They don't call him TheWizard for nothing... good summary. Allow me to add a few points as well.
Other giveaways that TY is inside are:
1. The label says "Made in Japan"
2. The label is the opaque shrink-wrap itself. Other brands have a paper label wrapped around the cake-box, and then the whole thing is wrapped in clear shrink-wrap. Compare the opaque blue shrink-wrap that extends around the base of the Fuji/TY cake-box to the simple paper cylinder of the Imation cake-box in TheWizard's photos.
3. Newer 48x TY media come in a cake-box with a thin, corrugated base that looks like this (with and without the plastic shrink-wrap label):
If you can get a peek at the actual media, you can get some more clues:
1. TY media have a frosted clear inner hub area.
2. CMC media have a narrow gap in the recording layer near the hub. This gap isn't silvered itself, but is surrounded by a narrow strip of silvered area on the hub side and the main silvered recording are on the outer side.
You can see both in the following picture (the arrow points to the gap in the CMC disc):
TheWizard wrote:One other thing, the Ritek cake boxes are usually made of harder plastic than the CMC cake boxes. You can tell the harder plastic by looking at the recycling code on the top of the spindle. The softer plastic is represented by:
/ 5 \
And the harder plastic is represented by:
/ 6 \
Now we are even checking the recycling codes! Unbelievable!
Oh well, whatever works. You'd think the manufacturers would want us to be able to easily identify their products so that we would be sure to select it in the store. Isn't that the whole point of branding? I guess that is the difference between the contract manufacturers and the distributors - the distributors add the brand "value" while the actual manufacturer remain anonymous. I guess we are supposed to trust the quality of the distributor's brand rather than decide for ourselves based on the actual manufacturer.
Hey Wizard, do you think it would be worthwhile to assemble "identify before you buy" info in the media compatibility thread or in a new thread?
Added picture of new Taiyo Yuden packaging with the Fuji label intact.