Optical discs, such as CDs, have been a popular format for storing and playing back music and other audio content for decades. However, despite their popularity and convenience, optical discs have a number of inherent issues with the fidelity that can impact the quality of the audio that is played back.
One of the main issues with optical discs is that they are read using a laser. This laser is used to read the tiny pits and lands that are etched into the surface of the disc, which represent the digital audio data. The laser is then used to interpret this data and convert it back into an audio signal.
While this process is generally effective, it is not perfect.
There are a number of factors that can affect the accuracy with which the laser is able to read the pits and lands on the disc, which can result in errors in the audio data that is played back. These errors can manifest as pops, clicks, and other audible artifacts that can degrade the overall fidelity of the audio. One of the main reasons for these errors is the physical nature of the disc itself. Optical discs are made of a plastic material that is prone to scratching and damage, which can create errors in the data that is read by the laser. Additionally, the laser itself can be affected by factors such as dust, dirt, and other contaminants, which can also create errors in the audio data.
Another issue with optical discs is that they are susceptible to degradation over time. As the disc is played back repeatedly, the laser beam can wear away the surface of the disc, causing it to become less reflective and resulting in a loss of audio quality. This is particularly pronounced on older discs that have been played many times, as the surface of the disc may become too worn to be read accurately.
Optical discs are limited in their ability to store high-resolution audio. While newer formats, such as Blu-ray and SACD, are able to store higher-resolution audio, CDs are limited to a maximum resolution of 16-bit/44.1kHz, which is significantly lower than the resolution of many modern audio sources. This can result in a loss of detail and clarity in the audio, which can further impact the overall fidelity.
In summary, optical discs such as CDs have a number of inherent issues with fidelity that can impact the quality of the audio that is played back. These issues are largely related to the physical nature of the disc and the limitations of the laser-based reading process, and they can result in audible artifacts and a loss of detail and clarity in the audio