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Re: arsclist DAT Longevity (a question)

Given the negligence of the organizations throughout the world with the
money to do testing of preservation media, all we have is anecdotal
evidence.  We all have severe doubts about DAT long term.  Still, it would
be useful to have some dispassionate data to fend off the industry flaks for
every new recording format that will hold perfect sound forever.

Anyone remember the SONY ad for one of their interem products which
proclaimed that "only musicians and recording engineers can tell the

Steve Smolian

Steven Smolian    301-694-5134
Smolian Sound Studios
CDs made from old recordings,
Five or one or lifetime hoardings,
Made at home or concert hall,
Text and pics explain it all.
at www.soundsaver.com
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard L. Hess <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 10:06 PM
Subject: Re: arsclist DAT Longevity (a question)

> At 11:19 AM 07/16/2001 -0500, you wrote:
> >On Mon, 9 Jul 2001, Richard L. Hess wrote:
> >
> > > At 03:18 PM 07/09/2001 -0500, Karl Miller wrote:
> > >
> > > >Does anyone have a source for information on the longevity of DAT
> > >
> > > Karl,
> > >
> > > The short answer is I have less faith that I'll be able to play the
DATs of
> > > the old tapes I've transferred 55 years from now than my ability to
> > > the original 55-year old tapes.
> > >
> > > The narrow track width and the long-term availability of machines are
> > > major concerns. Some are also concerned about the thinness of the tape
> > > the type of coating.
> > >
> > > If you noticed Parker Dinkins's post about the tape wandering--my
> > > of 55-year old tapes had the tape doing a bobsled run on the heads.
> > > kind of deformation would be pretty hard to track on a DAT!
> >
> >I have had problems with new DATs. The slightest alignment problem seems
> >to cause significant problems.
> >
> >My main concern has to do with the density of the oxide and the nature of
> >the scan. Since the recording process is similar to the VHS, are DATs not
> >just as likely to suffer the same fate as VHS and have a similar life
> >expectancy?
> >
> >Karl
> Karl, I'm not sure what kind of life expectancy you're seeing with VHS,
> I would suspect that DAT would be at least as bad as VHS, and being
> digital, it has the "cliff effect" of being completely unusable after a
> certain error rate.
> I don't think anyone considers DAT to be an archival format, although I
> know of archives that are replete with them!
> Cheers,
> Richard
> Richard L. Hess                           email: rlh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Vignettes Media                           web:
> Glendale, California, USA
> -
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> http://www.arsc-audio.org/arsclist.html
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