At 10:46 AM 10/3/2005, 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?

Hi, Karl,

I posted this on August 17th of this year:

>From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Requiem for the DAT
>It is my understanding from several audio technical lists that I'm 
>on that the last manufacturer of DAT transports (Alps) has ceased 
>production and no more DAT machines will be made. Parts will also 
>become scarce in the not-too-distant future.
>A word to the wise to any archive holding DATs. Sony no longer lists 
>DATs in their ProAudio Web site, and I've been told that Tascam has 
>stopped listing them as well, though Tascam still has cassette machines!!!
>Oh, and repairing and cobbling analog reel machines is child's play 
>compared to trying to make a from-the-ground-up DAT.
>Good luck!

I am very concerned about this.

There is an archive that has more Mitsubishi X-86 tapes than 
remaining head life, as I understand it. While that situation will be 
easier to sort out with musicians dumping DAT machines on eBay (they 
are much more common than X-86 machines) I must urge people as I did 
a month and a half ago that it would be good practice to transfer all 
their DAT holdings (which many of us recommended against as an 
archival format from the beginning) to a more stable medium. Gold 
CD-Rs for the short term, or managed, perpetual storage for the long term.

Many of us in the tape restoration business are set up for digital 
DAT transfer as Tom Fine pointed out. One of the challenges is 
deciding what to do with 48 ks/s DATs. Do you save them as files or 
downsample to 44.1 ks/s for audio CDs. I guess the answer is 
partially, "it depends." Here's where a file system makes things 
easier. Perhaps the answer is "both."

I may be a Luddite, but I'm still a wee bit nervous about DVDs for 
long-term archival storage (as files, of course).



Richard L. Hess                           email: [log in to unmask]
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