Burn on Demand?

Does anyone know of a “burn on demand” service - that is, something that allows you to order small runs of CDs to be professionally burned (not as CDRs) and packaged as needed?

Neassa told me about the difficulty of getting a relatively small print run of her EP done. Services like Lulu allow authors to self-publish single copies of their book as they are needed. Why not CDs? I asked a friend who works for a label, who asked his boss, and both came back negative - they’d never heard of it.

I’ve wondered if there would be any point to something like this. Not the mechanics of it - asking a musician to manually create the CDs themself would be the equivalent of asking an author to photocopy their book for distribution - but the obsolescence of the format itself. What with the new model for music distribution - iTunes, MySpace, the Arctic Monkeys and all that - where does the humble CD stand?

As an aside, one of my favourite projects from Transmediale was Burnstation, a mobile copying station loaded with Copyleft licenced music. You browse for music you dig, then burn it all to a CD to take with you.

Anyway, burn on demand, does it exist? Should it?

— 01 Mar 2006