Best App to check CD Rot/Bronzing Discs?

Many long term CD users may know about the issue of CD rot/bronzing that occured in the early to mid 90s. The problem arose at Blackburn of PDO in the UK.

There’s lots of detail at this link below

Anyway, I’d found many of these discs in my collection and put them to one side. But typically, like you do, never got round to sending them off to PDO, despite contacting them, to get replacements. Now, as you’ll read from the link, the replacement service has been ended by the current owners of the manufacturing plant. Therefore, the only option is to contact the individual record companies directly. This is complicated further by the buyouts/takovers/amalgamations in the record industry in the last few years. However the majority now appear to be part of Universal group.

So why am I posting all this here…well I need to find the best app to check those discs that are showing signs of the ‘rot’ problem. Visually, some discs are clearly going off with bronzing on both sides. Others are discoloured only on the label side, some with printed labels are tricky to tell as you can only see the outer rim.

Obviously I need to do a thorough digital check and to back up those most important discs. Now for ripping I’d use EAC with Plextor Premium…Do you think this would be appropriate for checking also, or is there something better, for example, from PlexTools?

Thanks for any advice… :slight_smile:

So do you have any BenQ DVD writers?

If not, you can use the plextor to scan with plextools and it will report amounts of errors in C1/C2. You would hope not to get any C2.

Backing up with EAC and the Plextor should be fine as far as I know. I’m not an audiophile so I usually just use clone cd if I’m making an exact copy of a disc.

It would be a perfectly fine way to test the discs but only for C2 errors, and assuming you use all the right settings: if not, you won’t even know there were possible C2 errors while extracting.

But if the possible degradation doesn’t show yet as C2, or if these C2 are casued by somethings else like scratches, the method doesn’t help in knowing if the discs do degrade or not.

Even C1/C2 scans won’t tell you that, because even if the scans look awful, you have no way to know if these were awful right from the start or not! :doh: (unless you kept original scans of course).

So you have only one way to do things now IMO, which are these two steps:

  1. Out of caution, transfer everything no newer media, using EAC in “secure” mode after having thoroughly set EAC to work with your Premium in the best possible way. Maybe you’ve already done that if you’re an advanced EAC user. :wink: - so sorry if this sound patronizing…
    Of course I recommend TY CDRs for the new burns. :wink:

  2. Scan these rotting discs with Plextools and save the scans, keep the discs for future re-scanning in a year or so. Then comparing the scans will give you indications.

Then again, I personally wouldn’t even care of how this rot issue affects the discs. The rot itself would be far enough for me to transfer everything to newer media and trash the roting discs. I like my peace of mind, and CDRs are so cheap nowadays (and get burnt so much faster than a couple of years ago, for the same final quality) that it’s not a big deal. :cool:

Thanks for the replies…

I’ve started scanning the irreplaceables (i.e. record company gone bust etc) with PlexTools. Initially with the CD/DVD Test and then QCheck. Some ok, some nasty.

I will have to check on the latest EAC and it’s settings as it’s a while since I’ve checked. If anyone has the appropriate settings to hand then that be helpful.

Well I think I’m up to speed on the latest beta and AccurateRip. Things have moved on quite a bit since I last checked.

I’ve set up the quickly set-up the drive, and running a rip from a damaged disc now. See what happens…also I’m cross-referencing to find what the best settings currently are.

Easiest way: just perform the auto detecting of the drive’s features: menu EAC > drive options > extraction method > button “detect read features”. When done, hit “apply” BEFORE hitting OK (or the settings will not actually be applied).

Then select the “secure” extraction method.

If you use AccurateRip and your albums are recognized, you can first extract with the faster “burst” method and use the “secure” method only for the tracks for which the CRCs wouldn’t match. AccurateRip will warn you in case they don’t so it’s really a no-brainer. :cool:

If the album is not recognized (because it’s not in the AccurateRip database), use the “secure” method. As the Premium does detect and report C2, you won’t loose much speed but you’ll have peace of mind.

For more help, go to the CDFreak’s audio section, or to the Hydrogenaudio forums. :slight_smile: - this stuff is extremely off-topic here! :wink:

I think I’m pretty sorted now, as the discs I’m dealing with are damaged/dubious getting AccurateRip to give them the thumbs up is probably unlikely.

Getting a quick test and log from Plextools was useful. Now I’ve got to find a few spare hours for EAC to do the business on the worst discs/tracks.