Audio Cassettes to Hard Drives – Quite a Long Journeyby admin November 14, 2012 0 comments
Talk about data storage, and you can only think of hard drives, SSDs and a flash drive. However, a couple of decades ago these never existed. So, how did people backup their crucial data? There had to be a backup device that could help them keep their data safe. But, what was it? Well, you must have seen it, heard about it or maybe even used it at least once. What are we talking about? Audio cassettes are magnetic tape media – something that played music for you in the early 90s. But, why did individuals prefer audio cassettes to store data when there were a few known alternatives?
Before we begin, here is something you need to know. An audio cassette is technically known as a tape drive. Now, let’s get started with the story. Prior to being used for playing music, audio cassettes were actually used to store data. In the early 1970s, most of the personal computers came with a built-in cassette drive. The drives did exactly what the hard disks do today – store data. However, floppy disks too were available, but were quite expensive. So, no wonder why most of them preferred cassette drives.
It was only in 1981 that floppy disks become more common among PC users and as a result the ever-growing popularity of cassette drives started to fade away. However, these drives were still being used as audio storage devices until the 90s. Soon came the hard drives and they still seem to be reigning as the most sought after storage device even today.
You may be having a few cassettes dumped somewhere around the corner in your home, and you won’t even care. Why would you when you have CDs, DVDs, Blue Rays playing your most favourite music? But, are they really extinct? Is no one using them anymore?
Recently, IBM and Fujifilm developed a technology using magnetic tape media that could record up to 29.5 billion bits per square inch. However, the technology will not be made commercially available at least for a decade. So, if you believe that cassette drives exist no more, you are definitely wrong.