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At  10/3/2005 07:46 AM, Karl Miller wrote:
>And, on a related note. I guess I must not be keeping up with things much
>lately...but yesterday a friend of mine was asking about recommendations
>on which DAT machine to buy to replace his...I was rather surprised to see
>that the format seems to be disappearing quickly.
>
>Perhaps someone on the list has some information on this...are DAT
>machines about to go the way of the 8-track cartridge?

They probably will. I was told by an equipment salesman (not 
necessarily the most reliable source, of course) that ALPS, the last 
maker of DAT transports that were used by Sony, Tascam and the other 
makers of recorders, has ceased production of those transports. As a 
result, nobody can get the transports necessary to build more machines.

There might be a handful of recorders left in the retail channel, but 
when that supply dries up, there won't be any more new ones. I have 
no idea whether anybody has a decent spare parts inventory.

This implies that those of us in the archival community should make 
sure that our collections include at least one working DAT player, 
and we should consider transferring the contents of our existing DATs 
to a more stable and accessible format as a top priority.

John Ross
Northwest Folklife
Seattle