Jewel Case vs. Digipak

Which would you rather have as a fan/collector and why?

  • Jewel Case
  • Digipak

0 voters

Emerald encrusted jewel case


Only have about 10 CDs left that I haven’t sold / given away, so I’d rather have something that looks nice / has some personal significance than some shitty jewel cases.

Detest the digipack. Flimsy, bendy, melty piece of papery shite that comes unglued.


Jewel case every time! With the exception of tinted cases or uniquely coloured trays every component is replaceable. I largely buy used CDs these days and the chance of finding a near mint condition digipak is pretty much nil (digipaks with broken teeth are the Devil’s work). Also, don’t get me started on those cardboard gatefold sleeves that are designed to scratch the disc.

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Both a bit rubbish aren’t they. Should make them like nice books and not worry about them all being the same size.

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The jewel case is the peak of design, I love it!


Someone on here linked to an article about the design process and history of the jewel case before and it was fascinating. Wish I could find it again.

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Preferred the jewel case during the times of CDs.

Allows a decent enough inlay card or booklet to be put in. Sometimes the inlay would be a mini poster.

Objectively digipacks are more aesthetic but as someone who is neurotic about the condition of my stuff I don’t like that they can get damaged easily from the post or especially if you get 2nd hand and can’t see it before hand. Some of then are in awful condition I don’t know what people must do with them!

Also those digipacks that are gatefold and the CD slips in on the inside of the spine rather than an outer edge are often fiddly to get the CD out and I’m always worried about ripping it.

Jewel cases are more robust, replaceable and easier to store.

The good middle ground is those digipacks that have a plastic tray for the CD. Easier to get it out and not so flimsy.


The industry have really missed a trick not coming up with something that’s not either a shitty flimsy jewel case or a shitty flimsy digipaks as a new industry standard. It’s 2022 for fuck’s sake.

Since the vinyl bubble is about to burst and people are spending less on music, having some sort of really nice tangible thing at a good price point would be a nice way to push CDs back and get people buying.

can’t say this has ever happened to any of mine


i still buy a lot of new albums on CD and i will be put off/reconsider if it’s in a jewel case. feels a bit outdated for new releases in 2022.


Jewel cases are horrible


Aesthetically, digipak. Sadly, as mentioned above, they’re not the most robust format and I find that especially when you’re buying second hand, a large percentage of folks really don’t take care of their CDs and they can be proper knackered. Don’t know what people do with them tbh, I have digipaks from the early 90s that look pristine.

That said, there’s a lot to like about the convenience and cleverness of jewel cases. Easily replacable parts (if you don’t mind adding to landfill), brilliantly designed, tend to fare better on the second hand market though one of the banes of my CD buying life is getting a bargain off eBay and it turning up with the booklet put in improperly in the jewelcase and it’s all bent at the edges from being squished against the holders. Proper miffing, that.


Bring back the ‘Longbox’ I say


Digipak for me.

Trying to imagine Vitalogy in a jewel case. Just all kinds of wrong.

It’s pretty weird cause most replies go for Jewel Cases but the poll says otherwise.
Also, don’t Digipaks always have plastic trays anyway? My idea of a Digipak was that type.

Always preferred jewel cases because

  • It’s easy to replace components
  • Fit nicely on the shelves with other jewel cases
  • Artwork is well protected, unless someone is careless
  • Can accommodate rather large inserts (see Kid A)

Jewel cases can suck because

  • Outside can crack easily
  • CD holder clips can break easily
  • Easy replacement means more landfill

Digipaks are nice because

  • Can be more aesthetically pleasing
  • Soft to the touch
  • Can accommodate interesting packaging design

Digipaks are awful because

  • Easily damaged (bent corners, crushed or flattened spines, water damage, broken trays, etc.)
  • Inconsistent sizing looks messy on shelves and contributes to damage when packing/storing (tbf this applies to vinyl as well)
  • Although I haven’t bought CDs in years, I agree it must be annoying to buy secondhand online and not know the condition, and not be able to replace anything

I don’t really buy any second hand CDs, so I don’t have to worry about the condition that other people leave their CDs.

I do get a bit disappointed if I order a cd online and it’s in a jewel case. The oversized versions of digipacks are pretty annoying though, although at least I’ve now got a big group of these oversized beasts all kept separately together.

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