tape

Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders. A device that stores computer data on magnetic tape is a tape drive (tape unit, streamer). Magnetic tape revolutionized broadcast and recording. When all radio was live, it allowed programming to be recorded. At a time when gramophone records were recorded in one take, it allowed recordings to be made in multiple parts, which were then mixed and edited with tolerable loss in quality. It is a key technology in early computer development, allowing unparalleled amounts of data to be mechanically created, stored for long periods, and to be rapidly accessed. Nowadays other technologies can perform the functions of magnetic tape. In many cases these technologies are replacing tape. Despite this, innovation in the technology continues and companies like Sony and IBM continue to produce new magnetic tape drives. Over years, magnetic tape can suffer from deterioration called sticky-shed syndrome. Caused by absorption of moisture into the binder of the tape, it can render the tape unusable.

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