My suggestion is to use
This sounds like the dreaded classic bit-rot.
My suggestion is to use a Mac and a PC (Windows) with a number of different CD players. Trying to read the CDs is a non-destructive process so continual playing in different readers isn't going to harm them - although DO wear latex gloves for the actual handling.
You have tried some CD players and appear to have gotten identical results. So maybe you have read off just about all that survives as readable.
There are a number error correcting apps. available - I assume they all use proprietary algorithms.. Try CNET.com to see what they have. Maybe you need to download &/or purchase a selection. And I guess Goggle is your friend. You could also try those apps. which recover 'deleted' data from flash-drives. They might have some other error correcting algorithms.
Also you need to use some apps. for capturing and transferring the remaining bits and bytes from each CD-R onto a hard-drive. Then you can work with those files rather than the CD-Rs themselves.
AFAIAA unlike mag. tapes optical drives cannot be 'baked.' The bit and bytes once gone are gone for good.
You do at least have the original analogue source recordings. If so then digitising them all again onto a hard-drive (or more) might be a good idea, and then uploading them to a cloud server, or Archive.org which could keep the recordings safer than optical drives.
Good luck -
P.S. I have copied in some personal contacts re: this issue with the hope that the problem will not hit their collections too.
From: John Spencer <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, 5 August 2013, 15:07
Subject: [ARSCLIST] CD-R help request
Collective wisdom of the ARSC list,
I got a message from an archivist friend, and while we haven't tried anything ourselves, I thought I would post his message to the list to see if anyone had any ideas for recovery.
Any help is greatly appreciated and I will forward it to him.
Thanks in advance,
[log in to unmask]
I’m beginning to have some problems with many of the CD-R’s that are in the collection I work with. Most of these CD-R’s were made from analog sources [we thankfully still have them] over 10 years ago, long before we had any sort of digital storage system. These CD-R’s suffer from a variety of jitter/glitches when exported into the computer and many of them skip or hang up when played in a CD player. They were all created using a stand-alone Sony CDR-W33 burner and the CD-R stock was JVC/Taiyo Yuden.
My current platform is Mac. I’ve tried a couple of different CD drives, thinking that may make a difference, but no dice. I’ve tried copying some of them through iTunes using its built-in error correction. I’ve downloaded MAX-a CD ripper application for Mac that uses a version of cdparanoia—I’ve also tried Pillage, so far nothing has made any noticeable difference.
If you have any thoughts on ways to productively do this, or know of anyone who has successfully dealt with a problem like this, please let me know.