There are, however, a few things you can do to help extend the lifespan not just of your portable DVD player but of the DVDs themselves:
1. Set The Portable DVD Player On A Flat, Stable Surface. This cannot be emphasized any further. While modern portable CD players can tolerate more vibration without seizing up than older models, it is still the safest bet to position it on a flat and stable surface. Even the latest car DVD players will seize up if you hit a bump hard enough. This is because your CDs will be spinning at incredible speeds, and abrupt motions can (and often do) result in damage to either the VCD or the player.
2. Canned Air Is Your Best Friend. Bringing canned air with your portable DVD player is a must. When playing a DVD, it is considered safe practice to blow away any and all dust on the data surface (aka the shiny side) of the CD. This prevents dust from scratching the VCD as it spins inside your mobile DVD player. Canned air ensures that you don’t get any saliva on the surface of the CD – further reducing the risk of accidentally damaging the VCD due to losing spit.
3. Keep Some Lint-Free Cloth and Lens Cleaning Fluid. These two items combined are necessary for cleaning the actual lens of your portable DVD player. That’s the small crystal portion of the device that emits a laser to read the data on DVDs. Blow off any and all dust with canned air. Wet a corner of the cloth with some cleaning fluid, and gently apply one the lens. Dab the lens, don’t wipe, to dry it off. You can also use the cloth and cleaning fluid on DVDs as well – a useful tip to remember when lugging your travel DVD player around with you.
4.Only Hold the Edges and the Hole of a DVD. Speaking of DVDs, practice holding them in a way that you only touch the edges of the VCD. Insert your index finger in the hole of the DVD, press your thumb on the outer edge of the CD and pinch down. Use the thumb and middle finger of your other hand if you need additional support preparing the VCD. Oh, and make sure your hands are as clean as possible before handling CDs.
5. See If You Can Salvage CDs Using CD Repair Kits. If you have a DVD that has been slightly scratched, you may be able to salvage it by using a CD repair kit. These kits use a combination of chemicals, heat, and/or friction to ‘heal’ cracks and scratches on the data side of CDs. If you’re not comfortable doing the repairs yourself, you can bring it to a VCD shop that will do the repairs for you. This is a useful tip to remember when you tend to use your portable DVD player a lot.