Many of the problems people have with the Apollo can be avoided but the Apollo is a bit more "discriminating" about the quality of CDs and how they were recorded. I've had to rip and record to CD-R a few commercial CDs that the Apollo had trouble recognizing, including intermittent dropouts or garbled playback. The CD-R versions played perfectly.
I've also burned about 50 other CD-Rs that play just fine. When I record to CD-R I use discs that are higher quality for music recording (not the gold CDs but better than the inexpensive data discs.) I've had good results with Maxell and Sony CD-Rs but any good quality disc should work.
As Tjpj mentioned above, you cannot record at high speed; I usually record at 2x and no more than 4x to make sure I get the best possible recording.
You definitely have to wait a full 10 seconds (or more) to make sure the player has read the disc and configured itself for playback. If you try to hurry it or play a disc it can't read accurately, the machine seems to get "confused" and you have to reboot it by removing the disc, turning it off, and unplugging it for about 30 seconds. That has always cleared things up with my Apollo, anyway.
It's a good CD player with a very listenable sound, but you do have to pay attention to the initialization process and don't try to feed it discs it can't read very well.