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Need fastest way to scan DVD covers - $100 usb flatbed too slow

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  • Scanners
  • DVD
  • Peripherals
Last response: in Computer Peripherals
January 12, 2010 3:56:14 AM

I have approx 500 DVDs (with thousands more to come) that I am about to sell and I need to scan the front and back of the cover so they can be displayed on our website.

I am currently using a USB2 Lexmark flatbed scanner but it takes about 30 seconds to scan each side.

When you consider scanning both sides, and the time to flip, crop and save the image, the fastest I can do it in is 2 mins and 20 seconds per DVD (saving 2 images) - and believe me I am using keyboard shortcuts and everything to try minimise time.

To do this 500 times will take me days to finish so I am looking for another solution that will help speed this up.

I am thinking there must be some sort of document scanner (if not a special DVD sized scanner) that can scan an A5 sized page in a couple of seconds. Then I guess it depends on the software to make it faster to crop and save the image name.

The resolution I require is very minimal, I have been doing it at 100DPI just so I can get a plain 640x480 image suitable for a basic webpage.

If anyone has any advice or knows of any nice hardware that would help cut my 2 minutes down to maybe 15 seconds that would be great!

I do have a Canon 40D with WIFI setup and studio lighting but taking photos is a pain as I don't have a tripod and reflections bug me as I can never get the angles right to see the DVD clearly as you do with the scanner.

thanks for your input

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January 19, 2010 2:34:50 AM

ScannerHelp said:
I have approx 500 DVDs (with thousands more to come) that I am about to sell and I need to scan the front and back of the cover so they can be displayed on our website.

I am currently using a USB2 Lexmark flatbed scanner but it takes about 30 seconds to scan each side.

When you consider scanning both sides, and the time to flip, crop and save the image, the fastest I can do it in is 2 mins and 20 seconds per DVD (saving 2 images) - and believe me I am using keyboard shortcuts and everything to try minimise time.

To do this 500 times will take me days to finish so I am looking for another solution that will help speed this up.

I am thinking there must be some sort of document scanner (if not a special DVD sized scanner) that can scan an A5 sized page in a couple of seconds. Then I guess it depends on the software to make it faster to crop and save the image name.

The resolution I require is very minimal, I have been doing it at 100DPI just so I can get a plain 640x480 image suitable for a basic webpage.

If anyone has any advice or knows of any nice hardware that would help cut my 2 minutes down to maybe 15 seconds that would be great!

I do have a Canon 40D with WIFI setup and studio lighting but taking photos is a pain as I don't have a tripod and reflections bug me as I can never get the angles right to see the DVD clearly as you do with the scanner.

thanks for your input



I use a Visioneer Onetouch scanner (the older 9020 model) and Paperport software to do scanning. The OneTouch software is customizable and allows me to set different parameters for resolution, color, brightness, etc. which all affect how quickly the scan is made. Having used some other scanner interfaces which are insanely klunky and slow, I found this method to be the quickest. Depending upon your settings though, you might be able to speed things up on what you have. Keep in mind that for general viewing on a computer screen, 72 DPI color gives very nice results. Only if you are going to print a photo does it need to be in a higher resolution than that. OneTouch allows me to adjust the size of the scanned area down to a CD case size if I want to scan one, so the hardware doesn't have to pass the whole 11 inches before it retracts to start over. That speeds things up considerably!

I scan a DVD sized 200 DPI 24-bit color bitmap picture appearing in Paperport in 9 seconds, with the scanner reset for the next scan in a total of 12 seconds. If I were to drop to 75 DPI , it would be even faster with the image appearing in 6 seconds and the scanner reset in 8 seconds. If you are fairly quick on the draw, as it were, you could have the case flipped over and run the second scan quickly enough to get BOTH sides done in 30 seconds or less easily.

Of course, you can also open the case so it scans the front and back at the same time. That would get you the whole case in 8 seconds on the OneTouch scanner setup, which you might be able to just use as is to show the front and back in the same picture, depending upon how you are setting up the advertising. At the worst you would still have to clip the picture into 2 images and rotate them as desired.

Paperport is a very powerful program, and it comes with the Visioneer OneTouch scanners. It can do a lot of picture and document editing of itself. I use mine every day.

Amazon has some pretty good deals on these scanners.

I hope you find this info useful.

Good luck!

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January 21, 2010 7:23:38 PM

Zoandar,
thanks very much for the info! I will have a look at Visioneer OneTouch scanners...
if I can get the time down to the seconds you are talking about that would be fantastic!

I think you are right with the software too, I am using the lexmark suite that came with the scanner and it seems very "first time user" orientated so is a bit clunky not to mention I only have a very limited number of settings editable.

thanks again!

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January 21, 2010 7:47:12 PM

You're welcome. With my setup, I have the option to use either the TWAIN scanner interface, or the OneTouch interface. There is no comparison in speed between the two. The TWAIN interface does offer a great deal of settings, but most of my scanning doesn't involve photos. It is usually document oriented, or if it is photo oriented like a CD case, it is the same settings as I had used once before. So I don't have the need for a "feature rich" (read SLOW) interface most of the time.

My recent searches indicated the 9520 was the last Visioneer OneTouch to be produced, and it is still available, but was brought into production in 2003. So there may well be some faster scanners by other vendors since then. Whether they have faster interfaces I cannot say.

After I wrote the above, I did find on Amazon a few mentions of scanning speeds in people's reviews on other brands. But from what I could tell, the only advances the Visioneer 9520 had over my 9020 was easier scanning of photos and slides, which don't interest me.
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January 27, 2010 10:58:21 PM

Best answer selected by ScannerHelp.
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