Can you play cd's as root. If not then you probably don't have the cable connecting the cdrom with the soundcard, and you need digital playback.
You can do that with xmms. Open xmms , press CTRL+P and in the input plugins configure CD player.
Use digital audio extraction as a playmode and configure the paths, for your CDrom (the device, something like /dev/cdrom and the directory :the mount point, something like /mnt/cdrom). The next time you insert a cdrom, browse using xmms "File+" button to the mount point and you should see virtual track files like in windows. Try to play those.
Hope it helps