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How To Protect Your CD Collection - Five Tips

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Five tips to protect your CD collection

Music CDs are quite expensive. They average anywhere from $10-$15 apiece, so if you have a collection of 100 CDs, that's a sizable investment worth more than $1000. Theoretically, CDs can last forever. They can however, be damaged, so here are a few tips for protecting your CD collection.

1. Keep the CDs stored in their plastic jewel box. Scratches are one of the biggest enemies of CDs, so keeping them safely in their plastic storage box will help minimize scratching. Always remember to replace the CDs after they have been removed from the CD player. Leaving them lying around on the coffee table is a guarantee that they will become scratched and unplayable.

2. Always handles CDs by the edge. If you get fingerprints on the playing side of the CD, the smudge may make it difficult for the laser to read the data. This results in skips during music playback. More important
than the occasional skip, however, is the fact that your skin contains oils which can eat into the plastic of the
CD. Unless fingerprints are immediately wiped off, they will begin to destroy the plastic casing of the CD. Eventually, it will be unplayable.

3. Keep CDs away from direct sunlight and heat sources. The plastic disc of the CD can easily become warped if it is exposed to high heat. CDs sitting on a windowsill or car dashboard can quickly overheat and become misshaped. If this happens, the laser beam of the CD player will no longer be able to read the data from the CD. Result -- no more music.

4. Many people like to carry their CDs in wallets. This is very convenient for taking your CD collection on the road and is a great space saver compared to regular plastic jewel boxes. If you wish to store your CDs in this type of wallet, make sure the inner lining of the pocket is made from a material which will not scratch the CD each time it is removed.

5. Don't write on the printed side of the CD. Some people like to identify their CDs by a writing their name on
them. If the printed side is damaged, the CD may not play, so if you must write on the CD, avoid using a ballpoint pen. There are special felted tip markers for writing on CDs, but even these can eat through the printed
layer eventually causing data failure.

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