Scratched up CDs, DVDs, and game discs
I have been buying CDs since 1985 or so, and I still have many of my earliest
purchases. Over these years, I have routinely committed several of the highest
forms of audio blasphemy, including the following:
1. Instead of keeping each disc safe inside its jewel case, I would generally
discard the case and store the booklet with CD in various CD albums.
2. The CDs in these albums would then be subjected to extreme forms of torture –
everything from exposure to Texas summer heat (which would often cause
the plastic graphics on the CD to melt to the plastic sleeve of the CD album),
to direct exposure to West Texas dust (which would cause some of the most
hideously scratched discs imaginable).
Generally, if (or rather – when) a disc would reach the point where I
could no longer listen to it without an unbearable amount of skipping (the kind
that doesn’t go away when you advance to the next song), I would reluctantly
throw it away.
Of course I tried various products that came out over the years: sprays,
wipes, creams, towelettes, you name it. While some were successful in removing
the dust that might have accumulated while the CD album was bouncing around in
its album inside my ranch truck, nothing ever really solved the problem of CDs
that were scratched so badly that they would skip.
Nowadays, I have a thirteen year old daughter who has her own CD collection –
and who has found her own new ways to commit atrocities against her CD
When I was offered the chance to review the new
SkipDoctor CD & DVD Motorized Repair
Device by Digital Innovations,
I was mildly intrigued yet not very optimistic that this product could do much
more than the previous products I had tried. Granted, this product is motorized
– so right away it offers a new twist that I haven’t encountered before, but
otherwise I was skeptical that the SkipDoctor would do enough repair work to
justify its price tag.
When I got it, I immediately put it through its paces with one of my
daughter’s "uglier" CDs. This is
Avril Lavigne…not too old, but already pretty
gritty. I decided it was a great candidate for the SkipDoctor.
The first step in the process is to remove the black wheel on the side of the
device. You then pop the CD into the clips and spray it down with the potion
stowed in the top of the handle…
Next, you insert the wheel and disc into the slotted tray on the bottom of
the device. It locks into place, and after attaching the power cord, you switch
the thumb toggle to the "on" position…allowing the disc to be be slowly and
loudly grinded by the revolving sandpaper wheel. After one complete
revolution, you repeat the process.
After the grinding, comes the drying of the CD with the blue cloth that store
in the bottom of the device’s handle. Next, you buff with the smaller, coarser
cloth. A final wipe of the blue cloth, and if the audio gods are smiling, you
should have a grime and skip free CD.
How were my results? Well, the Avril CD was definitely cleaned – although it
now reminded me of what happens to a black car the first time you wax
it – there were what looked looked like angular "swirl marks." Popping it in my
CD player was a satisfactory experience, it sounded great. But the thing is,
this was not a CD that had ever skipped before; so while I had tested the
cleaning capabilities of the device, I hadn’t yet experienced the advertised
Therefore, it was time to bring out a true "skipping disc." This disc had not
only fingerprints, unidentified grime, and surface scratches, it also had one
pretty bad gouge that was causing the first song to hang. I followed the
detailed directions on the
User’s Guide page, doing the extra buffing and grinding in the scratched
area and repeating the process a couple times for good measure. After completing
the process multiple times, my disk still skipped; I guess the scratch was just
too deep. Unfortunately, this is the only disc I have right now that has the
skipping problem, so I am not able to personally verify that the device will
make a difference on anything other than the lightest surface scratches.
According to the previously mentioned Users Guide, there will be a "Severe
Scratch Kit" coming out in the future, so perhaps a later version will rescue
In the end, I think that this device is probably more suited for those that
enjoy amazing their friends with gadgets in an over the top way: think
Rick Moranis in
I Shrunk the Kids.
Appears to clean dirty and smudged discs
Did not repair my skipping disc