By Philip on 10/20/2010
CMC Magnetics makes these discs; MID (manufacturer I.D.): CMC MAG M01-00. (The MID is written to the disc in the reserved area, and can be read by most burning programs.) CMC is based in Taiwan and is one of the largest manufacturers of optical media, including such brands as HP, Imation, Memorex, Philips, TDK, Verbatim (Life series only), Staples, Office Depot brand, and many OEM brands.
So what? Well, this is real mass-market stuff, where price is the most important consideration. It has a reputation as second-class media at such tech hobbyist websites as myce.com (formerly cdfreaks), nomorecoasters.com, videohelp.com, et.al. That means it is considered hit and miss, not nearly as reliable as first-class media. Mitsubishi Chemical and Taiyo Yuden are generally thought to be first-class. The former is sold as Verbatim Data Life Plus, the latter available in the U.S. by online order only. Like from Super Media Store.
These HP discs might not be the best choice for critical backups, but then again, for really important data you should have redundant backups.
That said, I have used a couple hundred of these discs for the past year without a failure. The Lightscribe label side produces good contrast.
As always, Super Media Store shipped these promptly, and their price is as low as you'll find anywhere.