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Thread: Music Packaging: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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    Member Common Listener's Avatar
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    Default Music Packaging: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    The conversation begun by rice here and going on for quite an interesting while after that made me want to post this thread. As indicated in the link, there is a thread on "CURRENT Box sets you want to be reissued with better Packaging / Design / SQ" so, while I don't want to limit things, I particularly wanted to talk about "the good" in this thread. I tried taking some pictures so you could see what I mean but I'm not so good with a camera. I recently got a 10CD Brilliant Classics budget box of Corelli: Complete Works. The box is nice and sturdy with nice artwork on the front and great list of the contents and musicians on the back. There is a 12 page booklet which discusses Corelli, his works, and the musicians in this recording. Each of the ten slipcovers has its own, but compatibly styled, artwork, a listing of the works and movements and musicians and even the make of their instruments on the back. Best of all, those slipcovers are sturdy and perfectly designed - the CDs don't readily fall out but, unlike most, also require no force to get out or put back in. All in all, I'd have a hard time giving higher marks to any set that came in cardboard and this is actually amazing, to me, for a budget line. (Not really on point, but Peter-Jan Belder's Musica Amphion is really good, too.) Since this probably sounds like an ad, I should specify that I have no connection with the company or performers.

    So, what are your favorite packages (or not-so-favorite)?
    Last edited by Common Listener; Apr-25-2019 at 04:49. Reason: add "the make of" their instruments

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    I'm a fan of Maestro Horowitz and these box sets are simply amazing.
    61y42GuxBEL.jpg
    This is beautifully crafted. Classy and well-designed.

    2146756.jpg
    This set doesn't come with a booklet, but a full sized book and it's absolutely fantastic.
    Many precious photos, info and story about the maestro are there. It's probably the only literature that comes with CDs I've ever read from front to last page.
    However I must say the LP sized box is not very shelf-friendly But considering the brilliant book the drawback is nothing!
    Last edited by rice; Apr-25-2019 at 06:11.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Very nice packaging but does not fit with the rest of the CDs.

    LP sized box and booklet:


    CDs behind the LP sized booklet:
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Both of Rattle's Beethoven cycles are well packaged. The VPO set is nice but that BPO set is beautiful to look at.



    beethoven-vinyl-7181_s.jpg
    Last edited by Merl; Apr-25-2019 at 18:14.

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    I hate box sets with jewel cases inside. I like the nice big books, but the rest of it just takes up space in the garage once I rip it. The more compact the better. When the proportions fit on a normal CD shelf, that is a plus. It's also important to have full track listings on each cardboard sleeve. I can't believe how many sets don't.
    Last edited by bigshot; Apr-25-2019 at 18:20.
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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Both of Rattle's Beethoven cycles are well packaged. The VPO set is nice but that BPO set is beautiful to look at.



    beethoven-vinyl-7181_s.jpg
    This is hard to believe! The book is a... book, and there's even a string for pulling up the records! So sensible and so functional... This is absolutely ridiculous! Just look at the CD/BD version. While it's easy to remove the discs, I never touch them, I only flipped them up once to get the download code that's hidden underneath. And then look at the booklet (top right). It's bound to the box. The objective of the whole box design is to make it difficult to hold and read the booklet while sitting on a couch!


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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki View Post
    This is hard to believe! The book is a... book, and there's even a string for pulling up the records! So sensible and so functional... This is absolutely ridiculous! Just look at the CD/BD version. While it's easy to remove the discs, I never touch them, I only flipped them up once to get the download code that's hidden underneath. And then look at the booklet (top right). It's bound to the box. The objective of the whole box design is to make it difficult to hold and read the booklet while sitting on a couch!

    Lol, i think its a lovely box.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    The 1990s edition of Solti's Ring cycle on Decca is in the luxury class - each of the four operas individually packaged in its own box with a large booklet, all of which fit neatly into a bigger box with removable lid.




    Hopefully we've seen the back of those clunky, space-wasting multi-disc jewel cases, like the type which originally housed Kubelik's Mahler cycle on DG and the Mozart Edition on Philips.
    Last edited by elgars ghost; Apr-25-2019 at 20:22.
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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Here are three with pretty senseless packaging:

    hate1.jpg

    The only problem with this one is that the cardboard sleeves are so tight that it's nearly impossible to remove the discs without tearing them. This is a pretty consistent problem with Sony/BMG CD products.

    hate2.jpg

    Another Sony abomination. The size only works for people who still have LP shelves. Worse than that, the CD's don't stay in order unless you store the box flat. The same problem occurs with the Wand edition box.

    hate3.jpg

    This one is simply pointless. The digipack folds out in four directions, so in order to remove the discs (or read the documentation), you have to lay the thing flat on a table. Dumb, really dumb. I dislike digipacks in general - if they are damaged, there's no way to replace them - but this one takes the concept to a new low.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    mozart-symphonies-nos-36-41-otto-klemperer-philharmonia-orchestra-2-cd-sacd-emi.jpg

    This series was the worst. (I have three sets from it.) The inside front and inside back each had a pocket that held the discs so tightly that you were lucky to get them out once without scratching them. I got them out, ripped them (both layers), put the discs in paper sleeves and hid them away. I can't even remember if they came with any textual materials.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Lol, i think its a lovely box.
    Have to admit it does look lovely, on the shelf!

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    Senior Member Mollie John's Avatar
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    I genuinely like Anne-Sophie Mutter - she's a class act - but not so much that I was ever tempted to acquire this at CDN 400.00 (it's long out of print and generally going for at least twice that now but I didn't want it then and I want it even less now...).



    On this second video American talk show host David Letterman displays the set (which he refers to as the ideal "hamster habitat") before introducing Mutter and Andre Previn.

    Last edited by Mollie John; Apr-26-2019 at 04:34.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    There was a time when record companies were producing both CDs and LPs, and presumably to cut cost, this is the result.


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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    NyT4n98.jpg

    This is such a treasure, bought it second hand, mint for only €30,00
    Last edited by Rogerx; Apr-26-2019 at 05:47.
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    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    If you like packaging, you may enjoy DG/Decca/UMG's YouTube "commercials" ...



    They have become my favorite "tv commercials" of all time ... so well produced, shot and sweet !!

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