Reducing optical drive when playing audio CDs

Michael Williams williams at
Sun Dec 10 17:49:32 UTC 2006

How do I reduce the noise made by my PC's optical drive when listening
to audio CDs? The PC runs Dapper. "hdparm -E [low number]" isn't working
and, according to its man page, it shouldn't be necessary.

I know it's possible for an OS to adapt the optical drive speed based on
context, since OS X manages to play audio CDs without sounding like a
jet engine (as does Windows, I think, although it's been a while!).

However, with the hdparm -E switch set, the drive still sounds like it's
spinning very quickly. Also, that switch permanently lowers the speed,
which also reduces the speed for data discs. According to the man page
it should not be required for normal operation.

My understanding is that this is an OS-level issue, but I have tried
more than one audio CD application (Sound Juicer, Rhythmbox, xmcd). For
unrelated reasons, I don't want to encode the CDs as MP3s and play them
from my hard drive. The PC is only a few months old and a good quality
IBM model. The drive is apparently a Lite-on DVD SOHOD 16P9-S.

-- Mike

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