How to inspect audio CDs for errors?
February 9, 2005 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Any advice on inspecting audio CDs for errors? Ideally, via software.
posted by romancer to Technology (3 answers total)
What do you mean by errors?

Usually problems playing CDs will be caused by scratches on the surface which protects the data layer. In this case, there isn't really an error on the CD, it's just not possible for some devices to read the information correctly.

On the other hand, sometimes there are errors on the data layer. These can be caused by damage to a functioning CD, because of age or poor treatment, or could be a result of being burned with an insufficiently powered laser, so that the reader will not be able to tell the difference between pits and peaks.

I don't think the device reading the CD will be able to tell the difference between these types of errors, since unlike data CDs, the audio CD standard reserves no space for error checking information.

Without knowing a whole lot about your specific problem, I'd say you should grab Exact Audio Copy, and test the CD. If you get any suspicious positions, then your CD reader couldn't retrieve data consistently from that part of the CD.

Also, if you're burning a CD, a burning program like Nero should be able to check the CD for errors in the burn.
posted by too many notes at 10:49 PM on February 9, 2005

CD Paranoia will do this for free. And, as a bonus, it'll try to repair the problems as best as possible, too.

CDEX uses the CD Paranoia engine to rip, but I don't think it reports errors.
posted by shepd at 10:55 PM on February 9, 2005

CDEx is decent as a ripper, but it's not very good at reporting errors. I would second tmn's recommendation of Exact Audio Copy. It has an option to "test" a CD without having to actually rip it to a file.
posted by neckro23 at 7:23 AM on February 10, 2005

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