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>Thanks Bill! I was going to ask...
>
>And now, for one who has never had a DATA DAT in my system 
>(only at  studios where I've worked) what would be an 
>acceptable unit that  doesn't cost a million bucks? No SCSI 
>here except my old old 9500...  firewire? USB2?
>
>Thanks, a cursory search turned up nothing for me.

I use a Sony SDT-9000 (internal SCSI) with the free 
command-line program DAT2WAV 
(http://web.ncf.ca/aa571/dat2wav.htm). I bought one new last 
year for $120.
I had to upgrade the firmware on the DDS drive to get it to 
read audio, and it was a bit of a pain getting the program 
to find the drive, but once it's configured correctly it 
works very well. I don't have absolute faith in it, since I 
have found instances where the program fails to correct some 
errors, and some instances where it will skip a portion of 
audio without flagging it, but this seems to happen when I 
am doing other things on my computer while extracting a 
tape, so I don't do other work when extracting. I also keep 
a Sony R500 on hand just in case.

Here are some links that may be of help:

http://www.zianet.com/jgray/dat/links.html
http://web.ncf.ca/aa571/datfaq.htm
http://kickme.to/sdt9000
http://www.trygve.com/playaudiodat.html

It's too bad nobody seems interested in writing a more 
user-friendly program, but I guess I should just be happy 
that I can still buy a DDS drive...

-Matt Sohn