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2017 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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172 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I noticed that the stock CD player leaves slight, but visible scratches on pristine, freshly opened CDs after just one play.

The scratches tend to be radial, which leads me to believe they might be caused by grit that's accumulating in the loading slot. I had a hunch that this has been happening for a while now, but could never be 100% until I deliberately opened a sealed CD yesterday, carefully inspected it before loading and examined it again after play. It came out with scratches.

This confirms my hunch that this has been happening ever since we bought the car (new) in 2017. Very frustrating, especially considering that after going back to vinyl, being able to play CDs in the car has been pretty much my only justification for buying CDs in the first place these days.

Does anyone have similar/different experiences or knows of a solution, i.e. an effective way of cleaning the loading slot? Or is the better solution to burn CDs just for use in the car? I would hate that option because I don't even own a CD-burning device anymore, and I don't really have the time I used to have back in the '90s to copy liner notes etc.
 

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2019 Touring
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226 Posts
I am not positive, but I don't think that those scratches will effect the play. Can you detect a difference? I think the plastic only protects the data below it.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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172 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You are absolutely correct. The scratches are pretty much just cosmetic. They just bother the perfectionist in me. :)
 

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2017 Forester 2.51 Tourin
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85 Posts
I found a CD Player and Game Station Compact Disc Cleaner on Amazon for $6.99 that might be worth a shot or you might try some canned air like that used to blow crud out of computers & see if you can blow whatever it is out. We live in a dusty gritty part of country. Thankfully, this is not something I've experienced (yet).
 

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Casper reincarnated
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2,245 Posts
Try blowing the dust bunnies out with a can of compressed air and then running a CD Cleaner disc to clean the lens reader.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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172 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This would work with dirt, but not scratches. For the LPs, I highly recommend a SpinClean. MUCH better than tap water, labels stay dry and effectively removes crud from deep inside the grooves, which a rinse in tap water won't do. I only eve let distilled water touch my LPs because tap water has minerals in it, and they stay behind when the record air dries. The SpinClean fluid is formulated so a rinse isn't necessary per the manufacturer, but I noticed slight surface noise until I started following a wash in the SpinClean with a rinse in just distilled water. Makes an audible difference. I highly recommend the SpinClean. It's not quite as effective as record vacuum, but gets you about 90% there.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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550 Posts
I put all my music on 30GB thumb drives. Any bigger and it takes too long to index. I use lame insane 320mbps MP3 encoding. Hard to tell the difference in a car/truck interior between them and wave files. I always want a CD player in my vehicles but rarely use them. Discs are awkward to deal with while driving.
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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1,182 Posts
This isn't helpful, but it's weird that in 4.5 years we've not used the CD player once, even though I own thousands of CDs. It's just so much simpler to keep a 32GB thumb drive in the car, and BT from the phone.

Actually, we do use the CD slot for one thing -- a place to hold a phone mount. On our 2015 2.5i Premium with the old-school Clarion head unit, this puts the phone in the perfect location for glare-free visibility and access from both seats.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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172 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@;
I put all my music on 30GB thumb drives. Any bigger and it takes too long to index. I use lame insane 320mbps MP3 encoding. Hard to tell the difference in a car/truck interior between them and wave files. I always want a CD player in my vehicles but rarely use them. Discs are awkward to deal with while driving.
OK, dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway: How does one play music directly from a thumbdrive? I'm not aware that the stereo in my Forester has a USB slot but maybe it does? Do I not need the music to be on my phone or some other actual music-playing device, which then broadcasts it to the stereo over Bluetooth?
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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550 Posts
@;

OK, dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway: How does one play music directly from a thumbdrive? I'm not aware that the stereo in my Forester has a USB slot but maybe it does? Do I not need the music to be on my phone or some other actual music-playing device, which then broadcasts it to the stereo over Bluetooth?
Not familiar with the '17 Foz but OB's played music straight from a thumb drive since at least 2013. No device needed. I prefer steering wheel controls to music on a phone. I would expect the same for your Forester. Subaru moves the USB/charger ports around and can be in the center console cubby or the dash cubby. My '19 Sport has two music/charger USB's in the dash cubby.
 

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2019 forester base
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178 Posts
I noticed that the stock CD player leaves slight, but visible scratches on pristine, freshly opened CDs after just one play.

The scratches tend to be radial, which leads me to believe they might be caused by grit that's accumulating in the loading slot. I had a hunch that this has been happening for a while now, but could never be 100% until I deliberately opened a sealed CD yesterday, carefully inspected it before loading and examined it again after play. It came out with scratches.

This confirms my hunch that this has been happening ever since we bought the car (new) in 2017. Very frustrating, especially considering that after going back to vinyl, being able to play CDs in the car has been pretty much my only justification for buying CDs in the first place these days.

Does anyone have similar/different experiences or knows of a solution, i.e. an effective way of cleaning the loading slot? Or is the better solution to burn CDs just for use in the car? I would hate that option because I don't even own a CD-burning device anymore, and I don't really have the time I used to have back in the '90s to copy liner notes etc.
Solution: never use your CD...make a copy of it and use that...once the copy is scratched up, make another copy and keep your master CD scratch free.
 

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2015 Forester Premium CVT
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436 Posts
@;

OK, dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway: How does one play music directly from a thumbdrive? I'm not aware that the stereo in my Forester has a USB slot but maybe it does? Do I not need the music to be on my phone or some other actual music-playing device, which then broadcasts it to the stereo over Bluetooth?
Not too sure about 17 Forester but in 15 Forester, there is a USB port in the center console. You stick the drive in it, no bigger than 32GB and no more than 200 files per folder. On the left side of the CD slot, there are 3 buttons, FM, AUX and one more. Keep pressing AUX until it says 'USB reading' and plays like a normal CD.

Since I figured out how to rip DVD with least flaws for my ear, I NEVER use the CDs, they are my backup. As soon as I open the CD, I rip them. After that, I seal them with plastic wrap and they go in the storage. When I see a scratch on a CD or DVD, it irritates the heck out of me. Nowadays, I just buy mp3s off Amazon. Their quality/encoding seems better than other providers and no DRM stuff that I could find.
 
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