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Non-standard CD audio?, Bought four CDs that don't play right, yet advertised as standard
Bjossi
post Feb 26 2011, 15:24
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I've bought Enya - Watermark, Enya - Shepherd Moons, Madonna - Erotica, Madonna - Ray of Light and Madonna - True Blue (Remastered Ed). All from play.com. All these CDs can play, but the audio is so distorted that the music is unlistenable. Windows has no problems seeing the CD, and my media player sees the tracks and can play them, but the sound quality is anything but acceptable.

All of them were advertised as standard CDs, and I can not find any mention of special requirements on their product pages. Back in 2009 I bought all of Yello's CDs from this website and none of them have this problem, including the remastered editions. This is really puzzling me as Ray of Light was bought from a different seller, and they are by different artists, released in different years. I only experienced this with CDs bought from that website, Amazon have always delivered CDs that play as expected.

My CD drive is named 'TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B' (a Samsung drive I think.), with firmware that dates back to 2009 I think, can't remember the version.

Does anyone here have a clue what might be going on? Maybe you have one of these CDs bought from the same website?

Some further observations:
* Ray of Light was more stubborn than the others. It wouldn't play, but EAC could read it but had major trouble ripping it, and the resulting audio file made that struggle pretty clear. I suspect the seller misadvertised it as being in new condition.
* Some of these CDs were not in their factory seal despite being in new condition. Is this a common practice with online retailers?
* I'm pissed off!

EDIT: I should mention that I also bought Enya's And Winter Came and Amarantine that same day as the other Enya CDs, and they play just fine. I bought the Madonna albums few months later, earlier this month. Another CD bought from play.com that sounds normal is Electronic - Electronic, bought the same day as the Madonna CDs.

This post has been edited by Bjossi: Feb 26 2011, 15:43
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AndyH-ha
post Feb 26 2011, 23:31
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Many CDs these days are not stamped but written onto (sometimes sub standard) CD-R blanks, frequently at maximum mass duplicator machine speed. This sometimes works but does not make for low error rates. The error rate has to get pretty high before it actually effects the sound much, but it happens.

Maybe you can get the disks tested. KProbe2 does a certain amount of testing which can at least show you if the disks are within normal specs. It is freeware but only works with appropriate CD ROM drives. Maybe someone you know has PlexTools. Maybe there are other readily available test programs I havenít tried.
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Jezulkim
post Feb 27 2011, 15:54
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I have the same problem with my SH-S223B. Some discs sound very noisy with this drive. I think it might be copy protection, I can see thin rings between the tracks on the disc surface.

The discs worked fine with another drive (Sony DRU-810A).
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DVDdoug
post Mar 1 2011, 00:23
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According to play.com's website, you can return defective merchandise and they will pay for postage.

QUOTE
I suspect the seller misadvertised it as being in new condition.
* Some of these CDs were not in their factory seal despite being in new condition. Is this a common practice with online retailers?


I don't think I've ever purchased a new CD that didn't have a cellophane wrapper, except perhaps CDs from "local bands". In addition, there's usually a hard-to-remove adhesive tape-seal along the top edge of the jewel case (maybe with a bar-code), and a foil-hologram "tamper-seal". Digipaks don't have the tape, but they have the cellopane and I think they also have the tamper-seal.

Did this come from play.com's "factory inventory", or from a 3rd-party seller? Was the price "too good to be true?" I wonder if someone downladed some (low quality MP3) files and some artwork, and burned/printed the CD?

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SonicBooom!
post Mar 1 2011, 07:34
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Did you tried playing the CDs on a regular CD/DVD player?


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Akkurat
post Mar 1 2011, 13:09
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QUOTE (Jezulkim @ Feb 27 2011, 16:54) *
I have the same problem with my SH-S223B. Some discs sound very noisy with this drive. I think it might be copy protection, I can see thin rings between the tracks on the disc surface.

The "rings" are with 99.9% certainty just silence between the tracks. Anyways, you can't certainly visually detect protections on the disc.. or if your drive makes a different noise spinning a disc.
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Akkurat
post Mar 1 2011, 13:18
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Here's my experience/knowledge with the following:

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 1 2011, 01:23) *
I don't think I've ever purchased a new CD that didn't have a cellophane wrapper, except perhaps CDs from "local bands".

It's quite common to get perfectly new CD's without a wrapper. From Play.com too (not including PlayTrade sellers).

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 1 2011, 01:23) *
In addition, there's usually a hard-to-remove adhesive tape-seal along the top edge of the jewel case (maybe with a bar-code)

IME, this is only in USA.

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 1 2011, 01:23) *
and a foil-hologram "tamper-seal".

With maybe only 1 or 2 exceptions (these might be the few releases I've bought from USA), I've seen these only in CD's manufactured in Argentina.. which are very very poorly manufactured / bad quality.. easy to ignore these releases. smile.gif

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 1 2011, 01:23) *
Digipaks don't have the tape, but they have the cellopane and I think they also have the tamper-seal.

I've seen many new digipaks sold without wrappers.. e.g. straight from (respectable) stores.
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2Bdecided
post Mar 1 2011, 14:32
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QUOTE (Akkurat @ Mar 1 2011, 12:18) *
QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 1 2011, 01:23) *
In addition, there's usually a hard-to-remove adhesive tape-seal along the top edge of the jewel case (maybe with a bar-code)
IME, this is only in USA.
Ditto. The only time you see this in the UK is on imports.


As for the OP: It's really unlikely all these discs are faulty. It's really likely your drive has a problem. Anyway, try them in a normal CD player (if you have access to one!).

Some of the releases you list are far too old to have had any form of copy protection originally, and it would be strange to add copy protection afterwards. I don't think they've been remastered or re-released either, but I could be wrong.

Oh, I'm wrong - though I doubt you've got this more expensive version by accident...
http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=WPCR-13298

Cheers,
David.
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NwAvGuy
post Mar 4 2011, 03:13
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I too have seen this on a very limited number of discs and I attributed it to copy protection. By trying enough different drives around the house, and different ripping software, I did eventually got clean rips from most of them. But if you have 4 in a row, I suspect something else is wrong--either with your supplier or perhaps your drive has some weird problem. I know some of the old "CD-R" websites used to test a drive's ability to get around various kinds of copy protection and there were some big differences between drives.

And, FWIW, I buy nearly all my CD's used these days and have had 99% excellent luck. If copy protection is being added to the latest pressings, that's all the more reason to buy used. It's not like I'm trying to steal music, I just don't find the 1982 (?) format very convenient.


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Nowings69
post Mar 4 2011, 09:19
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I know your feel,,,
For example,my many Gary Moore collection(80's mainly) have the same problem.
It is very terrible to buy a CD made in the U.K. 
I have a re-mastered CD with a fried turned master of the generation
and EACs accuraterip say NO
Crazy!

But since Still Got The Blues and the main supplier moves to US
it is stable.

This post has been edited by Nowings69: Mar 4 2011, 09:36
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