
I realize no actual release date can be added for the package/release. I also think a separate release needs to be created since it is a CDR and not the original pressed CD.

I suspect I will be seeing more of this. I do not care for CDR products as they degrade over time due to the organic dyes that are used. Also I find it misleading that they do not tell you that they are selling you a CDR, but they may not know that.

What is the best way to handle these in the database.

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I would add them as a separate Release. Mainly due to a distrust of the source.

I have added some CD-Rs before from an artist I knew personally. What worried me the most about his CD-Rs was his scary lack of understanding of the damage from low bit MP3 and even worse Media Player’s WMA format!!

In his case, he had had quality masters from the 1970s, at some stage in time burnt to CD, then that CD was ripped to his PC as very low quality 128kbps WMA files, which he then burnt back to CD-Rs and sold as “new” CDs to fans. :roll_eyes:

A CD-R always makes me go “eek” when I see them.

As to your example - the biggest puzzle will be what to put in for the “Release Date” as it will be hard to impossible to fully nail down when someone started to knock out CD-Rs and how they produced them. The artwork will be very misleading as all the info on the paperwork is about the official release, but in your hands you instead have something of dubious source. I’d still tick “official” as it was purchased in good faith.

It is worrying when us collectors worry more about the production quality than the musicians themselves.

If I had received that CD-R from an Official Amazon source I would send it back and refuse to pay full price for a fake. Nothing on that page says that low quality knock-offs are being sent out.

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I do not think it is a fake since it came direct from amazon and not their marketplace, but I did put in a call to Pinecastle Records asking them if it could be counterfeit or if this was the way to deal with OPP products. There are a lot of bluegrass releases that have gone OOP and the inexpensive fix is a duplication service. CDbaby will do that for you and there are different levels of that fulfillment as I learned researching the CDR I got from them. Still there is a chance you could get a counterfeit I guess.


I agree that it is likely not a fake, but I would still complain and return the disk out of principle. It is not a quality product. They should not be selling it at full price. It should be 50 cents to cover the cost of the CD-R. It should be made clear on that sales page that these are not CDs.

The problem is CD-Rs just do not last like a real CD. I know that during my time cataloguing the music on my shelf that all the CD-Rs that came from various “official” and “unofficial” sources are now basically useless and hardly readable. I have only saved the music if I had previously ripped them in some form.

Back to the question - this is clearly a separate release to add to the RG. But I’d be adding comments to the annotation about the cheating in the production quality.

I just received a response email from Pinecastle Records management team which I am basically satisfied with. I feel most/all major labels or private labels would do the same thing (if they are still in business).

Response from Pinecastle Records:
<Some of the older out of print titles that we’ve re-printed are at smaller quantities which means they have to be replicated vs. duplicated. I believe you have a legit copy from our manufacturer but yes it could be a CD-R. If you ever have trouble with it in the future, just message me and I’ll replace it for you.>

CDRs may be the only solution to OOP releases aside from digital downloads that generally have none of the original artwork. I do not buy downloadable MP3 music, I will buy FLAC if I have too.Still I think these releases need to be labeled as CDR in some way so the buyer knows up front what they are getting.

Just because they are CDR does not mean the production cost is any different on a per package basis. Quality of the reproduction is another question and may very. In the case of this release the paper and printing appear to be the same style and feel as other old WEBCO releases I have. On two of the other CDR’s the paper is shiny and appears to have the finish of a color laser printer, something I would not expect on the original release. In one case the back spine art has a “non creased fold” with no perforations on the fold line (rounded edges that do not sit firmly into the case corner).

I am not sure where I stand on this. I rip everything to WAV and store the CD packages in cardboard boxes of the correct size and final weight, then move them to climate controlled storage. I can always reproduce the original if needed. I listen to everything digitally.


That is the key to protecting the music. The CD-R will eventually fail much earlier than a real CD. But if you have it safe in lossless like WAV then you can recreate the CD if ever needed.

The reality of CD-R and one-off printing should be recorded in MB though. This is worth documenting as a way this specific company is dealing with its product.

Add as another release, make sure the date is blank unless the specific date it started to be manufactured on demand is known (CD-Rs from Japanese service MEG-CD seem to have credited dates, but I doubt the Amazon ones do).


I would also send such releases back immediately and treat them as possible bootlegs. As a lawyer specializing in IP law unfortunately I have to deal with unlicensed products on a regular basis. Even in the case of an artist sending out his own recordings he may not be legally allowed to do so if the publishing and distribution rights lie with a publishing company. A CD-R is a strong indicator for a product not being genuine.


As I posted in my last response the Label told me “I believe you have a legit copy from our manufacturer”.

Here is a good article of how fulfillment can be handled or mishandled by the artist or the label.

It is Thunderbird by Irene Kelley which went OOP but is available as a CDR from CDbaby at , notice it now says CD-RP.
I have the non amazon version (NOT made-on-demand) of Thunderbird which I ordered from CDbaby. I always check to make sure they say it is a CD but in this case I received a CDR. CDbaby verified it was a CDR and refunded my money and told me to keep it.

Here is what I got from CDbaby

It was just a cardboard sleeve, not the same as the original which had liner notes, I found a bad picture on ebay that showed liner notes.

So these are not counterfeits just a OOP product where the cost of a pressed run is too costly for a small demand item. I’m not sure how I fell, I doubt Amazon knew (or did not care), I just think they should state the medium is CDR. Its definitely not a “collectable”.


Smithsonian Folkways also makes some releases available on CD-R as “custom CDs”. This is, at least in part, due to the stipulation when they acquired the Folkways catalog that all Folkways releases would stay in print indefinitely. Like @dashv’s example these are clearly legit.

I agree these should be separate releases in MB with CD-R as the format.