Funny that.....nightingale has just finished his evening repertoire!Quality Sir, quality.
I bet when the sun shines out of that it has beautiful golden hues and the birds start singing too.
I like the lollipop ideaSadly, CD players and CDs are not the indestructible system we got fed with 80s.
Remember Jam on CDs at a kids party and being able to play still? Tomorrows World if I recall correctly.
Anyhow, repairing CD players is something not beyond your skills. They are an electro-mechanical machine. There's about 80% chance the mechanics have failed and not the electronics. The error means typically the Table Of Contents on the CD (inner most track) can't be read.
Most CD players dispensed with a light sensitive switch to detect if a CD was present umpteen years ago. Swearing at it, or a little tap on the top of the case may get things to function, and re-conform with the needed tolerance level to read the TOC. Don't hit it with a hammer.
Try opening it up, clean the tram lines of the transport. Typically two rails if it's an old CD player. Get rid of all dust from the transport. There's probably a rack and pinion too which needs a clean out.
If that doesn't work, many CD players used a weird belt drive through a cog set to turn the CD with constant linear velocity. The 2 pence belt drive can be replaced easy enough.
All that said, if the above doesn't work, it's pretty much out of DIY scope for repair. Next level needs electronic test equipment.
If the laser is burnt out, the whole unit is for the bin. Not worth hunting down replacement lasers and transport mechanisms today.
If the electric motor is burnt out or just can't reach the RPM through the stepper motor circuitry due to residue induced flux with age, again, the whole unit is for the bin.
In the past I've baby sat NAD and Sherwood CD players with the top section of the case off and a lollipop stick to gently prod the transport or help the CD get the initial RPM with an additional finger DJ style turn.
Probably best to keep an eye out for something at the charity shop or whatever; not being capable to read the TOC on certain CDs is the beginning of the end.