Jewel Case Engineering

Why do CD jewel cases have ten or twelve ‘prongs’ that the CD fits on to keep from falling out when you open the case but DVD cases have one, two, four prongs, but never as many as a CD case?

I wonder because the CD prongs sometimes break off and then the CD won’t stay in the case when opened. Then I have to replace that part of the case. I have never had a DVD post break.

So, the DVD prong technology seems better. Why don’t CDs come with the fewer, but more rigid, system?

DVD cases also use a type of plastic that seems to be less brittle, perhaps CD case plastic is cheaper. As I recall, with out actually getting out of my chair to look at a DVD case, the prongs on a DVD case are much wider (1/2 or 1/4 of the circumfrence) and if that was made out of the brittle cd case plastic I think they would snap right away. Anyways, something my brother taught me was: Right after buying a CD, even before you walk out of the store if possible, open the CD and if the prongs are busted, exchange the CD right away. I’ve done that several times. If your still standing their it’s no big deal, but I’ve never seen anybody that’s wanted to drive all the way back to the store for that reason.


I just love a person who is too lazy to get up and look at a DVD case. Joey, are you my long lost brother?


My unscientific comparison test shows that DVD plastic seems to be more pliable, thus less likely to break off.

Whomever designed the standard CD Jewel case should be forced to have every broken case shoved up their asses. Tape cases werent much better. I’d guess 1/3rd of CD cases are broke at one of the joints if not both. The really thin cases you can buy are much better designed and are the ones I use in the car and thats the only place I use CDs.

Then again, some DVD case spindles have caused me worry as to whether I’d snap the disc in half before the holding prongs would budge. Also, CD cases are, as mentioned, standardized but DVD cases come in a half dozen spindle designs. My guess is that the CD case design is something they came up with on the cheap-and-dirty back in 1984 and survives due to market inertia.