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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
> Jerome Hartke wrote:
>
> > Simple fingerprints should never interfere with playback unless the read
> > drive is of very poor quality. The real risk of fingerprints is in the
oils
> > from the body. Those of each person are distinct, and some can degrade
discs
> > over an extended period of time.
>
> I rarely disagree with an expert such as Jerry, but it is necessary to
> note that a poorly written disc can be made unreadable by fingerprints,
> scratches and smudges which would be handled readily on a well-written
one.
>
> If the problem is on a CD-DA, Exact Audio Copy and a very good reader
> may recover (slowly) a disc unreadable in other drives with other readers.
>
The problem is that CD's (I've never used DVD's) can be rendered unplayable
by damage invisible to the human eye! This is also true (but to a lesser
extent) of microgroove analog records. OTOH, if I have a 78 which skips
or sticks, I can usually identify (and often correct) the problem...

Steven C. Barr