Digital Audio Tape (DAT) (1987 – 2005)

Digital Audio Tape (DAT) was a digital magnetic audio tape format, initially designed for audio. It was introduced by Sony in 1987.

It used 4mm tape in a cassette, roughly half the size of a Compact Cassette. DAT tapes are between 15 and 180 minutes in length, a 120-minute tape being 60 meters in length.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) unsuccessfully lobbied against the introduction of DAT devices into the US, but a tax was imposed on DAT recorders and blank media from 1992.

It was never widely adopted by consumers due to its cost, but saw use in professional recording and as a data storage medium (called Digital Data Storage or DDS).

A small number of albums were commercially released on DAT in the first few years of the format.

In 2005, Sony discontinued its remaining DAT recorders.

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Preservation / Migration