Fan noise from CD/DVD drives can be very loud. It probably doesn’t matter if you’re just reading something off it but if you’re watching a DVD for example, it can get annoying. The fans are required in modern drives when the disc is spinning very fast – e.g. 16x – and by default it spins as fast as it can. So there is a simple solution: slow down your drive! This is easy enough in Linux, but oddly the command you need is eject. For example, to reduce your drive to 4x speed:

eject -x 4 /dev/dvd

The parameter -x is simply the multiplier: pick a low value (except 0, which means full speed). 4x seems sufficient on my device to completely disable the fans.