One of the great things with Audio CDs over music downloads is that you can buy second hand CDs, but you cannot legally buy second hand downloads.
Even though copy protection is supposedly a thing of the past with new audio CDs, this is not the case with second hand CDs, as I’ve just discovered with a recent used Audio-CD I bought for â‚¬2. I popped it in the PC and after a few seconds, the first song started playing like a badly tuned FM radio station.
So I thought, maybe it’s just covered in fingerprints, so I took it out, but it was totally clean below, not even a scratch. So I scanned it in Opti Drive Control:
Scan of David Kitt - Square 1
CD produced by Warner Music Ireland - 2003
The CD does not contain any mention of copy protection, however, upon a closer inspection, I saw that there was no sign of the CD audio logo anywhere on the inlet, jewel case or the CD itself, which is a tale-tale sign that it’s copy-protected, since copy protected CDs are not allowed to carry the Audio CD logo. I had a quick look around to try determining the copy protection and as far as I can tell, it’s Cactus Data Shield 100, as it does not contain a data track.
As I was determined to rip the CD to put on my MP3 plyaer, I tried an older DVD writer I have handy, the Lite-On SOHW-1693S and it was able to rip the audio fine without any noticeable noise in the audio, since some drives, especially Lite-On’s, replace the corrupt audio frames with interpolations of neighbouring frames to give a clean audio playback. The only drawback is that it’s difficult to get an accurate rip as the secure ripping options in Exact Audio Copy don’t work on this type of CD, since as the CD intentionally has C2 errors, it gets stuck as soon as it starts ripping.