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Can CD's wear and tear influence the quality of the extracted audio file ? Modulation Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Thread Starter
Can CD's wear and tear influence the quality of the extracted audio file ?

Hi Guys.. got this newbie doubt..

I often shop on Discogs, buying cds i don't find in digital stores.

I store and listen all my music in my computer, and to me the only thing that matter is the quality of the intact Lossless Audio file.

As you may know, same cds has different prices based on the media condition (Mint cds are more expensive than the "Very Good Plus" one) but what you may don't know is that i don't have so much money, so the question is:

Does a .wav file extracted from a mint cd sound exactly the same as one extracted from a worn one?

Do the wear / dirt / scratches affect spectrum and overall quality of the extracted wav file?

Cause i've spent lot of money buying "Mint" or "Near Mint" but maybe I realize that - since this is digital stuff - worst case scenario could be skipping or glitching, so i could buy the VG ones and having exactly the same result.. as long as i can extract the track of course..

What do you think?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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I would buy used with a 'decent' rating until I ended up with a CD that when ripped had audio files with glitches. Then I would reconsider buying used CDs with that "rating". I've had no problems so far.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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FreshProduce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by far away View Post
Does a .wav file extracted from a mint cd sound exactly the same as one extracted from a worn one?

What do you think?
It will sound the same due to the Reed Solomon error correction code. You can drill a hole in a cd and there would be no degradation in the sound quality.

Now if a scratch is deep enough, it could cause a clicking or ticking noise.. but at that point I wouldn't consider that cd 'playable'.

Not for nothing, I wouldn't consider it useable with a hole it it either
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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CD's are not vinyl albums that contain analog information which wears away by a needle.

CD's contain binary information which is stored as one's and zeroes. The laser doesn't touch the disk and wear on it. The main wear point on a CD is where hub grips the disk to spin it.

Scratches caused by a person carelessly handling them will simply make the disk unreadable. Sometimes its a single song that gets skipped, sometimes the entire disk gets rejected depending on where it is and how deep the marks are. It can also be the type of laser the reader uses and what kind of error correction is used, if any.

The biggest differences in CD's is the quality of the materials used to make them. This can affect how well it burns without errors and how the CD will last chemically.
Since CD technology is relatively new all they can do is estimate how long they may last. Predictions are as high as 200 years in storage. Much of this will depend on the plastics used and the chemicals sensitive to light. Obviously leaving a CD in the sun would expose the data on it so its going to fade like a photograph would.

From my own personal experience I find a higher percentage of duds with the bargain basement CD's. Most of that is due to bulk packaging. Bare CD's tightly shrink wrapped tend to have more warped disks compared to CD's sold in packages that have a center spindle and plastic cover. If you can buy the shrink wrapped ones cheap enough then the loss of some from the top and bottom probably aren't a big deal.

The thickness of the plastic might be noticeable too. Not sure whether that's a factor in how well they burn or how long they last, but your higher quality disks tend to be slightly thicker. Some disks say they are designed for music but in any tests I've done it has no detectable impact on the music reproduced. Maybe it allows a faster burn with fewer errors. If your burning software is any good it can test the disk to make sure all the data was burned which is all that matters.

What I typically use are Light scribe disks. This way I can simply flip the disk and burn a label on the disk. Its not what you'd call quick, especially in a high resolution mode and its only black on a light silver color, kind of like an etch a sketch in color but it beats using labels, or worse writing on the disk.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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PdotDdot's Avatar
To add to the conversation - I have had a number of professionally manufactured label name CD's go bad over time. A couple of Rolling Stones CD's come to mind. I was listening one day and started noticing pops and then later skips. I take pristine care of my CD's so this was clearly due to a manufacturing issue of some sort - probably cheaper materials used. As a result of this, I burned all my CD's to a hard drive. The bad ones of course failed so I had to replace a few during the process at my cost of course which sort of steamed my oysters.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshProduce View Post
You can drill a hole in a cd and there would be no degradation in the sound quality.
Let's say that the size of the hole will play some role.

Referring to commercially manufactured audio CDs (high volumes), I noticed that some CDs with faults could be read by some HiFi players while other players failed.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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FreshProduce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoeller View Post
Let's say that the size of the hole will play some role.

Referring to commercially manufactured audio CDs (high volumes), I noticed that some CDs with faults could be read by some HiFi players while other players failed.
Of course!

I have this one rough copy of my first album on CD that will play every track but one in my car.. but won't play on my laptop to save my life
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

We need to distinguish between duplicated CDs (most commercial releases) in which the media is a thin, stamped bit of aluminum covered by plastic, and replicated (recordable) CDs which use varying flavors of organic dyes which can be “recorded” with a laser.

Most duplicated CDs can be played by most players if the CD was manufactured properly and the outer polycarbonate shell is not significantly damaged. I imagine exposing such a disk to prolonged storage in a hostile environment could damage it. I can think of several things that could go wrong! There were reports of early CDs experiencing damage through corrosion, etc., to the aluminum rendering them partially or totally unreadable. I believe the industry made efforts to correct that issue but you may run into early discs with that problem.

Recordable media is a different story and only time will tell how well they hold up over long periods. Since there are varying dye formulations, and probably varying abilities of recorders to record the data, it shouldn’t be surprising that READING such a disk on various hardware often presents challenges, even for pristine, just-recorded media. There are just so many variables for recordable media that it’s hard to predict their readability. Of course, things have improved over the years but we still run into compatibility issues. I have read anecdotal reports of recordables being unreadable after just a few years in controlled storage.

YMMV.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
To add to the conversation - I have had a number of professionally manufactured label name CD's go bad over time. A couple of Rolling Stones CD's come to mind. I was listening one day and started noticing pops and then later skips. I take pristine care of my CD's so this was clearly due to a manufacturing issue of some sort - probably cheaper materials used. As a result of this, I burned all my CD's to a hard drive. The bad ones of course failed so I had to replace a few during the process at my cost of course which sort of steamed my oysters.
Damn dude did they all use those crappy green CD's?

Hahahah seriously there was a group of super cheap manufactures in the end days that were just burning cd's with disposable CDR's.

(Really bad, sorry, I really don't mean to laugh)
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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I will just say that I have bought brand spanking new vinyl and cd's that have a serious lack of quality. Some of the cd's don't even transfer to the computer well where as an old scratched up cd or cdr does just fine. No telling.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjrt02 View Post
We need to distinguish between duplicated CDs (most commercial releases) in which the media is a thin, stamped bit of aluminum covered by plastic, and replicated (recordable) CDs which use varying flavors of organic dyes which can be “recorded” with a laser.

Most duplicated CDs can be played by most players if the CD was manufactured properly and the outer polycarbonate shell is not significantly damaged. I imagine exposing such a disk to prolonged storage in a hostile environment could damage it. I can think of several things that could go wrong! There were reports of early CDs experiencing damage through corrosion, etc., to the aluminum rendering them partially or totally unreadable. I believe the industry made efforts to correct that issue but you may run into early discs with that problem.

Recordable media is a different story and only time will tell how well they hold up over long periods. Since there are varying dye formulations, and probably varying abilities of recorders to record the data, it shouldn’t be surprising that READING such a disk on various hardware often presents challenges, even for pristine, just-recorded media. There are just so many variables for recordable media that it’s hard to predict their readability. Of course, things have improved over the years but we still run into compatibility issues. I have read anecdotal reports of recordables being unreadable after just a few years in controlled storage.

YMMV.
I'm not understanding what you mean by duplicated and recordable media. All CD's get recorded on at least once so they are all recordable blank media at some point.

I think you may be talking about the differences between consumer and pro blank media. Consumer stuff is designed for home burning and uses dies which aid the much weaker lasers to write data. Professional mass produced recordings burn the aluminum directly without the use of dies using stronger lasers. Consumer grade blank CD's either CDR or CD-RW CDR's allow a one time recording (or recording session). CD-RW work more like a hard disk and allow multiple recordings until the disk is closed.

As far as having playback issues, you'll either find its a burn issues or the playback unit simply doesn't track well. I've had many CD Burners and players. I've had some players which simply weren't able to read the CDR's very well but played back pro disks all day long. CD playes are so inexpensive these days there's really no reason to battle with some antique unit that's seen its day and simply cant read well.

Even when you do get a disk that cant be read on say a Hi Fi or car CD player, you can usually stick it in a computer and rip a new copy, especially when using decent software that has good error correction. They also make CD polishing kits to remove scratches which can often get the CD to read better.

There are different types of burnable CD's. Here's a few common types.

Quote:
•Green dye, gold metal: This is the standard type of CD-R and the first to be developed. It has a rated lifespan of 10 years and uses cyanine dye, which can be more forgiving of disc-write and disc-read variations than some other dyes. This results in a CD that will likely play well in any CD player. Manufacturers include Imation, 3M, Memorex, Kodak, BASF, and TDK.

•Gold dye, gold metal: The gold dye used here is phthalocyanine. It is a more sensitive CD with less tolerance for power variations and might be less likely to work in a wide variety of drives. Manufacturers include Mitsui, Kodak, Maxell, and Ricoh.

•Blue dye, silver metal: The blue dye is azo. This combination has similar properties to the green-gold combo but is rated to last much longer: 100 years. These discs are great for long-term data storage.

Last edited by wrgkmc; 1 week ago at 09:16 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Thread Starter
Wow. Some cool explenations here.. thank you very much !

I keep learning, this is what i really like about this site
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
I think you may be talking about the differences between consumer and pro blank media. Consumer stuff is designed for home burning and uses dies which aid the much weaker lasers to write data. Professional mass produced recordings burn the aluminum directly without the use of dies using stronger lasers. Consumer grade blank CD's either CDR or CD-RW CDR's allow a one time recording (or recording session). CD-RW work more like a hard disk and allow multiple recordings until the disk is closed.
Huh? Replicated discs do NOT have the aluminum "burned". Rather, the disc is stamped from a "master" similar to the way vinyl discs are manufactured. See What's the difference between replication vs. duplication? – Disc Makers Help Center
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
Exact Audio Copy

Freeware

Not as easy as some, but will ensure you get the most accurate rips possible if that's what your goal is. If simply 'listenable' is your goal then probably not necessary, although you can set it to make as many passes over errors as you want if a first pass wasn't successful.

Not all error correction is equal and it isn't necessarily lossless. It simply tries to make the CD playable with no audible artifacts but not necessarily bit perfect.

Again. It depends on your ultimate goal. But the price is right and it's one of the most respected rippers around.

Last edited by onewire; 1 week ago at 04:55 PM.. Reason: Clarity
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
And if you're on Mac: XLD.

Both EAC and XLD give you a log file after you've ripped your CD so you know if any errors occurred or not. Take the time to set them up correctly (generally no C2 error correction and always test & copy) and you'll know if you've accurately extracted the audio or not. EAC is a lot more fiddly than XLD. There are guides online for setting up both.

Also, if you haven't already, you may consider using FLAC as a format instead of WAV...think of it as a ZIP file for audio, you don't lose anything. The two main advantages over WAV are that the file sizes are a bit smaller and it's fully taggable.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Nut
 

My understanding is that every digital storage medium has some sort of error correction imbedded in the medium, some extra digital information that's attached to each digital packet that gets used if one or more bits in the packet comes back corrupted or unreadable. If one or a few bits gets read wrong, the error gets corrected by using the packet error correction information, and the playback is perfect. If too many bits are bad, the CD player will interpolate(try to take a guess at what was missing based on what was before and after it) and put in information not in the original material. No clicks or jumps yet, just something other than the original recording. And if the digital dropout is huge, like one packet or more is missing or so corrupted it can't even be interpolated, then we get a click or jump.

So in my mind, there's a sort of threshold point. Light scratching may make absolutely no difference in playback quality. But the heavier it gets, the more likely it is to alter the music, whether or not that alteration is noticeable or not.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
If I may add:

There are preferred CD players for this endeavor, also. While I don't consider myself a dyed (died?) in the wool audiophile, their websites (more specifically computer audiophile sites) have the best info for getting the best extraction possible. They're anal about it.

I rip to FLAC

Changed my previous post to "isn't necessarily lossless"

And..It didn't occur to me that EAC might not have a MAC version. Oops.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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For long-term archival a very important point is about being able to still read the data. Intact digital archives are useless if the required hardware and software are no longer available.

Considering the low cost of current HDDs maybe it's a good idea to copy archival CD content to HDDs. It will just take a lot of time but from there it's easy to make further redundant copies.
Also after some time data will be transferred to other up-to-date storage media so obsolescence is less a problem.

With any type of archival, redundancy and periodic control are important. Degradation is rarely sudden, so in most cases it's still possible to recover data from a redundant copy (preferably also diverse, i.e. ideally not the same medium but at least not the same optical media brand).

I've given up any other form of backup than using redundant HDDs as storage media (never more than one backup HDD physically connected at any given moment). I use both regular HDDs which I have to connect/disconnect as well as USB HDDs (those are less reliable but more convenient, so I perform frequent backups with USB HDDs and less frequent ones with regular HDDs and while working redundant data saving (on two different physical drives, just to protect mostly against hardware failure) and sometimes temporary auxiliary file saving on USB stick for small work-in-progress files. I just absolutely hat losing data, even it it's a simple short memo. Of course the PCs I'm referring to have no physical Internet access nor WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.
Some USB HDDs have an integrated controller with USB port (no SATA or other port).

Also one should be aware that data compression and/or encryption makes data recovery much more difficult or even impossible if there's a problem with the drive. It's about setting priorities (privacy vs. data recovery).

With "homemade" CD-ROMs I mostly noticed that some which cause problems may still be readable using the device used to write them (probably decalibration issues).

RAID I don't like, I prefer 1:1 mirroring. RAID data reconstruction is not only slow but it can be very sensitive to irrecoverable data read errors, while in theory if the remaining HDDs work reliably, the reconstruction of the data after a HDD loss requires very reliable remaining data. So overall considering the low costs of HDDs, unless talking about huge data amounts (say thousands of terabytes) I find it better to rely on redundant 1:1 copies.

Considering all HDDs I use for storage, only very few failed.

Personally I do not use any SSD as backup disk (SSDs are fine as work drives but not to store important data for longer periods) nor any 3.5" HDD (many will consider that I'm wrong about 3.5" HDDs, I simply nearly never used 3.5" HDDs otherwise than for mobile computing and I had a massively higher failure rate with 3.5" HDDs, for various reasons).
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoeller View Post
RAID I don't like, I prefer 1:1 mirroring. RAID data reconstruction is not only slow but it can be very sensitive to irrecoverable data read errors, while in theory if the remaining HDDs work reliably, the reconstruction of the data after a HDD loss requires very reliable remaining data. So overall considering the low costs of HDDs, unless talking about huge data amounts (say thousands of terabytes) I find it better to rely on redundant 1:1 copies.

Considering all HDDs I use for storage, only very few failed.
Well, RAID level 1 is a mirror by definition, so....

As for reconstruction of a RAID 5 for example I've never had any problems with that. I built a server for a post facility using RAID 5 for nearline storage (i.e. backup, not long term archival) and any time a drive failed I just swapped it out the started reconstruction process started automatically. I never had any issues with data loss. The whole beauty of RAID 5 with a sufficient amount of drives is that a drive can fail and you can reconstruct just fine, and you'd have to have some pretty bad luck losing more than one drive at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoeller View Post
Personally I do not use any SSD as backup disk (SSDs are fine as work drives but not to store important data for longer periods) nor any 3.5" HDD (many will consider that I'm wrong about 3.5" HDDs, I simply nearly never used 3.5" HDDs otherwise than for mobile computing and I had a massively higher failure rate with 3.5" HDDs, for various reasons).
I've had high failure rates at times as well, but interestingly enough whenever that happened it was with the same drive make/model, all drives bought during the same time period. I think that some manufacturers just end up with either a poor design or poor QC at times, and if you're unlucky you end up with drives from a bad batch.

So far I've seen one high-volume data retention test of SSDs and it was very impressive, with data retention rates far beyond what the manufacturer guaranteed. Of course this was high-volume read/write tests and not long term storage where the SSD sits on a shelf for 5-10 years without use. On the other hand I wouldn't trust a mechanical device such as a hard drive with that either.

Anyway, I like RAID 5, and I like SSDs. If it was cheaper I'd for sure have a RAID 5 SSD array for nearterm storage.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
I've had high failure rates at times as well, but interestingly enough whenever that happened it was with the same drive make/model, all drives bought during the same time period. I think that some manufacturers just end up with either a poor design or poor QC at times, and if you're unlucky you end up with drives from a bad batch.
Like the Seagate .11's a few years back. I'm still hesitant to use Seagate after losing 2 of those in a very short period back then.

2 drives I will never use again are WD greens and Toshiba, although I'm not sure Toshiba actually manufactures their own though. Too lazy to look it up.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Like the Seagate .11's a few years back. I'm still hesitant to use Seagate after losing 2 of those in a very short period back then.

2 drives I will never use again are WD greens and Toshiba, although I'm not sure Toshiba actually manufactures their own though. Too lazy to look it up.
I believe mine were Seagates as well, though it was probably 6-8 years ago.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
though it was probably 6-8 years ago.
That seems about right. Maybe a little farther back.

I just lost my Seagate BU drive. Drive's fine. The NIC failed. My NAS is a Drobo 5. It's just a 5 disc JBOD with parity.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
If I may add:

There are preferred CD players for this endeavor, also. While I don't consider myself a dyed (died?) in the wool audiophile, their websites (more specifically computer audiophile sites) have the best info for getting the best extraction possible. They're anal about it.

I rip to FLAC

Changed my previous post to "isn't necessarily lossless"

And..It didn't occur to me that EAC might not have a MAC version. Oops.
I used to rip to FLAC, but disks are so large now I just convert strait to .WAV.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Muser's Avatar
from what I remember, a lot of people who extracted audio from redbook CD's used to often favour plexus cd drives. they often cited the way in which many other drives were designed in such a way that the CD was often played in the drive and the audio passed through the D to A section, and then re recorded back through the A to D. if you look at many of those types of CD drives when in enclosures, the enclosure often had dual phono outputs. those outputs could be traced back to electronics on the drives themselves, which shows that at least that D to A circuitry must be present on the drives own board.

so I surmise that, if it could prove cost effective for the manufacturer, they might indeed utilise a method such as that. and this is what many choosers of a plexus cd drive used to cite. in fact I'm repeating it from themselves. this may well long since have ceased to be an issue. I'm not entirely clear about that.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
I used to rip to FLAC, but disks are so large now I just convert strait to .WAV.
True. But FLAC is taggable, WAV isn't, or wasn't. Not sure if it is now.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
True. But FLAC is taggable, WAV isn't, or wasn't. Not sure if it is now.
True, but tagging 15 songs at a time by hand was never an issue to me.
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