Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tape Based Digital Audio

I don't have a whole post about this but it's kind of an interesting tidbit. I've been re-reading the text book from a digital audio class I took in college. This is my third time reading it and despite being almost twenty years old it's still breaking my skull.  One of the most interesting things is to read about formats that were going great guns when the book came out that are now obsolete or at least on their way there.

Tape based digital audio. Haven't said that in a while. It's kind of cool to think about just how much data would fit on some of those things. Under certain conditions a little DAT tape that cost less than ten bucks could hold over two gigs of information. This was a format devised in the early Eighties! And people laugh about tape backup. (By way of comparison, in the mid-Nineties a CD burner cost well over a grand, blank media was five bucks a pop and not guaranteed to work the first or even second time you tried to burn and wouldn't work in all players.) I've got hard drives not five years old that are deader than the proverbial doornail and yet the DAT and ADAT tapes I was working on two decades ago will still spit out flawless audio if I can find a machine that still works.


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