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Feature: Graphics & Multimedia

Easily create CD case covers with Koverartist

By Shashank Sharma on January 18, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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Lots of open source tools can help you transfer photos and videos from your cameras to a Linux computer and burn them on to a DVD. But before you mail them to your uncles, aunts, and cousins, wouldn't it be great if you could add a customized case cover to your disks? Koverartist is a KDE application you can use to quickly put together an artistic cover for a CD case.

To install Koverartist, Ubuntu and Fedora users can respectively use the sudo apt-get install koverartist or yum install koverartist command. Once installed, you can access Koverartist from the Multimedia menu.

The Koverartist interface is pretty straightforward. All controls and options are to the left of the screen. The top and bottom slides on the right display respectively the front and back of your disk cover.

By default there are three tabs on the Koverartist interface: Project, Options, and 1. The number of tabs changes depending on how many disk covers you wish to create. For instance, if you wish to create covers for three albums by the Beatles, specify three in the Number of Discs field. You'll then see five tabs: Project, Options, 1, 2, and 3. In this case, all disk covers will have the same title and text effects, but the disk content (tracks on each album) will be different, as specified in the respective tab for each disk. The disk content appears on the back cover.

Creating a cover

The first step in creating a disk cover is to select the type of disk case from the Case drop-down list under the Project tab. Next, enter the title of the disk. You can place the title at the top, middle, or bottom and center it or align it to either side. You can specify the text effects using the controls at the bottom-left of the screen. The available effects are Glow, Box, Outline, or Shadow. I personally favor the Glow effect. Using the size scroll bar you can control the dimension of your chosen effect.

Next, move on to the Options tab, which offers a few more interesting options, such as using pictures as a background of the front and back covers. You can alternatively choose to use colors for the background. If you're making a cover for a disk of photgraphs, you can use a couple of the images on the disk as the backgrounds.

You can now enter the contents of the disk on the third tab, and it will be displayed on the back cover. Once you've added the content, move back to the Options tab to decide the text effects to use for the back cover. The options are the same as for the title and subtitle under the Projects tab. Also, the title of the disk appears on the back cover at the two sides, and you can apply text effects to this side text as well. Unfortunately, Koverartist does not allow you to specify the position where the contents should be displayed on the back cover.

One of the features that I most like in Koverartist is Internet search. If you click Extras -> Search for cover images, Koverartist will launch Konqueror and search Google images for results matching the title on the cover. If you wish to create a cover for one of your music albums, just put the disk in and click Disk -> Import Audio-CD. Depending on the type of cover you've selected, this will automatically fill in the title, subtitle, and disk content (tracks).

The only quirk of this program is its lack of an undo button. While you can replace all text entered, and change the colors and text effects, there's no way to remove an image from the front or back cover once you've specified one. If you accidentally place a picture on the front cover of a disk and later decide you don't really want any picture, you have to start afresh; you can't just remove the picture's path and select a background color.

Apart from the lack of this undo button, Koverartist is an excellent program that can be used to create an elegant disk cover within a matter of minutes.

Shashank Sharma specializes in writing about free and open source software for new users and moderates the Linux.com forum boards. He is the coauthor of Beginning Fedora, published by Apress.

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Easily create CD case covers with Koverartist

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 206.222.171.33] on January 18, 2008 07:39 PM
Or if you are inclined to a slightly greener approach without all the plastic involved in traditional CD cases you could give http://papercdcase.com/ a shot...

It is not as pretty but it is surely functional and pretty cool.

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Easily create CD case covers with Koverartist

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 122.148.187.219] on January 20, 2008 04:11 AM
It creates case covers (that is the inserts that go into the jewel case. What it doesn't do, which is the more useful thing, is create CD and DVD labels. To do that you must either create your own layout in OO.o or some other similar tool, or install the windows CD label application under wine.

When are we going to see a linux application that create CD labels for the various blank labels you can buy?

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Re: Easily create CD case covers with Koverartist

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.44.12.48] on January 21, 2008 02:16 AM
I've been using gLabels for years to create CD and DVD labels.

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