Label side is seen through clear vinyl/data side touches soft fuzzy side.
You can't read the labels if you place data side away from soft protective surface.
But.....I do not trust anything accept original jewel box cases.I have seen silkscreen label side from various cd makers adhere very strongly to clear vinyl and damaging cds.Summer weather can cause this in cars or elsewhere.I advise against taking cd's into automobile due the more extreme hot/cold varients,make cd-r copies for the road if able.If you can't then keep them in original jewel cases and 'always'take them with you.If you gotta have portable transport then use the hard cases with flipping plastic flaps which hold the center spindle hole of the discs.Take this as advice from a guy who ruined 200 cds using those photo album style cd holders.
Whichever way you put discs in a sleeves you run the risk of damaging them. Nothing should ever touch the underside of a disc. Put a disc in a dirty/gritty sleeve and the problem compounds. When discs are packaged on spindles they are separated from each other (only the inner part of the discs touch each other) and when cds are packaged in jewel cases nothing touches the underside. This is not by accident.
If you must use sleeves, though, i would put the playing side against the cotton as long as it always stays perfectly clean as it can trap dirt easily. I think the product illustration you mentioned is typical in advertisements and such. Whenever i see an ad for a cd player or a cd related item the disc is usually photographed with the underside up. I guess they think it looks cleaner/nicer/cooler to have the shiny side up instead of a brand name or a band name. I guess you could say that the underside of a disc is more photogenic.
I agree with Clbeans.
I had a cd-storage thingie in the car a few years ago. You know, the kind that goes over your visor. In the heat, it reacted with the cd's and ruined each and everyone of them.
Ketchup - the bit about not picturing the faces of the CDs (with bandames, label imprints etc) could have something to do with royalties and trademarks or somesuch.
As for your comments, Clbeans - you've learned the hard way like so many of us have, and you speak the truth. My falling out with "the car" came with cassettes - nothing sacred ever went in the car after a couple precious ones went south. With CDs, it can happen even faster.
My rule is: nothing at all goes into the car unless it's a CDR dupe of something safely in my original collection, or unless I truly KNOW I don't care, and am really, really sure of that.
As for the "label side" - a CD in some cases can sustain far far more damage to the underside (data side) and still play than it can to the "label side" - which is a reflective layer that if it peels up, the underside could be pristine, but if enough damage is done to the top, the disc is done for - the laser won't track without that reflective layer 100% intact.
With a manufactured disc (like a CD you buy at the store), the label side is much better protected - perhaps by some sort of coating, but that isn't enough in the heat of a car from preventing these plastic sleeves from gluing themselves to the top layer of the CD and causing damage when pried apart, as mentioned in the thread.
With a CDR, the protection of the label side varies from none at all (like a blank, bulk-quality CDR with no top label - these peel like crazy - at least put a CDR label sticker over the entire label side face, or forget about reliability - even for the week!) to good (a CDR with a full "marker-ready" painted/labeled/coated label face).
If I were you, I'd only take CDRs into the car that are CDRs with a "finished" label face that's printed and marker-ready, and entirely avoid any envelope/cd booklet that employs a clear-plastic face on ANY surface that touched the discs. You can get fiber-enveloped booklets with partial cutaways in the sleeves that show enough of the disc for you to identify them, even if the fiber sleeve is opaque. If you make CDR's, you just write the disc title up top, and put them in showing the name, as best as possible.
Thanks everyone for such thorough answers.
I'll probably just continue to use my regular weighty carry cases with the regular CD jewel cases inside so I can be safe with all my original CD's, when on my way to an audio store, or club meeting.
My cars are so old that I still listen to cassette tapes with the in-dash player, and always take a few tapes along when driving. Luckily, none have melted in the heat.
I have accumulated quite a collection of cassette tapes since so many audiophiles have gifted me their old tapes now that CD-R's are preferred.
I never let the originals leave my listening room, and they always stay in the jewl cases. That seems to be the best way to insure that they stay near mint. But when traveling or in the case, I use burned CD-R copies in those plastic & cotton sleeves. That way I don't what happens to them. It seems to be the best compromise for me at the time.
Is there any reason why you are taking the originals with you?
Always use jewel cases for best protection against disc damage! Forget the convenience of those nasty plastic protectors!
I'm with everybody else...I ruined a bunch of cd's with those plastic sleeve holders and wouldn't ever consider using them again...jewel cases for me now.
You could replace the standard jewel cases with the thin ones sold for cd-r, to reduce the weight and bulk, and increase the capacity of your carrying case.
Listener57 - Another option is to purchase those ultra slim jewel cases and place the front insert in them along with the cd. They occupy 50% of the space of a normal jewel case and provide about the same amout of protection. I do this when I travel home and want to take my small case logic carry on case. I can travel with 30 cds easily.
I agree with other posters about those plastic sleeve holders. A friend of mine totally ruined a couple hundred cds using them even after I cautioned him about it. He lost some OOP cds and has never been able to replace several dozen of them. I also agree that if you have the means...only put cdRs in the car.
Great idea about those ultra slim jewel cases doubling the storage space for precious original CD's. Dealers just love it when you ask to hear a few favorite CD's, and then out will come that small case with a double dose of my "records to die for" selections.
Careful! If you are using the nylon multiple CD holders, you will end up with a scratched CD library.
Since you think the slim jewel cases are a good idea check out an OfficeMax near you this week. They have 100 Slim Jewel Case packs on sale for nearly free with rebates for the first one. All additional packs are $12 each unless you have a lot of family members you can mail rebates to, then they are almost free. The reason I say almost free is because you never get the tax money back. :)
Lou, Thanks for the OfficeMax idea. Almost free is close enough to free, for me. Then, to achieve complete freedom, here in Connecticut, if I can just convince the checkout person it is tax-free "clothing" for naked CD's...
Check out the Univenture "archival" sleeves, available from Bags Unlimited and elsewhere. They have a cotton (actually, polymer) sleeve inside the vinyl, so both sides of the CD are against the soft stuff.
I totally agree with KETCHUP and AROC.Great comments .
oh my gosh, audiophile forum. Cd's should be kept is original cases as this proves solid protection as well as keeping away from moisture and sunlight.