Until today I thought that the cassette tape, while cute and ~aesthetic~, was 100% unnecessary, the Latin of music-listening technology. The general population listens to music digitally, intense music fans dig vinyl, and CDs still come in handy when you’re driving a pre-audio-jack automobile. However, Sony just announced a new product that will kick the old medium back to life.
This is a new tape, Sony revealed this weekend at the International Magnetic Conference in Dresden, which can hold an astounding amount of data. Here are some jawdropping statistics, courtesy of Consequence of Sound:
-148 gigabytes of data per square inch (185 terabytes total)
-74 times the normal storage capacity of a cassette tape
-the equivalent of 3700 blu-rays, 64,750,000 songs, or 18.5 times the entire Library of Congress.
The Consequence of Sound article linked above also explains the mechanism by which the new tape is able to carry so much data, but I don’t really understand it so if you’re technically-minded, feel free to learn more after that jump.
Sony says that this tape is meant more for high volumes of industrial level data storage, rather than simply listening to music. Makes sense – imagine having to fast forward through this thing to your favorite song among 135,000 days of music… yikes! But I do think it’s cool that Sony were able to reimagine such a nostalgic medium for a new purpose, in an invention that will probably make tapes necessary again, at least for a little while. Plus, it’d be really cool if the world’s major corporations stored their valuable data on a copy of C86. That’s how it works, right?