Deciphering the manufacturing date of your media (with pictures + all major mfg's!)



I’ve been considering starting a topic regarding the decryption of manufacturing dates from media serials found in hub codes for a while now, but never got to it. Well a week ago I actually got a request for it and so here I am.

It obviously won’t be a comprehensive list as there have been hundreds of companies making media in the last 20 years but the purpose is to list about a dozen of the most used/largest ones. If you’re wondering how I came about all this information, it was mainly my own research. I figured out these by myself years ago, with the exception of CMC Magnetics which I read about on the internet (probably on this very forum). I will have pictures in this topic of the serial codes as seen on the media, some of which are my own scans of my disks (have “aztekk” in the picture) and others I have found pictures of around the internet and this forum.

I am first and foremost a CD-R user and collector and therefore this will have a heavy bias towards CD-R(W) but in nearly all cases the information presented here is essentially applicable to DVD±R(W) media as well.

The serial codes for optical media are found written in or molded into the center clear acrylic ring of the disc. Stamper codes are found on the silver ring around it.

For ease of readibility, the date codes will be color coded with red corresponding to the year, green to the month, blue to the day and in the case of CMC there is also extra colors for hour and minute (see CMC section). Let’s begin!

[SIZE=3]Current manufacturers:
Ritek Corporation

Maxell CD-R80XL-S 48x
hub code: HY09J405110318B11.
stamper code: RFD80M.-09277 80

Date format: YMMDD
Manufactured: May 11th, 2004

Ritek’s serial format is probably the easiest to decrypt. The 6th character in the serial code is the last digit of the manufacturing year, next 2 digits are month and the last 2 day. In terms of identifying the decade, you must use the stamper code and branding/label. In this case the disc has changed labels and branding since 2004, so a 2014 Maxell Ritek disc will look completely different from the 2004 one.

Moser Baer India

Verbatim 52x Super AZO CD-R
hub code: 1059 48RI 1532
stamper code: ZE4355-CDR-A80A AZO

Date format: YDDD
Manufactured: February 28th, 2011

Date converter:

MBI is also very easy to decrypt, the first character of the serial is the last digit of the year of manufacturing. Next 3 digits indicate in numerical form the day of that year, you can convert those into a normal MM/DD/YYYY format by using the converter I supplied.

CMC Magnetics

Verbatim CD-RW 1-4x
hub code: LD606LF19080103 3A6
stamper code: ZD4403-CDRW-P80B 0907

Date format: YMDDHHMM
Manufactured: June 19th, 2007 @ 8.01am

Cheat sheet:

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

A       B        C     D     E   F    G    H      I         J       K        L
January February March April May June July August September October November December

CMC Magnetics serial numbers are a little more of a pain… however they do hold more information than just MM/DD/YYYY. The 6th (7th for DVD±R) character of a serial is the year in the form of a letter starting from 1996 (A). In this example the year is “L” which is the 12th letter in the alphabet and thus you need to simply add 11 to 1996 to get 2007. The next character is the month, also in letter form in this case its June. After that you have the day in normal numerical form.

It doesn’t end there though, with CMC you can actually get the exact hour and minute your disc was made on, in this case it was 08:01 (probably military time/Euro format) so 8:01am. Not sure if that’s Taiwanese time or UTC, not that its particularly useful anyway.

Taiyo Yuden

Sony CDQ-74BN
hub code: LD8TP0491374
stamper code: 74 PM4239

Date format: Y
Manufactured: 1998

With Taiyo Yuden I have figured out the 3rd character of all serial codes is the last digit of the manufacturing year. I have not seen a TY disc that contradicted this principle so far. As for the MM/DD, I haven’t been able to find that out from the serial. If you have this information please drop me a PM.

To identify the decade (1980s,1990s,2000s,2010s) you’re gonna have to use the methods I described with Ritek. You look at the stamper code, if it’s a 74-min CD-R for example with stamper “74 PM” that’s clearly from 1998 and not 2008. You can also look at the brand and label, this is an old Sony CD-R which hasn’t been manufactured in 15 years.

I am aware that TY has stopped production of media, however some of us still find ways to buy their media and others have stockpiled them so for all intents and purposes Taiyo Yuden will not die off in optical media enthusiasts homes - thus its in the “current” subheader. However I should note that the new CMC Pro (“made with TY technology”) does not use TY serial codes, but rather uses the standard CMC Magnetics ones as explained earlier.

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

Verbatim DataLifePlus 8x CD-R 74min
hub code: 9M01R128865
stamper code: -

Date format: Y
Manufactured: 1999

In the 1990s MCC Singapore/Verbatim put the year as the first character in a serial code. I have a hint on how to identify the MM/DD in some disks but so far I have had samples contradicting each other so I won’t post that. Mind you, this format is valid not only for discs produced in Singapore but also MCC disks produced under license in other countries (Taiwan, Ireland etc.) that used MCC stampers and have the same serial format.

Early 2000s:

Yamaha CDR74M8
hub code: S0111H166275
stamper code: -

Date format: Y
Manufactured: 2000

A new millennium and the switch to the 2nd generation Metal Azo dye (ATIP: 97m34s21f) brought about new serial code formats for MCC. In the early 2000s (and possibly still today) MCC-manufactured CD-R disks started putting characters in front of the year code which confused me a little at first but I’ve had enough samples to be convinced that the 2nd character in these disks’ serial is the last digit of the year, so after the S or V (or else) you find the datecode same as the old disks.

Newer MCC Singapore produced disks, especially DVD±R’s seem to have 3 letters in the beginning of the serial. After this there is a number, I suspect that is the year code for those disks however I don’t have such samples, I’m a CD-R collector and these older CD-R’s is what interests me more, but if you have new Singapore made media with this type of serial you can drop me a PM so we can investigate.

[SIZE=3]Past manufacturers:[/SIZE]

Samsung Premium 24x CD-R
hub code: 1[COLOR=Blue]286[/COLOR]A921 03783
stamper code: R020-0112-5177

Date format: Y[COLOR=Blue]D[/COLOR][COLOR=Blue]DD[/COLOR]
Manufactured: October 13th, 2001

Date converter:

Prodisc has exactly the same date format as MBI, also in the beginning of the hub serial. Therefore the same rules apply as with MBI, and you can use the same date converter as well.

TDK Corporation (Luxembourg)

TDK CD-R74 RefleX
hub code: C9I09QC0942S APAQ
stamper code: CD-RECORDABLE 9316B1-7

Date format: Y
Manufactured: 1999

I have a very extensive collection of old TDK CD-R’s (all their dye types, my favorite brand back then too) and I’ve been able to identify that TDK’s plant in Luxembourg positioned their year code as the 2nd character in the serial, thus in this case its 9 = 1999. If it were 1 that would mean 2001 production.

Please note that this is referring to the original TDK media (1990s - early 2000s) and not the FTI/Falcon with TDK ATIP and MID disks manufactured under license.

Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals

HP CD-R 650MB Gold (C4432A)
hub code: 8[COLOR=Blue]043[/COLOR] 2128 2268
stamper code: barcode

Date format: YDDD
Manufactured: February 12th, 1998

Date converter:

Mitsui’s plant in France and USA (possibly others) used this type of serial format, and it appears to correspond to MBI/Prodisc formats. You can use the same date converter as before.

[SIZE=3]End notes:[/SIZE]
Now I certainly have many other types of media (mostly older CD-R) and I left out some manufacturers on purpose and others I probably forgot about… Currently this list covers all major current CD-R and DVD±R manufacturers (and some of the big names in the past) except for FTI/Falcon. I may add more to this list later on, hopefully some nice moderator will edit this for me if I think of something. If you see any errors or want to add new manufacturers that would be great, after all this list is made by a CDfreaks member, for all CDfreaks members…

I hope you find this list useful. One thing that I hope will come out from me taking the time to post this would be that people in the Blank Media Tests section would add A) hub codes, B) stamper codes to their posts and hopefully also a decrypted manufacturing date as this makes it much easier to compare results within the same ATIP/MID.

If you do enjoy this list or it helped you in any way, consider asking a moderator to sticky it. That would be helpful for new members and also easier to access for others!

Is there also an option, how to determine the year of manufacture of a blank CD
Sony DVD+R
The Catbox - Chat here
Moser Baer India DVD-R

[thread stuck]


Thanks for the write-up, [B]aztekk[/B]!

I would like to add that Kodak uses the same serial numbering system as Mitsui. Also, it seems that Mitsubishi produced first AND second generation Metal Azo CD-Rs from 1998-1999. I have some Yamaha CD-R74M8 made in 1998 by Mitsubishi in Singapore with ATIP = 97m 34s 21f, but I also have Verbatim 8X made in 1999 by CMC in Taiwan with ATIP = 97m 34s 20f.


Excellent work Aztekk. Full marks for presentation. :clap:

Thank you. :flower:


Any DVD-R examples (aside from CMC Magnetics, we know that one well)?


[QUOTE=Two Degrees;2788463]Any DVD-R examples (aside from CMC Magnetics, we know that one well)?[/QUOTE]

The serial code formats from all the manufacturers listed under “Current” category are (usually) identical to what’s shown in this thread for DVD±R media. You can use this guide for all those manufacturers, what others do you have in mind?


[QUOTE=aztekk;2788466]The serial code formats from all the manufacturers listed under “Current” category are (usually) identical to what’s shown in this thread for DVD±R media. You can use this guide for all those manufacturers, what others do you have in mind?[/QUOTE]
For instance, this Prodisc-made Verbatim disc. The codes don’t exactly line up with the CD-R example so I couldn’t figure out exactly when it was manufactured.

EDIT actually I may be thinking of MBIL DVD codes, that Prodisc one lines up.


Well that disc matches Prodisc format perfectly (manufactured 03/10/2006), and MBIL also uses that same format (YDDD) on their DVD media (without exception).


I have a piece of Verbatim DVD-R made by MBIL and the first digits in the stamper code are 214, three digits instead of four. Am I to assume 2=2012 and 14 = day 14? Seems odd they wouldn’t print it as 2014.


[QUOTE=Two Degrees;2788562]I have a piece of Verbatim DVD-R made by MBIL and the first digits in the stamper code are 214, three digits instead of four. Am I to assume 2=2012 and 14 = day 14? Seems odd they wouldn’t print it as 2014.[/QUOTE]

Those were made in 2010.


Great work Aztekk :clap:

Since I was the one starting the original thread you mentioned, I may add that this list will be of great help for dating other CD-R recordings I’ve bought over the years as well :iagree:

Thanks :flower:


CD2Date - CD/DVD Serial Converter

I'm back again and today I am releasing a program I wrote in C, the purpose of which is to automate the tedious and error-prone (even when being careful) decoding process of CD and DVD manufacturers serial codes manually. This program allows you to input a serial number and quickly get the resulting manufacturing date. You don't even need to input the full serial in most cases, partial serial code will work fine, the parser will detect the date string itself. Here is how this new program looks like:

Screenshot of the main GUI after decrypting an MBI DVD’s serial.

This program supports all the serial formats I outlined in January and I have also added a few more. Here’s the list:

Supported manufacturers: CMC Magnetics, Moser Baer India, Ritek Corporation, Prodisc, Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden*, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Verbatim)* , TDK Corporation (Luxembourg)* , [color=blue]Eastman Kodak Company[/color], [color=blue]MAM-E[/color], [color=blue]Mitsubishi Chemical Coproration (DVD±R)* [/color]

All above support full date decoding (MM/DD/YYYY) except the ones with the asterisk (*) symbol, which can be decoded partially (eg. year only). The blue ones are new additions not found in the January post, Kodak and MAM-E use the same format as Mitsui and I’ve added MCC decoding for DVD’s also.

The program is very easy to use, simply type in the serial (or part of it), select the manufacturer from the dropdown menu and in some cases (all but CMC) the decade of the disc then click “Process”. You will have an instant result, or if there was an error it will notify with a message box.

The program is guaranteed to run on Windows 95,98,ME,NT4,2000,XP,2K3 (all versions, tested mostly on XP64) and will likely work on newer Windows OS’s as well. If you have any issues with running the software on your computer or you have problems with decoding certain supported serial numbering formats then please inform me. Feedback of any kind is certainly appreciated.

I hope this will help you guys in the media tests section, and I would like to see more people include the serial codes or manufacturing dates in their posts there. In any case try it out and tell me what you think! Without further due, here is the download link:

>>>> (17.4 KB) <<<<-


Thank you very much :flower:

Works in Windows 10 RedStone2 (v1703 build 15063.0) as well :sunny:


Thanks aztekk glad to see software development within the optical media realm!


I don’t suppose anyone has any insight into Falcon’s serial system…?


­Any­­ insight? :iagree: The insight you want? :disagree:

I could certainly use more samples (I don’t use FTI myself) but from the codes so far posted by you and others I have only made these deductions: the serial code is the 3rd part of the hub code, and does not seem to include any industry standard codification of the manufacturing date or repeating pattern. If it does, it may be some special weirdness as with CMC.

Of course you can always still get a rough estimate of the age of the disk from the serial number, or the stamper code (in case of MCC stamper).


I was made aware the download link to CD2Date is broken, I’m assuming this is due to myce once again changing servers or something. I have reuploaded the software below. The program itself remains unchanged.

CD2Date new download link (zippyshare): (17.4 KB)

EDIT: It appears attachements are entirely broken on this site. I have uploaded it to zippyshare for now, although keep in mind it will be deleted in 30 days. I don’t know of a better file upload site and Myce bugs are out of my control.


That’s awesome!
I’m looking for such information!
What a temporal coincidence!
Thank you…


Hello aztekk
i have a JVC CD-R 80 min for Audio.
All information found on the CD.
Label: JVC
MID: 97m18s17f (Wealth Fair Investment Ltd. ???)
CD-R80min WL61-020
What can be the production year?


@oldburny, sent you a PM.