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Why won't my CD-R Audio or CD-RW Audio disc play back in my CD and/or DVD player?

Question:
Why won't my CD-R Audio or CD-RW Audio disc play back in my CD and/or DVD player?

Answer:
There are many factors involved in answering this question. The first thing to check is to ensure that the disc was "finalized" at the end of the recording. This typically has to be done as an additional step after recording the disc. Finalizing the disc writes the table of contents (TOC)and makes the disc readable by a standard CD player. An un-finalized disc can only be read in a CD recorder, or CD-R drive. Once the disc is finalized, a CD-R disc should be playable on all CD players. Some older players may have difficulty on occasion, possibly related to the speed at which the disc was recorded. You may want to try burning another CD at a slower speed. Many older CD players, and some new ones, are not able to read CD-RW discs. If you are using these discs and wish to play them on a CD player, check with the hardware manufacturer to determine if the deck can read CD-RWs. The same is true for DVD players. Many of the new ones can read both CD-R and CD-RW, however older ones may have some limitations. Again, check the machine's documentation, or with the manufacturer. If the machine does not explicitly state that it can read the media you are using, it probably can't (although there are exceptions to this rule).