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How to Scan

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In The Beginning:
If you are new to the scanner, or simply want to learn a little more; there is a wonderful tutorial by Wayne Fulton that will make you an expert in minutes. It's written in easy to understand language, but there is technical information as well. You can read only the parts that interest and/or apply to you. Start the tutorial

Some hints to scan a cover for us:

The best scan for us is at 300 ppi. This produces a finished (fully cropped) front CD cover of @ 1420w x 1420h pixels.

We will accept a resolution as low as 200 ppi, but this is not the best image for us. Please try for a better resolution.

Sometimes scanners are set to scan between 72-150 ppi. such an image is useless for our library.

If you scan at 600 dpi, we can accept that, but for image transfer speed it would be better to reduce the image 50% before sending it. If you scan your images at 1200 dpi, please either reduce the image before sending it, or post it to the net, send us the URL,  and let us download it. Our mail server just doesn't like to get images that big, and there is no benefit for our purposes to have that high of a resolution.

When you prepare to scan an item, the program will let you choose the resolution. Depending on the software package you use, there will be a button, icon, or small arrow somewhere on the scan window that will allow you to click to open the resolution window. Choose "300" ppi and "Millions of colors". Save as a j-peg. If the 

The next step:
After you preview an image to scan, use your mouse to crop around the image. Don't scan the entire bed of your scanner, as in the illustration at right, or you'll end up with an image that's too large to work with. The image at the far right shows a properly scanned and cropped image. Of course, these are not shown to scale. (Not shown at full size).

Crop the image as closely as possible without touching it. Lay it on the scanner bed as straight as you can, but don't worry if it's not exactly straight. We can easily fix that. Don't scan two items (front and back cover) at the same time, unless you crop them into two separate images.

Here is an example of some Don'ts:
This CD has been cropped too closely, and there is image loss at the top and right side. Don't worry about the CD being straight, or even cropped squarely. Do worry about cropping it too close! One more mistake: When scanning a CD, be sure to put a bright white paper behind it if the lid of your scanner is black. We don't want black to show through the center hole.

After the scan:

Once you scan the image, you need to save it to your hard drive. Save it as a .JPG image. Hint: don't leave spaces in the name when you are saving it, and don't use punctuation. For example, don't title it "The Dylan's Roots". Instead use "TheDylansRoots", "Dylroots", "dylan_roots" etc. You are going to send these images onto the internet, and the internet can be a funny thing. It doesn't like empty spaces.

The name game:
Different individuals use differing names and terminologies for the various sections of the CD package.
It would help us in clarifying if you would use our terminologies as follows. If the title of the CD is Big Yellow Moon, then save each scan as follows:

Jewel Case
: BigYellowMoon_J   The plastic box.  We like a scan of the front of the Jewel case (with the front cover in place).

Front cover
: BigYellowMoon_f   The front cover insert is sometimes the front of a booklet as well. We still refer to it as FRONT. It doesn't matter if the front is from a single, slimline, or double Jewel case. We always call it the front. The front only refers to the image you see when the jewel box is closed.     (include the spines in the case of a double thick jewel box front.)  It might be single sided or double sided. Only the side that you see with the jewel box closed is what we call the front.

Back cover
: BigYellowMoon_b  The back cover is only the side of the back tray liner that you see with the Jewel case closed. Keep in mind that this includes the spines on either side of the back. We need the spines included in the scan.

CD or disc
:  BigYellowMoon_cd. We like a scan of the disc. If all discs are alike other than information, one scan will suffice. If there are multiple discs with completely different images, scan all.
BigYellowMoon_cd, BigYellowMoon_cd2 BigYellowMoon_cd3 etc. There are times when a separate insert or booklet is included in the set as well as a front cover.

Sometimes it is nice to include other scans as well. Here is the terminology that we use for them.

Insert Back
BigYellowMoon_ib   Whether the front cover insert is single card printed on both sides or a booklet, we call this the insert. The reverse or back page is the ib (insert back) (If there is an insert and then a separate booklet, we call that item the booklet)

.......... BigYellowMoon_i     If the insert is a folded card that creates four pages (this is very common), some choose to scan both sides. One side will be the front and insert back and the other side is what we refer to as the inside. We designate this " _i "

..........  BigYellowMoon_l      look at the other side of the back cover. This is the ONLY item that we refer to as the liner. If the side is blank, then we consider the package as having no liner.

Front Liner 
BigYellowMoon_fl     The only item that is referred to as the front liner is the reverse side of the front cover of a double thick jewel case. In this instance, the back liner is still referred to only as the liner (not the back liner). If the reverse of this front is blank, then we consider the package as having no front liner.

Booklet    BigYellowMoon_bf  The only time that we refer to an item as a booklet is if it is not part of the front cover, but an additional item placed inside the jewel case. The designation shown would be for the booklet front. The back page that we would normally call the insert back now becomes the booklet back ( _bb ). _b1, _b2, _b3, _b4 etc. refer to the individual pages in the booklet.

Poster      BigYellowMoon_p  The entire poster unfolded and shown as one scan

To Avoid:
If you have a smaller image than what we require, (one scanned at 100 ppi or less - say, 200w x 200h pixels) you cannot simply double the size to 400 x 400 pixels and send it to us. It doesn't work that way. The image will just get blurry, and we won't be able to use it at all. A large image can be made smaller, but a small one can never be made larger. Instead, you need to rescan, or obtain a new, larger scan of the image.

If you have more questions, drop us an e-mail
We can't give you specifics about your particular scanner or software, but we'll try to help with general questions.


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