Your new CD-R has two lifetimes: the lifetime after recording and the lifetime before recording. Usually the CDs without recording have a lifetime between 5 and 10 years. This reduced lifetime is due to the fact that the electromagnetic properties of the cyanine and the phythalocyanine are lost with time.
After recorded, the CDs can last 75 years, in the case of the green and blue media, 100 years when the media is gold and 200 years when the media is silver. However this data is given by the manufacturer, without any test made and they can vary a lot.
A silver media with aluminum, for example, lasts much less than half the time a silver CD without aluminum in its reflective layer. This can be applied to other metallic alloys and it is another important component that is not taken into consideration in the calculations that consider 75, 100 and 200 years and that deal with only the half-life of the cyanine.
One thing is for sure: to strictly follow the storage and maintenance conditions of the disk guarantee a considerable increase in its lifetime, either blank or after recording.
If we compare these warranties with the one of the pressed CDs, we will see the whole difference. A conventional audio CD has durability warranty between 10 and 25 years! In spite of being pressed and not recorded, the practically pure aluminum layer that is on its base starts to corrode faster. This can be observed if you compare, with the aid of a microscope, new music CDs to 10-year-old ones. You will be able to notice cracks between and across the tracks.
To end this part, we will remind you that, despite the very serious standardization relating the media, there is not any standardization relating the dimension of CDs and CD readers. Thus, a drive that does not read your CD but plays perfectly a pressed CD can give you a lot of trouble. The solution, in this case, is changing either the drive or the media.