Magnetic Tape

Audio formats for music and voice recording using magnetic tape, most of which are now obsolete. Includes analogue and digital tape.

Dates are approximate and refer to availability in the UK or Europe where known, otherwise for US or elsewhere.

1930s

Professional open reel tape (NAB reel) (1930s – )

1940s

¼-inch open reel tape (1949 – 1980s)

1950s

SoundScriber tape (1950s – 1980s)

Grundig Stenorette (1954 – 1970s)

Mohawk Midgetape (1955 – early 1960s)

Dictaphone Dictet (1957 – early 1960s)

Philips EL 3581 (1958 – early 1960s)

RCA Sound Tape Cartridge (1958-1964)

Fidelipac (1959 – late 1990s)

1960s

Echo-matic II (1962 – early 1970s)

4-track (Stereo-Pak) (1962 – 1970)

Scotch One Five Special (1960s)

EMI Voice Letter (1960s)

Compact Cassette (1963 – 2000s)

Philips EL 3583 (1963 – early 1970s)

Grundig EN3 (1964 – 1970s)

8-Track (Stereo 8) (1964 – 1988)

Rediffusion Reditune (1960s – 1980s)

Memocord (1965 – mid 1970s)

3M Cantata 700 (1965 – 1990s)

Music cassette (Musicassette) (1965 – 2003)

PlayTape (1966 – 1970)

Mail Call Letterpack (late 1960s)

Mini-Cassette (1967 -)

Quadraphonic open reel tape (Q4) (1969 – mid 1970s)

Endless loop Compact Cassette (1969 – 1990s)

Microcassette (1969 -)

1970s

Philips Background Music Services cartridge (1970s – 1980s)

Quadraphonic 8-Track (Q8) (1970 – 1978)

Compact Cassette Type II (Chrome / High Bias) (1970 – 2000s)

Steno-Cassette (1971 – )

Audiopak (1972 – 1990s)

Compact Cassette Type III (Ferro-chrome) (mid 1970s – early 1980s)

Elcaset (1976 – 1980)

Compact Cassette Type IV (Metal) (1979 – late 1990s)

1980s

Cassette single (Cassingle) (1980 – early 2000s)

1+1 music cassette (early 1980s)

Metal tape Microcassette (1981 – mid-1980s)

DASH (Digital Audio Stationary Head) (1982 – mid-1990s)

Bandai micro cartridge (mid 1980s)

Picocassette (1985 – late 1980s)

Scotchcart / Scotchcart II (mid 1980s – late 1990s)

Digital Audio Tape (DAT)  (1987 – 2005)

Pocket Rockers (1988 – 1991)

1990s

NT (1992 – late 1990s)

Digital Compact Cassette (1992 – 1996)

ADAT (Alesis Digital Audio Tape) (1992 – 2003)

DTRS (Digital Tape Recording System) (1993 – 2012)