Down with the jewel case!


I’ve never liked jewel cases. Actually, I hate those three pieces of plastic. They crack and break. The thing that is suppose to hold the disc never holds it tightly so it spins, the spokes eventually break, and the disc get scratched. My biggest complaint is that for a small object they consume quite bit of space, thirty jewel cases need one foot of space on a shelf. Albums can be squeezed together tight on a shelf, but you’ll end up with a pile of cracked plastic if you try it with jewel cases. My living room walls are covered with Billy bookcases from Ikea to house my CD collection. Kevin Cole has a basement that is filled and people talk about in hushed tones of amazement. Most jewel case replacement options, like plastic sleeves or binder pages, don’t have space for the tray card, the back piece with track listings and the title spines. My sister replaced all of her jewel cases with sleeves and threw away the tray cards. I could never do that. I already feel short-changed on the amount of space that CD packaging has for information, I’m not getting rid of anything.


I was thrilled to discover MM Designs’ DiscSox CD Pro storage sleeve, a perfect solution to jewel cases. The sleeve is made with clear high-quality vinyl and protective fabric. Booklets fit easy in the front with no worry about ripping them, even if they are thick (I can’t tell you how many booklets in my collection that have fallen victim to the little teeth of jewel cases). Each sleeve will fit a double CD. The surface of each disc faces fabric, keeping them dust free and cleaning them each time they are removed. The tray card fits along the back. Nifty.


I have fifty discs in DiscSox sleeves so far, which fit in the same space as thirteen CDs in jewel cases. I’ll eventually replace all the jewel cases, but it will take time with over 1000 CDs. Also on my wish-list is a Teal Blue Can-Am Media cabinet to keep my collect in. It’ll hold up to 2000 CDs in DiscSox sleeves, will accommodate other media, like DVD’s and VHS tapes, and can be expanded and modified to fit audio and video equipment. Can-Am even has cabinets that albums will fit in, which I’ll need to be thinking about since my record collection is traveling west this September after a fifteen year separation (more about that some other time).

I know exactly what to do with all those empty jewel cases once I’ve made the conversion to DiscSox sleeves, I’ll be able to recycle them by replacing the many broken ones in the KEXP library!

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  1. Janet Blanthorn
    Posted July 13, 2006 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    You are my hero, the links provided for the cd storage sleeves and cabinet are exactly what I’ve been looking for to handle my little cd storage issue. :)

  2. lindsey k.
    Posted July 14, 2006 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Awesome! We recently purchased a few of those Can-Am Media Cabinets (as many as our measly budget would allow) at my old college radio station, KCPR, and they made such a huge difference!

  3. Posted July 17, 2006 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, my solution:

    1. Use those plastic CD sleeve for storage and light use. (CD that stays in the listening room, only in and out of player)

    2. if I want to travel and roughing. (further than 20 steps of the storage space) then I put the CD inside regular plastic jewel case.

    I wish they have this “portable storage bog” that can store CD+plastic sleeve. That would be the ultimate CD system. (Until they find away to use DVD-audiowhachamacalit, that contains 100 regular CD into 1 DVD. then.. It’s all audio nirvana storage.

  4. Tom
    Posted August 23, 2006 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Are these available in-store around Seattle? The S&H is pretty expensive on their site.

  5. Posted August 30, 2006 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I am using jewelsleeves ( which is pretty much the same thing as discsox, only a hair cheaper. best things ever…

  6. Yes well
    Posted October 22, 2006 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, well Vinyl plastic is not known to be very friendly to CDs… All these companies ( and in particular), SHOULD be using a material such as Mylar or Tyvek. I’m sorry to tell you this, but in 7 to 9 years, your vinyl sleeves would have let off enough gasses to really damage or ruin your CD collection.

  7. Posted October 28, 2006 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    “Yes Well” – Any evidence to support your claim? Or do you work for DuPont ;)

  8. Scott
    Posted November 29, 2006 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Actually, he’s right. I’m an archivist, and found this page while looking for an alternative to polypropylene cases.

    Most jewel cases are made out of ABS or polystyrene, which are often pretty bad themselves. PVC (“vinyl”) is about the only common plastic that is flat-out banned in archival areas.

    Mylar, polypropylene, polyethylene and polycarbonate are safe plastics. And if you want to add a couple of decades of life to your CDs, take a look at the Corrosion Intercept line of CD sleeves and jewel case inserts.

  9. Scott
    Posted December 6, 2006 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    After looking around on the DiscSox website, I see that they have a line of all-polypropylene products, which should make any archivist happy. Having slammed vinyl, I thought it only fair to point that out.

  10. Max
    Posted November 25, 2007 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Hello, any evidence on this PVC issue?
    I haven’t found much on the internet.
    If CD is stored between the booklet page… is it really in danger just cause it’s stored in a vinyl sleeve?
    Or this is just theoric?

  11. rob
    Posted April 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    what about vinyl records?

  12. Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This is not theory — it is fact! Example: Storea LightScribe labeled DVD/CD in a PVC storage sleeve and a chemical reaction will take place that erases the label. Solution: Find storage sleeves made of Polypropylene, Mylar or Tyvek. One specific possible solution is the Corrosion Resistant sleeves offered by Bags Unlimited — just Google them.

  13. Corinne
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I came across discsox about a year ago and love their solution for media storage. I didn’t purchase though because I too was concerned about the vinyl sleeves and have been waiting for an alternative material. I just called the company to get an update about them using Polypropylene or Mylar instead of the vinyl. I spoke to Vanessa, one of the owners and she said that they have switched all of their discsox sleeves to Polypropylene however the only one that is available on the website is the DVD Pro-poly. She said that they are waiting to sell the rest of the vinyl stock before offering the polypropylene on the website but that if you call them directly and ask about the other polyporpylene products, they would be happy to sell them! Now that I know this I am definitely ready to order and consolidate our media collection!

  14. Jeff
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to qualify the PVC issues in regards to DiscSox sleeves:
    I have been storing CDs in DiscSox sleeves for over 8 years without any problems (I guess I was an early customer).
    The pockets where the discs are stored are lined with a non-woven fabric. So CDs or DVDs do not come in direct contact with vinyl in any DiscSox sleeves I ever used.

    I did have a vinyl based booklet from a different manufacturer where the discs did come in direct contact with vinyl. Sure enough within a couple of months on some discs the printed side got sticky (it must have reacted with the vinyl). I never saw this issue with DiscSox sleeves because the sleeves are lined with fabric which seems to do the trick…

    Cheers, Jeff

  15. saxoman
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    so was this discussion ever resolved. are these sleeves now made from poly and are they safer to use???

  16. Posted June 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    For several years now, all DiscSox sleeves are made entirely from environmentally friendly polypropylene. The sleeves are full archival quality and do not have any of the issues of vinyl based sleeves (see

  17. Rick Stevens
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    My favourite one is the special edition case for the 1994 The Flintstones movie soundtrack.

One Trackback

  1. By Unifying the CD Collections at on August 17, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    […] On a suggestion from the KEXP blog, Kenny and I recently invested in a few sets of DiscSox CD sleeves. He came home from band practice the other night to find me snapping open all of my old jewel cases and transferring the CDs + front and back inserts into sleeves. He joined me and helped me finish my collection, and then we got out his big CD Logic books and started transferring his CDs from those as well. The sleeves (and the storage tray) are wonderful because they allow for storage of the inserts in addition to the CDs, they save enormous amounts of space, they are easy to sift through quickly, and they won’t crack like our old jewel cases did. […]

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