Getting Started

The key components - Preparing your master - Preparing your artwork -Copyright and licensing - Barcodes - iTunes and CD text -

Ordering - Terms & Conditions - How much will it costNeed more help - Mastering Houses - DVD Mastering - Graphic Artists


We understand how important your media projects are Ė lets face it, they represent you in the market place and a professional job will reflect the image you want to project.

There are a few steps that can help to make sure your project lives up to that image. The tips below are a starter guide to getting your project right the first time. If you have any questions, please contact us!

The key components:

There are two key components for any media project: the master and the artwork.

The Master is the material you wish to have replicated (this might be music, data, a software program or a DVD for example)

The Artwork is the design files for your booklet, disc and other packaging.

Preparing your Master

AUDIO MASTERS: We recommend you go to a studio or mastering house and have a replication master prepared professionally. We accept CD masters as CD Audio Discs OR DDPi files. We don't accept individual .wav files.

DATA MASTERS: For a CDROM you can write it yourself and supply it on a CD-R.

DVD MASTERS: Can be supplied on DVD-R. As for audio masters we recommend that you use a professional DVD Author to provide you with a replication master.

A note about Masters:

It is your responsibility to make sure that the master you supply is correct, for example the tracks need to be in the right order and contain no jumps or glitches; the data on a CD ROM is correct; your DVD or CD-ROM Master should play the way you want all the copies to play. If your master has mistakes then so will all the copies.

All digital media have errors, it's the level of errors that will determine whether or not your project will have problems. We do test your master for Data errors, if your master contains an unacceptable level of errors then it will be rejected before it is pressed and you will need to provide a new master Ė this can lead to increased production time. Unfortunately we have no control over this - if your master is rejected we will contact you as soon as soon as possible so that you can provide a new one as quickly as possible.

Preparing your artwork

No doubt you will have ideas about what you want your discs and packaging to look like. And with the availability of graphics programs there is a good chance you might design parts of your artwork yourself. However, print ready artwork isnít always easy to produce, in fact ill-prepared artwork is the most common reason for project delays or worse - unsatisfactory outcomes.

To avoid these delays we recommend you go to a professional designer to get your artwork prepared for printing. Most artists will be happy to help you regardless of the stage your artwork is at, conception or near completion. Please see our list of recommended graphic artists to help you get your artwork right the first time.

Key steps with artwork:

  1. Come up with some ideas about what type of packaging and design you want. See our packaging page for some suggestions.
  2. Contact us for the appropriate specifications
  3. Either start working on the artwork yourself OR contact a graphic artist
  4. Burn your print ready artwork to disc and provide it to MAD with your digital master OR send the files to us electronically. For files over 5MB please use a large file transmission service - we recommend (It's free - you only need to register), Wetransfer or dropbox

Important things to know:

In order for us to print the artwork you provide we have the following requirements:

  • Art to our specifiations - please request our templates
  • 3mm bleed all round for paper parts
  • No bleed for disc
  • Minimum resolution 300 dpi
  • All colours CMYK (not RGB)
  • All fonts turned to curves/outlines
  • Final files as high resolution, press ready PDFs
  • Colour print-out or physical colour digital proof to act as a printerís guide (while we can commence the job without this if you don't provide one we will not be held responsible for colour accuracy.)

Copyright & Licensing

You will need to sign a release form when you place your project with us. This indemnifies us against copyright or licence infringements.

For audio (music) CDs we suggest you contact APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association) so you can list your original songs with them and pay any required fees for reproducing the songs of others.


We can provide you with a UPC 12 digit barcode. These are internationally recognised. We will send you a jpeg file to include in your artwork. For a small additional fee we can place these in your artwork for you. Please contact us if you wish to purchase a barcode from us.

iTunes Recognition and CD text

Don't be fooled by people promising to get your album on iTunes. To have your album or EP recognised by iTunes you need to enter the track titles and writer's details into iTunes (the free downloadable player). When you connect to the internet this information will upload to the CD Database (Gracenote)  where it becomes available to others. Please be aware there may be a lag between when you input the data and when it is available online.

CD Text vs iTunes Recognition

CD Text is also known as metadata. This information is embedded on your master by  your mastering engineer. It can include the track title, artist name, album name and ISRC codes. If you have CD text on your master then it will also be on all the copies we make for you. CD text IS NOT the same as iTunes/Windows media player information. Having CD text will not automatically update the CD database  - this is something you need to do yourself. Even if you have CD text on your discs there it is very likely that you won't be able to read this information on your computer as it can only be read by certain player/readers. If you want to test whether you have CD text we recommend you download and install Exact Audio Copy. This program will allow you to create a cue sheet that will list the CD's metadata.

Placing the order with us

In order to commence the job we will require the following:

  • Production Master this can be a physical CD Audio, Physical DVD OR a DDPi file
  • Artwork files to our specifications
  • Colour print-out or physical colour digital proof to act as a printerís guide (while we can commence the job without this if you don't provide one we will not be held responsible for colour accuracy.)
  • Signed conditions of manufacture
  • 50% deposit (cheque, money order, cash, credit card, direct deposit)

Terms & Conditions

Please read or download our terms and conditions of sale Ė these are our standard terms of business, so before you place your project with us itís important that you read and understand them.

How much will it cost?

Complete our quote request OR phone us so we can provide you with the information you need.

Need more help? 

We are more than happy to provide you with more information wherever we can. Please donít hesitate to contact us.

Home l Who We Are l What We Do  l Getting Started l Get a Quote l Art Specifications l Packaging Options l Links l Contact Us