Car CD Player doesn't like CD-R

I have a CD player in my car, and I’ve had a problem with CD-Rs since the day I got it. Sometimes it refuses to recognize the disc, so I have to eject and re-insert it several times to get it to see the disc.

Once it sees the disc, it plays it without trouble about half the time (this applies to all CD-Rs I have tried, from several different manufacturers). The rest of the time it sounds exactly like I’m listening to a radio station with horrible static on it. In the past when I’ve had CD problems it usually involved skipping–but never static. The same disc that was chock full of static today may play just fine tomorrow, or perhaps will sound fine for half an hour and then turn to static. I can still hear the music through the static, it’s just like listening to a radio station that keeps drifting.

Is there a problem with the way I am burning these CD-Rs, or is there any way around this problem? (yes, the stereo is CR-R compatible–according to the manual anyway).

To know for sure you need to try the discs in some other player – not the one you used to burn them. You need to determine which is the bad piece here, the player or burner.

But since you say you’ve had trouble from day one. might I suggest returning it on day two,

Burn the CDs at the slowest speed available. Sometimes helps.

Are you burning the discs in “disc-at-once” mode? (Vs. “track-at-once” which is the default in some software.)

BoyoMan—the discs all work fine in every other player. I’ve had some of them for two or more years and never had a problem.

I usually burn them at 24x…I will try burning one slower and see if that works.

and ftg—I usually burn them disc-at-once. Should I try it the other way?

I can’t really return the thing at this point. My wife bought it in December and I we have lost the receipt by this point anyway.

Sorry that I wasn’t clear. Disc-at-once is usually more compatible than track-at-once. I burn music CDs only as disc-at-once. Note that Certain Software deliberately morphs the terms all other software uses so what might be called disc-at-once by Certain Software is not what it actually does.

Here’s a little more info from the CD-R FAQ.

Also try changing the gap between tracks. The default for CDRs is 2 seconds, but store bought CDs don’t have that. Try setting it to 0 (or vice versa if set the other way).

Do the CDRs play well on other devices?

yes, discs all work fine in every other player

this has happened to me, but its probably different. if i burn a cd and forget to finalize it, itll play in most players but it seems to not work on my car cd player. just my two cents.

vinniepaz–when you say it wouldn’t play, do you mean it just wouldn’t read the disc, or did you (or anyone else out there) ever experience the ‘static’ I am talking about?

BTW the “static” issue has never happened with a standard CD, only with the CD-Rs

If you burn disc-at-once it is automatically finalized, hence the default suggestion to burn music CDs disc-at-once.

What colour is the recordable surface of the CDR? - I’ve found that some players (usually the older ones) have trouble with darker CDR dyes (such as the dark blue or grey ones), but are OK with the paler ‘silver’ ones.

mangetout–the CDRs are from a wide variety of colors, it doesn’t seem to matter which kind I use.

and I tried burning one at the slowest speed (4x) yesterday and found no difference in the disc. At first it played fine, but on the way to work today again I heard the crackling static over parts of the music.

Couple of wild stabs in the dark here:

Are the discs typically very warm or hot when you eject them? (I’m wondering if thermal expansion is playing silly buggers with the laser tracking).

I’m also wondering if there might be a problem with the anti-jog memory - most mobile CD players ‘read ahead’ of the current playing position and are actually replaying the digital signal from cache memory - this way, when you drive over a bump, the system is able to continue playing and recover without skipping. But if there’s a problem with this cache memory (particularly if it is related to thermal stress, that kicks in when the device has warmed up), the digital stream could be getting corrupted on its way through the cache - although to be honest, I have no idea what this would actually sound like.

Also, these things woould also effect shop-bought pressed CDs too, so feel free to ignore me.

the manual actually says that when the device is too cold playback may be impaired or something to that affect. During the winter I thought maybe, just maybe this was the cause , although store-bought CDs worked just fine. Now it’s the dead of summer, and still the same problem. Also , it doesn’t seem to matter if I’ve just started up the player, or if I’ve been driving for two hours. Likewise, it doesn’t matter if the CD was left in the car overnight or if it was just taken from the house at room temperature.

I had similar problems with my aftermarket CD player in my car. CD-Rs that I’d burn or others would burn would play fine in my PC, boombox, and stereo, but skip in my car. Solution: Buy a new car.

I tried all the solutions mentioned in this thread and never got my CD-Rs to work reliably in my car. They work in my new car, though. :smiley:

I don’t think it’s a burn problem. I’ve had this with several older CD players and a number of car CD players. They simply will not play any burnt CD, no matter how they’re burnt. All the newer CD players seem to work fine. Why this is, somebody with more insight on the differences between manufactured and burnt CDs will have to chime in, but it’s not a burn problem.

I guess what’s so annoying about this is that all of the CD-Rs play some of the time, but none of them play ALL of the time. And it’s rarely just a problem with getting the player to recognize the CD–usually it will play it, but with an annoying static sound that comes and goes. I’ve had problems with CD-Rs in older stereos where it simply would not recognize the disc, but never a problem like this. While I’m prepared to accept that this is just the way it’s going to be for me, I’d still really like to know why it is happening, even if there’s no way to circumvent it.

What brand CD-R are you using?
I do some live show trading and many people refuse to accept Maxell CD-R’s in trade because they have a poor track record with car CD players.

Heres a link with more info about CD-R’s than you will ever rightly need.


I have tried many different brands of CD-Rs, all with the same results. These CDs are mostly live Dead shows, and I have around 200 or so of them. So far every one has, at some point, caused a problem. A lot of them are Maxell though for some reason. I recall back when we used to trade shows on cassette that there was a particular kind of Maxell tape that was actually preferred to most of the others, though I don’t recall which one. What brand of CD-R is considered to be better for this sort of thing now?