It’s been a few years since the last time I tried to estimate the size of my blank optical disc reserves. Back then it was somewhere in excess of 5000 discs and since then I have added maybe another thousand.
The days when I could list my entire stock from memory (and identify the MID & brand by smell alone!) are long gone. I rarely bought discs just to add them to my collection, secure data storage has always been my motivation. Even the rarer early DVDs were bought with the intention of using at least some of them for archiving photos. Only the TY T01 and Verbatim MCC000RG20 have (so far) not been used at all.
They are mostly of excellent quality - one reason I kept buying more was that I didn’t want to waste such good discs on stuff of little importance. I only have a few hundred discs I would class as for everyday/giveaway use and <50 I would class as unsatisfactory quality. Despite certain threats regarding the size of my collection (taking over the house), I still check Ebay occasionally looking for more discs to add to my collection.
From memory, I think I’ve got somewhere in the region of 1000+ Taiyo Yuden CD-R left and a sizable quantity of T03 & TYG03. No TYG02 and only 24x T02, but I have 5x T01 and 18x TAIYOYUDEN (their original DVD-R, 2x speed).
Can’t even guess how many Verbatim/MCC discs - somewhere in the thousands. A few hundred are DL+/AZO CD-R, but the majority are DVD+/-R. These are mostly MCC004, plus ~125 MCC002, ~85 MCC003, 8x MCC001. For the -R I have 170+ MCC03RG20, 8x +MCC02RG20 (Medidisc) and 20x MCC00RG20 (I think that’s the correct MID - they’re the 2x speed -R discs).
Other DVD highlights include ~40x Fujifilm-branded PHILIPS C16 DVD+R, ~130x Maxell Xtreme Protek DVD+R and ~200x FTI/TDK DVD-R.
Other CD-R include ~250x (or~350x?) FTI/TDK (great quality, about half are the Mediline, which consistently scan less well than the ordinary Pro ones). For everyday use CD-R I have ~250-300+? Ritek (Traxdata & Maxell printable discs - consistently excellent quality, many scan like TY, much better than the non-printables & other brands) and ~300x decent CMC non-printable. I won’t even try to list the rest (Prodisc, Sony, Daxon etc.), But a 50 pack of 2004 vintage TDK-branded Moser Baer CD-R deserve a special mention - MB are normally consistently mediocre at best under any brand, but every disc from this pack scans like Taiyo Yudens and look, feel (& smell) like no other MB I’ve ever had.
My BD-R stash is much smaller: ~180x Infomedia, 100x Panasonic 6x & ~23x 4x speed, 34x Verbatim (MABL), ~45x FTI/TDK and ~155x Sony NN3 (made in Japan - fantastic quality, brown boxed spindles aimed at the ‘professional’/business market).
As well as this lot I have a sizable supply of rewritable discs: many CD-RW, mostly UHS & UHS+ Verbatim (also 10x CMC UHS) and a similar quantity of DVD+RW (again mostly verbatim 4x & 8x speed, also some Moser Baer 4x & Ricoh 8x speed). Only ~14x DVD-RAM discs (all Verbatim with Matshita MID, mostly 5x speed), but I have yet to wear one out even after 13 years use. Many years ago my DW-G120A/SHM-165P6S rendered half a dozen completely unusable, but my SH-S202N was able to revive them (entirely the fault of the Lite-On, not the discs). Despite many problems with the early ‘Supermulti’ drives corrupting discs, I have never lost data from a DVD-RAM disc - they always failed ‘safe’.
I also have ~35x BD-RE - 20x Verbatim-branded CMC, 10x with a Verbatim MID and 5x TDK CMC. BD-RE DL discs are extremely useful, but very expensive, so I only have 9x of those (all Verbatim-branded, 3x with Verbatim MID and 6x with TDK MID made by CMC).
As far as I’m concerned optical discs cannot be considered obsolete until something else replaces them and fulfils the same purpose. But as far as I can see there are no new storage mediums or technologies in the pipeline which might provide medium- and long-term removable storage for the enthusiast market. The need is still there and will continue for the foreseeable future, the only uncertainty is regarding the supply. So my reserve stockpile will probably continue to grow.
[For the record, my stockpile of drives is probably about 70. Mostly chosen for their scanning abilities, with writing quality and damaged/degraded disc reading also important considerations. All of the major drive/chipset types are represented, important when it comes to data recovery.]