Very interesting … I had exactly the same problem as well, with a batch of discs purchased around the same time. Didn’t notice the sticky residue at the time, but all I got was a dozen coasters … tried 3 different drives (2 Pioneers, 1 AOpen), 2 different computers, several different burning programs (WinXP) – even the bullet-proof k3b (Mepis Linux) couldn’t help me out!
Scanning the resultant discs with Nero CDSpeed showed that 75-90% of the burnt sectors were damaged and unreadable … and of the only 2 discs that were playable at all, I too had a regular, static-like tick.tick.tick sound mixed in with the music.
So I gave up and wrote it off to experience, assuming that either: (1) Imation’s purchase of TDK’s media division meant that their quality control had gone down the toilet, or (2) That maybe (?) I had been sold a bunch of counterfeit discs (I purchased them from a computer fair on the Central Coast of NSW on the 27th September 2008).
Anyway, I put them aside until yesterday … opened up the cakebox and while trying to figure out whether I should just throw the whole spindle away, I noticed they felt odd … and that’s when I found the sticky/greasy coating on every single disc!
That’s when I stumbled onto your post … and guess what? I rang TDK Media Australia this morning and yes, they did have a bad batch last year, but all the current discs are fine … when did you buy them? Late last year? OK, give me your details and we will send you a replacement free of charge!
The number I rang was (1800) 225 013 and they were terrific … finally a company that is keen to keep it’s reputation intact.
Hope this helps … cheers, Gary.