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Ya know..I've had minimal DAT failure in the 15 years I've been using them. 
Machines come and go, but DAT tapes I recorded way back when, even at 32k 
("archive speed"), still play just fine. For that matter, the first machine I 
owned, one of the few commercial models ever sold (a JVC which began exhibiting 
major error problems in recording within 2 years and which was unrepairable) is 
still fine as a backup playback unit.

I store the tapes in their original cases, I've dropped dozens of them with 
nary a realignment of magnetic patterns, and I still buy them by the caseload 
(60m DDS tapes for a little over $2 a pop).

dl

Tom Fine wrote:
> Richard is 100% right. And, unlike reels and disks and cassettes, it's 
> hard to argue with any science behind you that you cannot get EXACTLY 
> what is on a non-damaged DAT and put it on your hard drive, using a 
> simple digital cable. If a DAT was recorded at 44.1K sampling rate, then 
> the same can be said about a simple S/PDF or AES connection between a 
> DAT machine and a CD recorder.
> 
> So I can't see any reason to make a big deal about "preserving" DATs. I 
> CAN see making a huge deal about transferring DATs to other digital 
> media ASAP since DAT mechanisms are no longer made and it is a 
> fast-submerging format that is unlikely to be usable in a decade or two.
> 
> Bottom line -- any dollars you'd invest in "preserving" DATs is better 
> invested in a managed-hard-drive storage system (managed = drives 
> continually refreshed and several backups of every file, off-site 
> backups preferable).
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 3:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT Archival Housing
> 
> 
>> At 02:43 PM 2007-02-17, Farris Wahbeh wrote:
>>> List,
>>> Any suggestions on how to archival-ly house DAT tapes would be most 
>>> helpful.
>>> Are the plastic cases that they come with archival-ly sound? What are 
>>> some boxes that can be used
>>> to house the tapes? Has anyone come across a box that fits both DAT 
>>> and CD's together?
>>> I can't seem to find any in the Gaylord catalog.
>>
>> That's because they and the machines they play on are not archival. 
>> The only archival way of storing a DAT tape IMHO is to transfer it to 
>> a digital repository or a gold phthalocyanine dye CD-R, with the 
>> former method preferred. DATs are living on borrowed time. THey are 
>> far more fragile than analog open reel and fewer machines were 
>> produced (I think) and few if any machines are being made now...just 
>> like open reel in a much shorter timeframe.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>>
>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
>> Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes. 
>