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I have an old Honda with a stock CD player. Certain CD's that I've burned only work sometimes. They typically fail in the morning or when it is raining/wet. I'd rather not go through the bother and expense of installing a whole new audio system.

Questions:

  • Is there an easy way to fix the player to work better?
  • Is there a brand of CD-R that is more reliable? It seems that I can play a Memorex CD-R all the time but the Maxell CD-R's most often. My Memorex CD-R is several years old, so I'm hesitant to buy more hoping it's really the same material years later.
  • Could it be my burner? The discs that work are older burnt from a desktop. The ones that fail are from a laptop. I don't have a desktop anymore so it's not too easy to try.

I'm open to other ideas and suggestions as well.

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I take it you have tried cleaning the CDs that fail/checked for scratches etc? –  Mark Nov 9 '09 at 15:23
    
Good question. Yes. They are cleaned. I even tried burning brand new, out-of-the-box discs and they still fail. –  User1 Nov 9 '09 at 19:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It could be a burner issue; try burning slower, at 4x or so, and see if those discs work better.

You can use the excellent ImgBurn if your normal burning software doesn't provide a friendly means of specifying the burn speed.

Oh, and make sure you aren't moving your laptop when you're burning.

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+1 reducing the burn speed is a good start, although my favorite audio cd burning software would be Burrrn (free & portable): burrrn.net/?page_id=4 –  Molly7244 Nov 9 '09 at 15:28
    
burn as slow as possible, it usually fix this kind of problem –  deddebme Nov 9 '09 at 16:00
    
Good idea. ImgBurn detects the slowest speed for the CD-R I was using as 10x. I can burn slower, but it never plays. I think I need a CD-R that can burn slower. –  User1 Nov 11 '09 at 14:32
    
It's working now! I used a different machine and the same brand of CD-R. ImgBurn doesn't give warnings when I try to burn at 4x. –  User1 Nov 16 '09 at 20:10

I used to have this problem, with a CD player in a Toyota Camry about a decade ago (and I honestly can't remember if it was stock or some brand).

I never did find out the deal (within a few years I had sold that car and installed a new one in my next car which natively played MP3's from CD-R's) but the bottom line is that your CD player was designed to play premanufactured CD's and you're asking it to do something it's not designed for, so it's natural to get mixed results.

But I did notice that some brands did better than others and that burning at a slower speed seemed to help. You mention your desktop burner seems to produce better results, see if you can make an image of the laptop discs and re-burn them on your desktop.

Basically it's always going to be a bit of a voodoo touch-and-go until you upgrade your arrangement. I'd recommend getting a player with either and 1/8" jack or an iPod cable and migrate your collection to an iPod and cut out the CD-R voodoo altogether.

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+1 for mentioning re-burning with another device –  foraidt Nov 9 '09 at 15:32

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