By Robert Lachman

After spending hours, days, or weeks working on a multimedia project and burning it to a DVD, why would you just label it with your Sharpie Permanent Marker? Sharpie’s do a great job of writing on CDs or DVDs, although there always seems to be a question about the archival problems with the ink.

It’s just such a weak link in the chain. You’ve drank endless cups of coffee, cleaned up the sound, picked out the perfect transitions, chosen the music, made those still images come to life with the “Ken Burns Effect” turning it into professional looking movie.

disccover1Then it’s “Sharpie Time.” Well, now I’ve seen the light. I am going to finish what I’ve started and I’m going to finish strong. After checking out a number of products, I chose from Disc Cover 2.3  (updated March 2009) from Belight Software for my disc labeling. The program works with iPhoto and Aperture.

This new version of Disc Cover is simple and fun to use. This software is another example of how great the Mac developer makes things easy and so simple for the user.

When you open Disc Cover you start with the assistant which gives you a choice of numerous templates and they show up in a nice cover-flow looking window.

disccover2They ask you to choose a design from a drop down menu: Music, Photos, Files and Data, DVD, General, and Blank.

I picked the Photos which gave me a choice of about 40 templates. I picked Lady Sketch for a friend’s 40th birthday party pictures. Then I clicked on next which took me to my iPhoto library

I clicked on finish and now my photos of the birthday party appeared in the left window pane of the software.

Now I could drag over the photos individually, but I went for the collages menu. I couldn’t resist. I went for a collage called photo-cross. I dragged over the collage ungrouped it and and removed two of the photos to customize it. Now I dragged photos over from my iPhoto library to replace the placeholder photos the software put in. Now I double clicked on the photo and was able to crop and rotate as needed. The program gives you complete flexibility.

Five minutes later I’m ready to bring to my Epson R200 printer which can print directly on the DVD.

Other very nice features in the software include: importing your song titles automatically into the project. Also can redesign each element of your work independently. There is a large clip art gallery, which also features a place where you click on the small globe and the software will search for art on the internet based on the information from your iTunes data. There’s a random background generator, a good selection of layer masks which can also be applied to images, drop shadows, a variety of borders and the option to curve the text.

I give the software five out of five stars. If there was a fault with this program, I couldn’t find it. The cost is $34.95 via download at www.belightsoft.com. The also have excellent tutorials available on their website.