Cassette Tapes: Sony Device Holds 185 TB of Media – That's 47M Songs

Image: Cassette Tapes: Sony Device Holds 185 TB of Media – That's 47M Songs Old audio cassette and its curly tape.

Friday, 09 May 2014 07:44 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Cassette tapes could be getting a makeover soon thanks to Sony, which has revolutionized its data-storing technology to allow a single cartridge to hold up to 185 terabytes of media.

That's roughly 47.3 million songs, according to CNN. Or 3,700 Blu-ray movies.

Sony's new cassette tape would break the previous record for ultimate data-storage set by Fuji's 35-terabyte tape developed in 2010. The company reportedly plans to unveil the prototype at the INTERMAG Europe 2014 international magnetics conference this week in Germany.

"The expansion of cloud services and the creation of new markets to utilize big data have led to a growing need for a data storage media which can store large amounts of information," Sony said in a statement.

Editor's Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

In a nutshell, the new cassette tape utilizes shrunken magnetic particles to store high quantities of data.

"Magnetic tapes with a coating of magnetic powder measuring tens of nanometers applied to the top of the film are currently considered the mainstream form of tape storage media," Sony said in a statement. "Until now, recording density of this type of media was increased by enhancing the miniaturization technologies that enable the size of magnetic particles on which data is stored to be decreased. Sony has developed a new vacuum thin film forming technology which is able to form extremely fine crystal particles with the aim of creating a practical, next generation tape storage media."

While Sony's cassette tape would be able to store vast volumes of music or movies, it's unlikely the tape would ever be commercialized. CNN noted that, in the age of the cloud and Web-streaming, actually loading data or trying to retrieve data from a physical tape would be a lengthy process.

The cassette tape would more likely be used to back up a person's media collection, much like an external hard drive.

Editor's Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

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