Top positive review
The PROBLEM... and the SOLUTION ! ! !
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2018
UPDATE TO MY PREVIOUS REVIEW FROM TWO YEARS AGO:
I've already discussed the problem with this product at length in my review from two years ago which you can read following the present update: specifically, the lack of adequate vertical clearance for removing and replacing CDs when you're stacking two or more of these storage boxes.
The solution I discovered just recently is so simple and obvious I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Instead of stacking the storage boxes in the normal way with the hinged magnetic door flap in front, I turned it around so that the back of the box is positioned on the bottom and the door flap is on top, and then stacked the boxes like that as high as I want to go (four high being the limit for the area where I'm storing these under my desk). That adds over a half-inch to the space above the CDs so that I can now remove and replace the CDs easily, also allowing room for those oversize vinyl replica CD jackets and odd-sized disc boxes (including many box sets, although I store my box sets in a different furniture shelving unit for media storage). These storage boxes work perfectly now! See the new photos I posted here, two of which show the CDs stored in the usual way (a tight fit, with the CD jackets that won't fit scattered on the floor in front), and two showing the alternate means of storage and stacking I've just described. I still think this product could benefit from a redesign, but now that I've figured out how to make better use of these boxes, I'll bump the rating up from three to four stars.
PREVIOUS REVIEW POSTED ON AUGUST 30, 2018:
I gave this product a five-star review after purchasing over a dozen of them for my expanding CD collection. But now that I've got some serious heavy use out of them, I've got some strong criticisms.
I love the way these look, their modular design, sturdy build and real quality construction. They are sized right to be adaptable for tight spaces. When full, they are still light enough to be picked up and moved around.
But as some other reviewers have noted, once you stack them you are going to have a hard time pulling CDs out of the lower boxes. If the top boxes in the stack are mostly empty. then there is just enough vertical clearance to put standard jewel cases in and pull them out. But once the box is full, the bottom sags just enough that it sits on top of the CD cases in the box below and makes pulling out the cases difficult to say the least. It barely works with standard jewel cases, but if you've got a diverse collection that includes multi-disc sets and oddly sized digipaks or those mini-LP replica jackets that some of the specialty labels are producing, then the CD cases are just too tall to barely fit in these boxes and even if they do just fit, once you've got a box on top full of CDs then the bottom is going to sag and rest on top of the cases, making it impossible to remove CDs. And I am not stacking these storage boxes more than three high.
Another issue relating to oddly sized CD cases like some box set designs and the mini-LP jackets is they are also too wide and so the front cover won't stay closed and keeps popping open.
So I tried some solutions to make these things work, and it's been difficult. To keep the front flaps closed I got some Velcro stickers and put them on the inside of the flap and it helped, but the adhesive on the stickers isn't strong enough to hold on the leatherette material so they tend to get pulled off. And for the height issue, I stuck on some clear plastic adhesive bumpers that I bought at a hardware store along with the Velcro, and then once the storage cases got filled up, the weight of the CDs squished down so hard the plastic bumpers came unstuck when the storage cases are shifted slightly. Then I tried hammering black upholstery tacks into the bottom corners to elevate the boxes on top and the tacks were too slippery and so the boxes slip and slide instead of stacking neatly. So now I've got to figure out another trick, because I've already invested a few hundred dollars in buying 17 of these, and they are well made but not so well designed. I don't have room for another big media cabinet furniture product in my room so these little storage boxes are what I need. If only they stacked with allowance for room to pull the CDs out from the lower storage boxes.
IF THE MAKER OF THIS PRODUCT COULD JUST ADD ONE-HALF TO THREE-QUARTERS OF AN INCH TO THE HEIGHT OF THESE BOXES, AND ONE-QUARTER OR ONE-HALF INCH TO THE DEPTH, THEN THEY WOULD WORK PERFECTLY. But as it stands, I've spent so much money and so many hours trying to get these things to work out right, I don't know what to do next...