Staff Top 10
Top 10 Things I Hate About CDs

By: Nick Southall

Posted 06/23/2006 - 04:45:46 AM by nicemanwashing:
 Nice one Nick. I was wondering whether I was the only one who is super-anal about this kind of thing... A lack of attention to the design of an CD sleeve is unforgivable.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 05:53:28 AM by NickSouthall:
 Who on earth is Andy Rooney?
Posted 06/23/2006 - 06:48:09 AM by downloadsofist:
 I was with you all the way to digipacks. I much prefer them. True, if the teeth break, you're fucked, but that seems to happen much less than w/ standard cases. And I like the way the cardboard wears and feels. Reminds me of LP packaging. Down with plastic!
Posted 06/23/2006 - 07:04:02 AM by jerichomaxim:
 I think the worst offender for fucked up cd packaging is Pizzicato Five -- jeebus, what didn't they do that was non-standard?
Posted 06/23/2006 - 07:24:47 AM by mrameche:
 Excessively bitter and absolutely brilliant. Kudos, Nick - this is the best Top 10 I've read in quite some time.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 07:29:24 AM by PowerRanger:
 Regarding 10 - Why not just throw away the outer sleeves? In my experience they usually just replicate the front and back tray prints, or otherwise feature information that's already printed in there somewhere. Regarding 5 - I think even the rounded nipples are unacceptable. The long bars are the clear winners. As for digipaks, I used to dislike them more when I used a proper CD rack. They're not such a pain now, but they do have to live together in their own box. Any that aren't the standard face size are particularly troublesome..
Posted 06/23/2006 - 07:40:22 AM by bigdaycoming:
 Haha this article's an OCD sufferer's dream! Stickers, broken teeth, badly wdesigned spine text... are all pet peeves of mine, but I do like albums with special packaging, they might not fit in the shelves and be more propense to damage, but damnit, don't they look great. As long as it's not too bothersome, I'm all up for it.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 08:36:43 AM by shinnery_shiny:
 I agree completely about the digipacks. One of the worst ones I think is the Unicorns-Who Will Cut Our Hair When Were Gone; the cardboard slot the CD fits into is massive and on the opposite side to the middle fold, so everytime I pick the fucking thing up the CD tumbles to the ground grr!!!!!
Posted 06/23/2006 - 09:31:03 AM by thepuffin:
 What I hate the most about CDs (other than when people type CD's instead of CDs) is that the format is too long, resulting people not editting themselves down to best songs for the record. The CD format seems to make people compelled to fill the entire 80 minutes on a disc sometimes. Some albums would be so much more gratifying if they were two or three songs shorter and more focused.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 09:32:55 AM by J_R_K_:
 andy rooney is an commentator on 60 minutes, an american news show. one of his curmudgeonly and blatantly facist suggestions included marking 'good' people so you could tell them from the bad people.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 09:52:02 AM by Hubajube:
 Yeah, Andy Rooney is like your old grumpy overtalkative going senile uncle with tufts of hair growing out of his ears. Hell no, I won't sit on your lap.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 11:50:46 AM by fleezer:
 this guy must loathe constellation records, but it is for a cause 'cause its organic and you can recycle it! plus its much more artsy and creative to have the option of choosing 6 different covers instead of one (dmst). regardless, packaging blows most of the time and is easily forgotten. get some blanks, some cases and/or a binder and forget about buying such shite cause aside from the music the shite packaging is what your paying for and if its such a hassle then forget it. $15+ for a hassle, no thanks...
Posted 06/23/2006 - 12:30:47 PM by hunky_dory:
 Nick, about the security stickers: Yes, all American CDs are packaged that way and it's horseshit. However, I've discovered that if you loose the hinges at top and bottom of the spine, you can take off the whole front of the jewel case, and hence the whole sticker, in one go. No more shredding, no more bits of sticker stuck to your fingers, no sticker remanats on the jewel case. (If you're talking about that shitty sticker across the top of the case, which I assume you are.) Also, I've never kept a cardboard outer sleeve. In the trash right away. Poor design pisses me off to no end. Consider the new Wilderness album: It seems tossed off, completely aesthetically displeasing, jarring, random, and terrible. Pink and green and orange and black interspersed among disembodied animal and doll parts. There should be some unifying aesthetic, and shitty art work/design tells me either 1) We don't give fuck, or 2) We're being weird for the sake of it. Assholes.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 01:12:39 PM by wmdavidson:
 I love this article. I am similarly packaging-obsessed and empathized with virtually everything you said. You may be interested to know that on Poster Children's album "DDD", when you hold the jewel case like you normally would, the cover artwork is on the back side and tracklist is on the front. The band even instructed fans via their webpage to turn it around on store racks. (It's a great album too.)
Posted 06/23/2006 - 01:17:35 PM by skuter666:
 Album bloat, and its idiot stepchild, the hiphop “skit”. Most artists – but especially rappers – had a hard time filling a 38 minute album back in the days of vinyl. Now they’ve got twice the time to fill and an increased incentive to indulge adolescent whims. And so, the ubiquitous, sub-SNL (or -Living Color, or -MadTV) attempts at “humor”. Oh, and enlisting Chris Rock to participate does not mitigate, as Johnny Cochran might phrase it. Close second, testifying and preaching between tracks, a la Missy: “Kill it with a skillet!” Whatever. Just STFU and play the damn music. Back in the day, the wee nippers had a word for this sorta dorkage: Wack.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 01:20:29 PM by J_R_K_:
 no one was weirder about CDs than one of todd's roomates in college. i can't even explain it.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 01:32:09 PM by syurix:
 My version of this list is more or less reversed, I'm not able to keep things nice so I'm way more of a content guy. Give me a cool design and good liner notes that I can refer back to. The CD I'm probably gonna rip and then only listen to in the car anyhow, so I'm against hiding tracks where itunes can't see them. DVDs I'm down for if they're good (the one that came with "The Woods" was pretty decent, not "watch more than twice" decent buy certainly not the kind of thing you want to stop five minutes in).
Posted 06/23/2006 - 01:40:54 PM by bassman08:
 Man, this is the most OCD shit ever. I don't have any of these same problems with CDs for whatever reason.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 02:37:56 PM by prohibitedart:
 Umm, what the hell is wrong with you? How much time did it take you to write this bullshit? Here's a simple solution for you: Considering we're in the digital age, you can buy mp3s (or download them for free like most assholes) OR you can buy vinyl, which may not be as easy to find, but it's certainly available. Now stop writing features. Please.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 03:07:12 PM by Zarklephaser:
 Aside from the ripped card sleeve, I have another good (and possibly better) reason for you to never listen to No Code again: the songs.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 03:15:32 PM by AKMoose:
 Inconsistent spine writing drives me up the wall. I have to put the CD in backwards so the text lines up, which always confuses me when I pull it out and and see the upside down cover art instead of the tracklisting. Off the top of my head, I know Green Day's 1,039 is like this, and so is Success by the Posies.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 03:17:36 PM by garlad1:
 I probably break or crack the packaging on every 8-10 CDs I buy, just trying to open the damn thing. That never happens/happened with vinyl.
Posted 06/23/2006 - 03:48:16 PM by Noel_Diddy:
 Guys, guys, listen up, I have the solution: Why don't you guys just buy the CDs and NOT listen to them, leave them in the plastic on the shelf where they will make you look cool, and then tell everyone how much you love them all?
Posted 06/23/2006 - 11:41:53 PM by roadrunner:
 i keep mine in a drawer, too. thats funny
Posted 06/24/2006 - 01:58:08 AM by Jeffro:
 I almost totally agree - some of the specifics change because packaging in Canada is apparently different for some albums - like here the Talk Talk remasters each have one letter on the spine so you have to buy all four albums to get TALK across the top and TALK across the bottom so if you only bought Spirit of Eden you get a K sitting there in your T section for no apparent reason. I totally agree on the digipack issue - I have resorted to buying little resealable plastic bags to keep them in - my wife thinks I'm nuts.
Posted 06/24/2006 - 02:27:58 AM by joizex:
 I can dig larger-than-usual packaging if it's for a good reason. But I really hate those digipaks that are just one or two centimeters too big on either end to fit snugly in my rack - so it either has to go in and sit on a slant or stacked at the very top of the rack where it can't interfere with the other CDs. Two offenders off the top of my head are King Crimson's "Discipline" reissue and Tetuzi Akiyama's "Route 13 to the Gates of Hell".
Posted 06/24/2006 - 02:48:45 AM by NickSouthall:
 Actually Jeffro, that's what the Talk Talk packaging is like here too - I must have been suffering from temporary, packaging-induced insanity - my point was meant to be that, because I could never be arsed to buy their first album, my Talk Talk collection read "ALK ALK" for years...
Posted 06/24/2006 - 10:52:15 PM by Utica5:
 as far as hidden tracks go, sometimes major labels limit the number of tracks that an artist can put on his/her/their cd. hidden songs can be ways to fit music in that as a seperate track wouldn't be permitted. it sounds insane, and it also sounds like i've made it up, but i'm about 75% sure that i haven't.
Posted 06/26/2006 - 04:54:46 AM by henrykmiller:
 mo'wax were serial offenders on this score; also a big TOO TALL black mark for 'pre-millennium tension'. but surely the worst thing about CDs is the dreaded double-cd hinge thingy that always breaks. these fail in so many ways. my 'loads + loads more' by the mondays is probably the worst example.
Posted 08/01/2006 - 06:45:44 PM by cinatyte:
 undoubtedly one of the best articles I've read in a long time. nice work.
Posted 10/24/2006 - 04:24:58 PM by johnedowney:
 Dammit; a Stylus article that no one gets offended by. Well, except for that one guy who doesn't buy CDs anymore. Fuck him.