Magnetic tape

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

Magnetic tape is a long and narrow strip of plastic that thin magnetic material is coated on. Nearly all recording tape is of this type, whether used for recording audio or video or computer data storage.

An audio cassette

Magnetic tape recording uses magnetic tape which moves on a recording head. Electrical signals are fed to the recording head, inducing a pattern of magnetization similar to the signal. A playback head can then pick up the changes in magnetic field from the tape and convert it into an electrical signal.

Devices that record and playback audio and video using magnetic tape are generally called tape recorders and videotape recorders respectively. A device that stores computer data on magnetic tape can be called a tape drive, a tape unit, or a streamer. Autoloaders and tape libraries are frequently used to automate cartridge handling.