Myself and some fellow tape enthusiasts usually either double box
tapes for shipment or use the gray, hard plastic reel containers
inside of regular document shipping containers. I've gotten mangled
outer boxes but never anything serious on the inner.
My question is, I've heard that X-rays are used to examine even
domestic shipments now. And while the X-ray itself may not damage the
recording, the huge transformers that power them will. We've taken to
writing " Do not X-ray, magnetic tape enclosed " on the packages in
the hopes that if they feel the need to examine the contents they
will open it. I wonder if they actually read this warning or if
there's any way to insure against "Data Damage"?
On Jan 17, 2008, at 3:37 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> Some people swear by the practice of storing reels of tape as un-
> flanged "pancakes" on a hub. There are some well-documented
> benefits to this practice, from cost-saving to possibly avoiding
> damage if the box is dropped and flange is mangled badly enough to
> damage the tape-pack. Well, let me tell you a tale ...
> Names deleted because this was told to me in confidence. Suffice to
> say, these tapes are valuable and not replaceable.
> Tapes were archived on hubs, mistakenly shipped overseas and
> mangled on the way back in transit. Badly mangled. It will be lucky
> if there are not unrepairable problems in parts of tape containing
> music. This would not have happened if the tapes were on reels,
> although the mangling was bad enough that the reels may have been
> bent. The owners of the tapes correctly blame the shipping company
> but I would argue that it's a lesson in just how brutal shippers
> can be, especially if a communications problem of lower-level
> employees gets something sent overseas and back.
> My take-away was that if one is to ship tapes as boxed-pancakes,
> one needs to take extreme measures to keep the tape-pack rigid and
> protected. I would even suggest rigging something up using a metal
> film can. Certainly don't use decades-old cardboard boxes, even if
> they are grouped in large box and surrounded by rigid packing
> -- Tom Fine