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It is possible the laser or other part of the CD player is faulty.These can stop working for no apparent reason at any time...
I had a Sony system that also refused to read the cleaning disc. I had experienced laser failure twice before on other equipment and hoped it hadn't happened again as the cost would be disproportionate. This also couldn't be accessed for manual cleaning and so I used a compressed airline and blew through every orifice with the drawer open and drawer closed.
I was lucky and the CD player was again able to read a disc again though a few months later it stopped working again for good. The repair cost would have been half as much again as a new system but I had the remarkable stroke of luck to find someone had put an identical model out for the garbage and so I changed the internals and have continued to enjoy my CD for the last few years, though it is again becoming temperamental.
All you need to get them to play is a "dock" and a 3.5mm Jack to two RCA phono plugs lead.
The Jack goes into the headphone output and the RCA's go into any spare socket on the back of the unit IE tape/cd.
Infact you just need the lead, plug it into the headphone output of the Ipod or MP3 player. But the dock will keep the battery charged and you get a remote with the dock, so you don't need to get out of your chair, to operate the player.