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CD Autostart Advantages

Also known as CD autostart, CD auto-run, CD auto-play

Computer and multimedia technology can be troublesome at the best of times. Creating a CD-ROM for business or corporate clients that they can't open is the ultimate frustration.

When you share a CD with someone, especially potential new clients, you want them to be able to view the CD-ROM contents easily and without any technical issues. If you have to explain the technical process of opening the CD, identifying the right files and then knowing what software application is required to view the CD-ROM content you're probably going to create a less than favorable impression.

Adding an auto-start feature to your CD will reduce the burden on the end user and increase the chance that your hard work will actually be viewed. We can auto-start many types of file formats including, compatible video formats, PowerPoint and PDF files.

What you need to know:

The Key Points:

  • An auto-start addition can only open one file on your CD.
  • If you have multiple files you will require a menu screen so the CD user can choose from a list of files.

The Details

The basic auto-start addition can only be used to open one file. If you only have one PDF file or video or PowerPoint file on your CD-ROM it's a perfect solution. If however, you have multiple files on the same CD, you will require a startup screen and menu system to allow the user to choose their destination. We can design and author a startup screen with sub menus that will project a professional image and ensure your clients and corporate contacts can navigate through your CD quickly and easily.

An auto-start addition does not guarantee that the file will open but there are ways to improve the compatibility of your CD-ROM. The auto-start will only work properly if you create your files in a format that is supported by an application (program) on the computer that the CD-ROM is viewed on. Most videos (if formated correctly) will open and play without issue because most new PCs come with Windows Media Player included as part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free download and is the most popular application for viewing PDF files. Many late model computers have Acrobat Reader already installed but it may be necessary to provide download information to the end user just in case.

PowerPoint Presentations will not play without a copy of Powerpoint or the free Powerpoint Viewer

PowerPoint presentations require that the host computer has a copy of Microsoft PowerPoint installed. Microsoft PowerPoint (included in the Microsoft Office Suite) is not free but it is the most widely used presentation software in the corporate world. You need to make sure that all the recipients of your CD Powerpoint presenation have Microsoft Powerpoint on their computer.

It is possible to convert PowerPoint Presentations to video so they can be played by anyone with Windows Media player or similar video software installed on their computer. PowerPoint can also be converted to the MPEG2 file format and burned as a higher quality DVD. Converting PowerPoint to video is not without its challenges but it is an option for improving compatibility.

Files and presentations created in less popular applications will reduce the compatibility of your CD-ROM. It may be possible to convert the files to other formats. Please contact a Short Run CD Customer Support Representative to discuss your project. We can suggest the best way to create and deliver your work as part of a CD-ROM duplication package.

Macintosh Auto-start

The basic auto-start addition is not useful for most Macintosh user. Auto-start is possible on older Macs running the OS9 operating system but the feature was disabled in the newer (and more widely used) OSX operating system due to security concerns.

An auto-start option is available to Macintosh users but it requires a custom interface and a bit more care. Please contact us to review the options for project that need to be viewed by Mac as well as PC users.