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How CDs Work

        Tech | Audio

CD Player Components
Inside a CD player
Inside a CD player

The CD player has the job of finding and reading the data stored as bumps on the CD. Considering how small the bumps are, the CD player is an exceptionally precise piece of equipment. The drive consists of three fundamental components:

  • A drive motor spins the disc. This drive motor is precisely controlled to rotate between 200 and 500 rpm depending on which track is being read.
  • A laser and a lens system focus in on and read the bumps.
  • A tracking mechanism moves the laser assembly so that the laser's beam can follow the spiral track. The tracking system has to be able to move the laser at micron resolutions.