| caring for your cd collection...
or a majority of the time a compact disc offers a "deterioration
free" method of playing music, since it is based on "optical"
transference of information (laser) against mechanical"
transference (needle or tape head). For this reason, playing your CD
imposes no wear and tear on the disc, unlike both vinyl records and
audio cassettes which suffer continual wear from friction caused by
their mechanical processes. This does not mean that your CDs are
indestructable but nearly all the wear and tear on a CD can be
prevented by careful handling.
Following are guidelines for proper disc handling:
1. Always handle the disc by its edge or center
2. On no account scratch the CD on the label or
play side. A scratch that penetrates the label side will directly
destroy a considerable amount of data, surprisingly a scratch on the
play side of the disc is often invisible to the CD player and if not
can sometimes be repaired.
3. Refrain from sticking paper or tape on the
label surface. While it won't hurt the disc, it could interfere with
the CD player.
4. Do not write on the label surface with a
ballpoint pen or other hard object. This will almost certainly
damage the data layer. Also the solvent in a marking pen; could
penetrate the label and deteriorate the reflective layer (which
would damage the disc beyond repair).
5. Do not expose a CD to high temperature or
humidity for an extended period of time, high temperatures can warp
the disc and cause deterioration of the reflective layer.
6. Do not allow CDs to remain out of their cases
for long periods of time and handle only when placing them into and
removing them from the CD player
7. Take extra care with CDs when using them
outside. Sand or dirt can cause damage to the label side (which
can't be repaired).
8. Keep your CDs clean by gently wiping both the
label and play side surfaces with a non-abrasive (i.e. soft cotton)
cloth prior to and after each use.
return to collectors guide