It turns out that CD players don’t like cold temperatures. These players skip around on some music, or worse, refuse to play music at all. I know people who bring their own warm, reliable CD players to freestyle sessions in case the rink’s CD player won’t play their music.
Others have a system based on the CDs themselves. I burn multiple copies of Ice Girl’s music on whatever CD is cheapest at Walgreen’s. I’ve noticed that the music on the Maxell CDs is the most unreliable and anecdotal evidence bears this out. A person who often plays music for the skaters told me that if a CD fails in the rink’s player, it’s usually a Maxell. I’ve burned copies of Ice Girls’ music on Memorex, which my music-playing source says works pretty well in most rinks.
The best medium, according to my source, is Imation. Those discs will play in every player, no matter how cold the rink is, my source said.
That person also provided me with some strategies for getting music to play. The source said that warming a disk inside a jacket will often fool the player into thinking it’s warm and the music will play. However, there’s a risk that the music will skip, too. I’ve even heard talk of bringing a heating pad to competitions to warm the CDs.
Is this madness? I’ve tried reading up on CD players, but the only thing I found out was that some don’t play well in the cold. I found nothing on cold temperatures and the CDs themselves. Some CDs copy more faithfully than others. I read that Imation has a better BLER (block error rate) than other brands. Newer players forgive BLER more readily than older players, too. Unfortunately, it’s right about there that the articles I read became so filled with numbers that they were more data than prose and I stopped reading.
The bottom line: I don’t care if it’s all hooey. I’m going to run those Imation discs to ground this weekend and burn a few for Ice Girl. Heck, I’ll burn incense over the disc and give it a blessing, too. I'd do the hokey-pokey if I thought it would help.
What do you think? Do folks at your rink have rituals and rites for playing discs successfully? Do you know of an unbelievably reliable CD-R brand? Share the wisdom!