How to Resolve Scratchy or Distorted Audio from a CD-ROM Device

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 260229 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q260229
Expand all | Collapse all


When you attempt to play an audio CD-ROM, audio output may seem scratchy or distorted.


This behavior can be caused by a slow read speed of the audio data from the CD-ROM drive.


To resolve this behavior, enable Direct Memory Access (DMA) for your CD-ROM device. When you enable DMA, data is transferred directly to and from memory without passing through the Central Processing Unit (CPU).

For additional information about hot to enable DMA, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
258757 How to Enable Direct Memory Access (DMA)
NOTE: To disable SRS WOW Effects in Windows Media Player, go to View , Now Playing Tools, then select Show Equalizer and Settings. You can now disable the SRS WOW Effects on the visualization screen. If the SRS WOW effects are not disabled, it may also be necessary to disable the graphic equalizer.

If, after accomplishing this, MP3 files play properly but CD's still sound choppy or scratchy, disable the Digital Playback option by going to Tools, Options, selecting the CD Audio tab, and then unchecking the Digital Playback box.


Article ID: 260229 - Last Review: October 28, 2003 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.0
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.1
kbprb KB260229

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from