Homemade CD's won't play

Anybody know why a CD burned from a home computer will play fine in some players, i.e. a car CD player, but will not work in other players, i.e. home stereo component players? I can’t figure it out. Any help would be appreciated.

My understanding is that the surface of CD-Rs and CD-RWs are much more reflective than CDs that you buy at the store with music already on them. Many older players can’t cope with the signal and either don’t play or skip badly. Most new players seem to handle it OK. The only one I have a major problem with is using CD-RWs in my car CD changer. They no likey.

I thought it was that the contrast between pit and land was not so distinct (although it amounts to the same thing - some systems can’t cope).

From what I’ve read, the reflective layer on CDs you buy are actually stamped aluminium. Where CD-Rs have an “organic dye” that pits are blasted in when the writing laser hits it. Older CD players are not made to deal with this difference, while any new car CD player you buy these days will, as do most new home CD players.

I would imagine the problem comes when the reading laser pick up is expecting a particular kind of reflection from the disk, and CD-Rs don’t reflect the light in quite the same way as CDs.

Try another brand of CD-Rs or burning at a lower speeds.

In my experience both can help.

Various CD-R brands have different coloured dyes: gold/blue/green/silver.
Some players prefer certain dye colours over others.

I’ve also encountered CD-Rs of such deplorable quality that they refused to play in anything other than the drive that burned them.
Burning at slower speeds gives the CD-RW drive more time to burn the data cleanly.

I’ve found slower speeds help when I burn SVCD discs for my DVD/SVCD player.

Of course I 've also encountered audio CD players that simply refused to play CD-Rs entirely.

Oh… last minute thought, some CDR burning software allow the user to record multiple sessions.

If the option exists click ‘finalize disc’ or ‘close session’.

Mutliple sessions allow the user to record a little data now and a little later. Fine for PCs CD drives, but not so fine for other players.

Color and reflection shouldn’t have anything to do with. Even though it’s sounds like it should. Like pung said, tone down the burn rate. If it doesn’t work at 48x, try 24x.

The OP didn’t state if the CDs were CD-R or CD-RW. The later will not play in older CD players.

This problem seems to be getting less common in my experience, probably as people buy newer CD players to replace old ones.

Anyway, as was suggested earlier, burn slower. I’ve found that 12x will work in virtually every CD player, except for $39 Wal-Mart specials and, oddly enough, some Chrysler minivan in-dash CD players (several years old, though.)

Burn slower, and USE QUALITY CD-Rs. Don’t buy the 500 CD-Rs for 99 cents and expect them to work perfectly in every CD player. Get good CD-Rs. My philosophy has always been, if I wouldn’t buy electronic equipment from them, I won’t buy their CD-Rs.

Hope this helps.

I will have to try some of those ideas-

This has cleared up a few of my own questions as well.

All CD lasers are not equal and can not necessarily read the CD. If it were a computer you could download the udf reader for the software program that burned the disc and then your computer could read the disc. Since it’s not a computer, and you can’t change the innards, it may not be able to read it, unless the problem is one of the speed issues mentioned above. For instance, you can download an adaptec udf reader to read the discs burned by that program. Most computers now ship with most readers installed so a lot of folks don’t run into this problem anymore on computers.

It’s sort of like the DVD regional codes not being read by a different regions DVD players. The US and Canada are region 1 DVDs and the rest of the world’s machines can’t read region 1. Of course, now there are a few multiregional DVD readers so this may be a thing of the past at some point in the future. The original premise was that having regional coding would prevent worldscale bootlegging.

You should also make sure that the lens on the player is clean. I had a problem with an older player that wouldn’t play burned CDs, and just chalked it up to it being too old. Then I cleaned the lens, and lo and behold, it worked. I don’t know why this would make a difference, since pressed CDs worked when it was dirty, but there ya go.

My brother-in-law said that he can only use black CDs in his car. There’s something about the reflective qualities of the standard CD that won’t work. Go figure.

I once moderated a cd forum & these things depend on alot of things. Type of cd media, write speed, type of reading cd drive, program that writes the cd, copyright of cd, Etc… almost all of this info is not given by the OP.

It’s the opposite. The surface of CD-R’s is less reflective than stamped CD’s. CDRW’s are even less reflective than CD-R’s. Then lens isn’t being overwhelmed–it may have trouble getting enough laser reflection back to piece together a coherent signal. Some CD players work well with anything you put into them, others are more sensitive and were designed (poorly) to react well only to strong reflections from what was at one time the only thing they had to worry about–the standard stamped aluminum CD. Some players, like my car, work well most of the time with anything I put in it, but if it’s cold outside (below 32 degrees F or so) it will skip badly with CDRW’s. I assume this has something to do with the combination of low disk reflectivity and some acclimation problems that might cause the lens or the disk to fog over a bit, thus reducing even further the signal quality received.

Colored CD’s can have different effects too… one of my laptops won’t read burned cd’s that are black in color, although my desktops and my portable player will.