I was referring to the kind that you stick on yourself. I never did that but a lot of people did and it turns out to be a bad idea, so nobody does it nowadays that I am aware of. I would have thought that once chemical damage is done it would be permanent, but I was just recently told by one of my collector colleagues that he successfully has removed a label, soaking and gently scraping and then using Windex or whatever to remove the goo, and the CD would play again. I have never done that either but I would try it with a valuable CD before throwing it away. 
      I have always written on CDRs with a Sharpie and never had any problems with that. 

Donald Clarke

On Aug 5, 2013, at 10:46 AM, James Roth wrote:

Hello Mr. Spencer,

I just read [below] that the labels on CDs can cause problems.
Are you referring to ready-made print CDs or the ones where we buy labels and press them on?

Ben Roth

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald Clarke
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 10:30 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD-R help request

Do they have labels on them? That would explain it, the chemical stickum causing apparently terminal problems, but I have heard of people soaking and washing CDs to get the labels off successfully.

Donald Clarke

On Aug 5, 2013, at 10:07 AM, John Spencer wrote:

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,
John Spencer
[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 theseCD-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.