Welcome to yet another blog post on the subject of things I am frequently asked about! Today we’ll be working with scanning labels, CD’s and other smaller items (IE, anything that’s not an LP jacket) when adding or updating an item in the database.
The first thing you’ll need, aside from something to scan is something to scan with! I use this all-in-one type printer. For the most part these things are regularly disposed of at thrift stores and are available cheaply due to the volume of people who don’t want to deal with buying new and expensive ink.
Once you have your scanner set up, you’ll need an image editing program such as Photoshop or The Gimp. I’ll be explaining how to use The Gimp as it’s both free and it’s what I use personally (If someone wants to write some instructions/screenshots for Photoshop, I’d be glad to append and give credits). Once you have The Gimp installed and your scanner properly configured, it’s time to start scanning!
For my example, I am going to use 45’s as that’s what I scan the most. I find that most scanners can do two at a time without overlapping them.
Once you’ve placed your 45’s and closed the lid, go to The Gimp and click File, Create then Scanner/Camera…
You’ll get a Select Source popup. Correctly select your scanner here. If your scanner is not on the list, ensure that it is powered on and correctly installed.
At this point, the directions are dependent on the software your scanner manufacturer supplies. I have an HP, so I’ll show you what I do and hopefully you’ll be able to make some parallels. Once the preview is scanned, you’ll be able to select the portion you wish to scan and set options like brightness and color levels. It might take a little experimentation to figure out what works best with your scanner.
Once you finish the scan and you’re back at gimp, it should look something like this:
Use the select tool (Top left tool on the toolbar) to select the label and then hit edit then cut from the menu bar or the keyboard shortcut ctrl+x to remove the image and add it to your clipboard.
From here, you’ll want to either hit File then Create then From Clipboard… or the keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+v to create a new window for the cut selection. This will make working with the label easier.
Okay! Now rotating the image so that it’s at the right angle. For this, you’ll want to use the rotate tool, pictured here:
Click on the image and start rotating! I like to use the edge of the Rotate dialogue box as a straight edge to ensure it’s not angled weirdly.
From here, to get a clean edge on the label, I use the circle select tool, which is located next to the square select tool that you first used. Use this to create a selection as close to the edge of the label as possible.
At this point, you’ll need to shrink down the label to fit the size restrictions for uploading to discogs. For this you’ll need the Scale Tool as pictured here:
click inside your selection and enter 2000 (or another high number) into width and hit the return key to set it. Make sure the aspect is locked (The chain icon) otherwise your image will be squashed. Discogs will automatically resize your images to 600 pixels wide upon upload, but the larger version will be retained so that better quality images do not need to be re-uploaded if the existing limit is increased.
Upon clicking Scale, you should have your image at the proper size. cut and paste the image into a new window as described earlier and viola, a clean label scan!
To save the image in a format Discogs can use, you’ll need to export it. To do this, Hit File then export or the keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+e:
After the Export dialogue box pops up choose a filename and place to save your image that works best for you and hit export. I use JPG’s. For quality on JPG I use 90%. 100% is fine too, but may exceed the 4mb limit.
And upload to the release of your choice and you’re done! Join me next time when I explain how to do the complicated process of scanning full LP jackets without a five thousand dollar x-ray scanner! And more importantly, check out the image scanning and editing techniques group.