Any suggestions for repairing a scratched music CD?

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I have a music CD that probably cant be replaced. It's very scratched, but none are deep scratches, just a lot of fine scratches. I once heard about polishing it with toothpaste. Is that a good idea? Or is there something better? (that's not costly). I did wash it with Dawn dish soap, and also with rubbing alcohol.
I realize that they cant be permanently fixed, but if I can get it to play one time without screwing up, I'll copy it to my harddrive, and turn the songs into MP3s. Right now, it plays, but has a lot of skips and pauses.
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snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo formulated on Monday :

I have even used fine steel wool to fix a bad spot before. Your *new* scratches must be radial (center to edge) and it doesn't always work.
Another idea is to try playing it on different players, some players will have no problems dealing with some scratches where others will.
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On 08/29/2016 01:18 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

The public library here has a resurfacing machine that costs either 25 or 50 cents per disk. I can't remember which. I've never used it but the librarian says it's saved a lot of their DVDs that have been scratched. The better machines cost $120 and up but you might be able to find a similar deal at your library or maybe a gamer store.
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2016 03:18:42 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

I doubt toothpaste is aggressive enough but you may be able to buff it out with a fine rubbing compound or jeweler's rouge. I would avoid any kind of solvent. It may cloud it up.
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Water is a solvent, as is alcohol. I've used 91% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol on many DVDs. Completely harmless. ;)
nb
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com writes:

Toothpaste is worth trying. Pretty much everyone has some, so you don't have to go out and buy something new.
Someone else mentioned trying different players, and that's worthwhile too.
You can also try reading it with Exact Audio Copy on your computer. I've heard that sometimes can read damaged disks and get a good copy from them.
If you do get a good copy, you should probably burn it to another CD or otherwise archive it. Use a lossless format so you'll have the original if you ever need it again.
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Have you looked on iTunes or Amazon to see if the album is available there? That might be an easier option than trying to repair a scratched CD, especially if you only want selected songs from the CD.
You could also look for used CD's on Amazon or other sources.
Otherwise, I would try a fine automotive "polishing" compound. A "rubbing" compound would probably be too aggressive.
There are also kits that are made for polishing up plastic headlights. Those might work, but for the price you could probably just buy a new CD.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 8/29/2016 3:18 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

But, using a computer to copy the disk has usually worked for me. Clean it first and then try to copy it. Again, a different computer (different drive) could work. I don't know whether the copy software makes a difference or not. I use Roxio.
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wrote:

The difference is a computer can retry the read several times, only writing the clean track, assuming it gets through once.
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On 8/29/2016 12:34 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

When it hits a bad track it hangs on that track for a while, apparently as you said, re-reading it multiple times. As I said, it seems to usually work.
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On 30/08/2016 13:49, Art Todesco wrote:

Try giving it a light wipe and polish with WD40. I know it works on old gramophone records without affecting the plastic.
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Try a different player!
Whether or not a CD/DVD player can play a disc is more a factor of how good yer player's software is. I had a $250+ Sony with less features than a $50 Walmart Emerson. I ended up tossing the Sony out a second story window!
My daughter and SIL had an older Xbox. It would play everything! My daughter's and granddaughter's DVD collection (vast) was NEVER stored in their protective envelopes/cases. Needless to say, they were scratched beyond belief. Their dog (big!) would walk across or even chew on 'em. Some were so scratched, they looked like they been dragged across the cement patio. I know dang well none of them would play on my Sony, but that damned Xbox played every single one without a single stutter. Blew my mind!
I asked a knowledgeable friend why this old Xbox could play almost everything. He sed it was the software. He claimed it was the sophistication of the video software that made the difference. Something about a player's ability to back-buffer(?) a corrupt image. Since older Xboxes were essentially full blown PCs, a really large powerful program was no problem.
true story, nb
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notbob has brought this to us :

Good idea.

Software? It's actually has more to do with tracking and focusing than it does with error correction and smoothing circuits.
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The software can be a factor as well. Some software expects a good data stream coming from the hardware and will fail immediately if it sees errors. Other software can go back and re-read the disk and attempt to get valid data from it.
The Exact Audio Copy website claims:
"It works with a technology, which reads audio CDs almost perfectly. If there are any errors that can’t be corrected, it will tell you on which time position the (possible) distortion occurred, so you could easily control it with e.g. the media player"
"With other audio grabbers you usually need to listen to every grabbed wave because they only do jitter correction. Scratched CDs read on CD-ROM drives often produce distortions. But listening to every extracted audio track is a waste of time. Exact Audio Copy conquer these problems by making use of several technologies like multi-reading with verify and AccurateRip."
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Bud Frede pretended :

True enough, but GIGO still applies. If scrathes are the problem resulting in skipping or dropouts, which is usually the case, then dynamic processing (or post processing) software can only do so much. I worked for years on laserdisc and CD units without what would normally be called "software". Dynamic processors for vinyl recordings made a big difference too, but are not strictly speaking part of the player.
Scratches seldom cause any data to be lost due to the interleaving, EC, and eight-to-fourteen modulation used, but they *do* cause tracking and focus errors in the lens and sled mechanisms. Skipping and dropouts usually occur as a result of this, not because of the D/A, EC, or smoothing circuits.
Something that never became all that popular at the time was the digital output from the "player" which just gave you a raw data stream without any post processing at all - on a fiberoptic cable. This is why I didn't consider any post processing to actually be a part of the "player" proper. This is why I thought "software" was irrelevant.
Now, I suppose everything from the disc surface to the earbuds is considered the player. Technology moves on. :)
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The way that scratches are handled is part the hardware and part any firmware controlling it. Some players are better at this than others, and I agree that if you have severe mechanical damage to the disk that none of the rest of the reproduction chain really matters.
As for dynamic processors for LPs, do you mean things like the dBX companders? The 3bx was the best one I ever played with, and it still didn't really improve things. Phonograph records are just not very good and while you can make them sound different, you can't improve their accuracy.

I know people that spent a lot of money on external D/As that they fed from a digital output of a CD player. It was either coax or Toslink. There were big arguments about which was better, and plenty of people trying to apply analog concepts to digital circuitry. (Basically, any of the gadgets and gimmicks that had been sold to suckers for phonographs was recycled for CD players.)
I was always astounded at how much money people would spend on "improvements" that, if actually real, were so tiny compared to other problems that they weren't even worth worrying about.
The quality of the original recording, the speakers you use, and the listening room all have effects on the final sound that swamp slight misbehavior of most of the electronics in the system.

One good thing is that there is less for the average person to screw up with an ipod or whatever player they own. They can't break off the needle, get pizza sauce on the record or CD, and their cats won't shred their speaker cones nor will their toddler stick its finger into the tweeter. If they lose their ipod or run over it with the car, apple or amazon still has all their music waiting for them to download again.
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Bud Frede formulated on Thursday :

Right, I was basically thinking about the laser power, focus offset (or bias), focus gain, tracking offset (or balance), and tracking gain settings which the average user cannot control (or set correctly) which will allow the CD to play through perfectly. The is no programming at all software or firmware involved. Sometimes an otherwise identical player can play through a scratch that another has problems with just due to differences in adjustments.
If the reflective surface has a small spot missing (light shows through the disc) or obscured (fingerprints for example) error correction often handles it through the encoding system's built-in data redundancy and in the hardware's handling of the digital signal - which I didn't consider to be 'software' as such even though I suppose it could be considered so. Much of what was hardware can be emulated today in software or firmware. Firmware=software to many people, including me.

Yes, that and cereal data (a small joke) removing "Snap, Crackle, and Pop" and other surface sounds. Similar (though not as good) to the sort of things which can be found here:
http://www.cedar-audio.com/
My working experience was back when digital audio was new. The closest thing to DAT was PCM gear which recorded audio as video onto VCR tapes. I'm sure it is all done digitally with actual "software" these days.

Some stuff was worthwhile for studio gear but, as you say, basically useless for home users. It became "audiophile" home user equipment but I considered most of that to be a 'bragging rights' kind of thing that most people wouldn't hear the difference in anyway.
In studio gear, every little thing is additive in the final product, so it makes it worthwhile in that situation.

Yes, miniaturization and digital A/V technology changed everything.
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I'm glad those days are gone. I don't miss all the surface noise from phonograph records at all. Ditto for tape hiss.

Was it the Sony PCM-F1 that would use a VCR as storage?
I never had much luck with DAT drives. They broke a lot, and a tape made in one often wouldn't work in another. I knew people who used them in the studio and heard a lot of complaints, and I used them for data briefly, but went with other technology pretty quickly.

In some cases, yes. I was thinking more of some electronics designers where they decide that some measurement is the secret to good sound. So, they do all kinds of things with their gear to maximize or minimize whatever it is, and then advertise the heck out of it.
There is also some stuff that's just snake oil.
http://machinadynamica.com/machina43.htm
Watch out when reading that, your brain might melt. :) There were people that paid a lot of money to have some clown call them up on the phone and make noises at them.
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Bud Frede formulated on Thursday :

I worked on/with Sansui's PCX-1 and PCX-11 which both used that method. It was probably Sony technology anyway. A lot of brands had competitor's technology inside anyway. What it says on the outside was often not what it said in the inside.

I saw some of those, but never had to work on or with them.

Yes. THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) ratings of .008% or whatever when most people couldn't even detect 10% clipping.

I had a quick look, and might go back for a read when I feel the need to be punished.
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They're helical-scan drives similar to Beta or VHS, but much smaller. The tape is 4mm.
I saw businesses using them for data backups, and finding out that the tape they made a year ago can't be read in the drive now since it's worn and the alignment has changed.
There are also larger versions using 8mm tape. I think there are a couple formats for data and at least one for video. They're a bit more reliable than DAT, but not nearly as good as drives that use linear tape (not helical-scan). Come to think of it, I think these were used for audio as well. I can visualize one of those all-in-one recording consoles with a tape drive built in and it was 8mm.

There's a lot of that. Pick something to optimize and then show everyone how your product is 10 times better than everyone else's as measured by this one metric. Then hope that nobody notices that the overall performance isn't that great. :-)
Some people almost make a fetish out of "high end audio." There are people who buy very expensive fractional-watt tube amps that use directly-heated triodes and are single-ended, not push-pull. Then they get some boutique cone speaker, often with a whizzer cone, and proclaim that it sounds better than anything more modern.
These are also the people who won't listen to anything but LPs and then only ones where the whole recording process was analog too.
I met a couple of guys with systems like these locally. They were telling me how wonderful their systems sound. In both cases they had them in the basement, with cinder-block walls and concrete floor.
One guy was into weird cables and he had them all suspended from the ceiling via strings from tacks in the joists of the floor above. It looked like something you'd attach over a baby's crib and set to spinning. He also had AC power cords that were as thick as fire hoses. He had replaced all the fuses in his equipment with solid copper rods because he thought the fuses were too "restrictive."
Next he told me that his $10K turntable had stopped working, so we would have to listen to CDs instead. Then we found that his very expensive CD player only liked a few of his CDs. He kept trying to load them and it kept spitting them out. Once he did get one to load, it skipped several times and then settled down.
He didn't have much room in his basement, so you had to sit very close to the speakers. Needless to say, it sounded terrible and I had to keep from laughing at him.

There's some lunatic in the UK, Peter Belt, that sells the same kinds of products. He recommended that you use a sharpie to write "OK" on all of your CDs to make them sound better.
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