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> I do not think that DDS can have any more robust error 
> CORRECTION
> when playing DAT tapes than a DAT machine can as the 
> additional interleaving and error correction codes are not 
> in the DAT tape.
>
> That is not to say that DDS tapes themselves do not have 
> more error CORRECTION than audio DATs. It's like CD-ROM 
> (as I understand it) has another layer of error CORRECTION 
> as opposed to audio CDs

When a DDS is used to extract audio, it is set to operate in 
"Audio mode", which is one reason a straight-out -of the box 
DDS drive might not work for this. The drive must be "Audio 
Capable". The Sony SDT-9000 I have needed to have the 
firmware upgraded before it would work. I don't know if any 
extra layers of error correction or concealment are going on 
when the drive is operating in audio mode.

I do find that tapes extracted with obvious glitches on the 
DDS will generally play well on my Sony R-500.
The debris issue is something that makes me wary of using a 
DDS drive for high volumes of work. I would appreciate any 
advice on the best way to clean the heads on a DDS drive.

>
> I really want to know when someone has a "freelance" DDS 
> DAT reading "factory" set up so I can refer people to 
> them.
>

I have one DDS drive in my main computer, and have 
transferred quite a few DATs, with mixed results. Some tapes 
extracted perfectly, others with momemtary glitching which 
was readily observable in a waveform. In most cases, these 
are only a few samples long, and can be easily interpolated 
with Wavelab's waveform restorer.
Sometimes the reading drive freaks out if it encounters a 
gap in the ABS, resulting in a block of square-waves where 
the audio should be. This also happens if the drive reads 
past the end of the audio into non-ABS territory.
When I extract a drive that looks to have a lot of problems, 
I attempt an spdif transfer with my R500. In most cases this 
works.

In general, I am excited about the prospect of using DDS, 
but feel the presently available tools are not reliable 
enough to guarantee good results I have a PC so I havent 
tried any of the Mac tools, but any of the tools I have 
found were written years ago, and have no support.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, a yahoo group was recently 
started dedicated to DDS audio ( 
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/datheads2wav/ ), and one 
member has been working on developing a new piece of 
software for PCs (WinDAT.exe). I have used WinDAT and it 
seems to do a pretty good job, at least as good as the 
others I tried (DAT2WAV, VDAT) but it is still pretty 
rudimentary and.The discussion there seems to have died off 
in the last few months, but perhaps a few new members might 
spark the discussion.

-Matt Sohn