Magnetic tape

Medium used to store data in the form of magnetic fields / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic storage made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany in 1928, based on the earlier magnetic wire recording from Denmark. Devices that use magnetic tape could with relative ease record and playback audio, visual, and binary computer data.

7-inch reel of ¼-inch-wide audio recording tape, typical of consumer use in the 1950s–70s

Magnetic tape, invented by Fritz Pfleumer, is a recording medium used for audio, video, and computer data storage. It is prone to disintegration and can suffer from sticky-shed syndrome, a deterioration that may render the tape unusable. Despite newer technologies emerging as alternatives, companies like Sony and IBM continue to advance tape capacity. Various formats of magnetic tape-based recorders exist for audio, video, and computer data storage. Magnetic tape was first used for computer data storage in 1951 in the UNIVAC I system. In 2014, Sony and IBM announced a breakthrough in magnetic-tape media with a capacity of 185 TB.

Magnetic tape revolutionized sound recording and reproduction and broadcasting. It allowed radio, which had always been broadcast live, to be recorded for later or repeated airing. Since the early 1950s, magnetic tape has been used with computers to store large quantities of data and is still used for backup purposes.

Magnetic tape begins to degrade after 10–20 years and therefore is not an ideal medium for long-term archival storage.[1]