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Sony stores 185 TB of data on a cassette tape

Posted By Reah On May 6, 2014 @ 6:31 PM In General Tech | 8 Comments

Compact_Cassette_Maxell_XL-II_90_IMG_8469 [1]

I am all for going retro [2] and vintage finds. I find them geeky cute. We’ve seen a lot of retro or vintage style gadgets but Sony’s new 185TB Cassette Tape just beats everything.

I admit I’m part of that generation of cassette tapes and walkman players. In fact, I still have my small collection of tapes in the attic (BackStreet Boys, anyone?). I have no plans of bringing them out and I want to dispose them already. Cassette tape is not officially dead because there are still cassette players around. Some cars can still play them.

While cassette is no longer a standard, it will remain a part of the music industry–the analog type. But just recently, Sony [3] showed off a cassette tape that can store hundreds to thousands of songs–perhaps even up to millions. The tape can hold up to 185TB worth of data at 148GB per inch. Whoa! That’s a whole lot!

The mega huge storage capacity is enough to hold all the data of several households. But then again who would trust to save all his files into one cassette tape? Is this only a novelty item? Will Sony really bring back the cassette tape era–this time digitized?

I don’t think I have to illustrate how big 185TB but I bet you could store 3 to 4 full 50GB Blu-ray files. So why did Sony made this cassette tape? Apparently, Sony is doing an experiment but it’s also more than that. Seems like Sony wants to prove that magnetic tape can still be used to hold digital data and offer it for commercial use.

Why cassette tape technology again? According to a NewScientist report [4], traditional hard drives use 200x more energy compared to tape storage. If that’s the case, then cassette tape storage is really more efficient.

I don’t know if this effort will move forward  so let’s just wait and see.

[via Forbes [5]]


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URL to article: http://dottech.org/157352/sony-stores-185-tb-of-data-on-a-cassette-tape/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Compact_Cassette_Maxell_XL-II_90_IMG_8469.jpg

[2] retro: http://dottech.org/tag/retro/

[3] Sony: http://dottech.org/tag/sony/

[4] NewScientist report: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21628875.500-cassette-tapes-are-the-future-of-big-data-storage.html#.U2aeVvldUoY

[5] Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2014/05/04/think-the-cassette-tape-is-dead-then-why-did-sony-just-cram-148tb-of-data-onto-one/

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