Why do new CDs sometimes not rip perfectly?

This isn’t really Roon-specific, but it’s Roon’s fault that I’m buying and ripping CDs again ;p

I’ve come across several CDs now where I wasn’t able to accurately rip the last track – on new CDs! How is that possible? This is using dbpoweramp. The CDs don’t have any visible damage, though I’ve noticed that they sometimes have a sort of wavy appearance from the data side, as if the material set a bit unevenly.

I’m not surprised when used CDs cause trouble, and I’ve seen some that have unfortunate (circular) scratches that make it impossible to get a perfect rip, and I even have one where the metal layer has holes (no idea how that’s even possible). But how come new CDs have these issues?

Apart from cleaning the CD and the lens I can only think of burnt on errors, which you would hope was unlikely in new CDs.

Do you have access to another CD drive on a laptop or another PC ? That might help indicate whether it’s a disc or reader problem.

Try ripping those tracks in burst mode.

If the last track is problematic to rip accurately, the CDs in question likely exceed 70 minutes. Have you checked durations for that correlation?


Aluminum layer holes are called pinholes, by the way. They can arise from manufacturing tolerances or disc rot. In my experience, pinholes are most prevalent among JVC Japan and full aluminum to the center PolyGram West Germany pressings.

In some cases, pinholes prevent any accurate rips due to complete loss of reflective data. In other cases, pinholes do not cause any problems because of built in data redundancy.


@andybob I’ve cleaned the CDs and the lens of course, and this has helped once but not several other times. I don’t have another CD drive handy, but this drive actually does a really good job with scratched CDs in general, I don’t think it’s the problem here.

@evand of course I can just ignore all the errors, but then I don’t get accurate rips! That’s not what I’m after.

@WiWavelength I thought that too, but the ones that have had that problem were usually around an hour. Sometimes, you can see little issues in the metal on the very edge, but these CDs don’t actually have visible data tracks all the way to the edge. So it’s not that.

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Makes sense. Though that one CD I have where I’ve seen that has holes of different sizes. Pinholes for the most part, but also a dozen or so that are easily a millimeter or two wide. It looks like that CD spent some time buried in gravel. But the surface is not damaged, only the metal layer!

burst rip mode does not by definition imply an inaccurate rip.

It also sometimes pays to experiment with different rippers for such cd’s.

No, but when dbpoweramp needs to re-read 1500 frames, it probably does. I also just tried this and of course it didn’t end up passing the AccurateRip test.

It might not matter for actual listening, but it’s a new CD! It should be possible to rip it perfectly right after taking it out its packaging for the first time.

That potentially sounds like an optical drive issue. Setting aside obvious damage to the disc, the innermost and outermost tracks are most difficult to rip.

The best drive is not one drive but many drives. A disc that may lock up in one drive then may rip without question in another drive. If you are taking CD ripping seriously, you really need to have multiple drives on hand.


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Label side aluminum layer scratches are the worst. Even though the data spiral is injection molded into the plastic layer, the plastic layer is remarkably resilient. Most plastic surface scratches do not impede the optical transfer nor do they gouge deep enough to destroy the data spiral. But label side aluminum layer damage removes the reflective layer so that the still intact data no longer can be read via reflection refraction.


Agree with the idea that the optical drive most likely is the culprit. If you have several discs in good shape that all of them run into ripping errors on the last tracks i’d say the drive is a dud…
The very best CD ripping drive i have is an old Philips CD-R/W from ages ago. Its extremely fast and have never failed a rip once! The bluray and dvd drives are also accurate but almost always require re-reads… So, go vintage shopping! :slight_smile:

That’s the thing though, the label side is not damaged! It’s a mystery to me how that damage would have occurred (other than that it happened during production and wasn’t caught).

I will try to find another CD drive (to your other message) and see if it makes a difference.

The thing I didn’t mention is that I’ve exchanged a few of those CDs and the replacements ripped just as you’d expect. So I’m wondering if this is a quality control issue and not my poor drive’s fault.

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! Wow, thats strange but nevertheless expected for a dying format. :slight_smile: