Sony Introduces Cassette Tape That Can Store 64,750,000 Songs

Posted at February 1st, 2016 | by Sarangh | in

Everyone who used to frequently listen to music back in the 90s or even 2000s would know the sheer fun of listening to it with the usage of cassette tapes. Pretty much everyone would have had a shelf completely dedicated to cassettes of music across various genres; a library of music in the form of tiny 3.96 inches x 2.5 inches standard cassettes. Back in the 90s, the sales of cassette tape rose exponentially with an astounding 442 million tapes being sold in the 1990 alone. Although, with the rise of the CD along with the birth of the mp3 format and not to mention the resurrection of vinyl records, the sales of cassettes dropped substantially and by 2007, only a meagre 274,000 individual cassettes were sold. However, labels staunched towards cassettes like Kissability and Mirror Universe Tapes have rendered a new face to the idea of cassettes and have always offered a niche following. Well, all said and done, if you are still carrying around the Walkman that accompanies the cassette, you can undoubtedly expect a vast number of stares as these Walkman’s are now considered to be a remnant object.

After the revolution of cassettes being currently regarded as an obsolete one, one of the leading manufacturers of sound equipment in the world Sony, has brought the cassette back from the dead by introducing a brand new cassette that can hold a staggering 148 gigabytes per square inch with basic mathematics telling us that the total storage space is 185 terabytes. Well, that’s roughly about a total of 64,750,000 songs in one single cassette.

It’s time to bid goodbye to your iPod.

Sony unveiled this new tape at the International Magnetics Conference in Dresden and the technical specifications surely makes it one of its kind in the era of CDs. This new tape by Sony, approximately holds 74 times the amount of data of standard tapes. Back in 2010, the largest cassettes could only store around 29.5 gigabytes per square inch.

If there is one question on everyone’s mind, it could only be this. How exactly did Sony manage to successfully implement a complex and obsolete magnetic tape technology into a miniature cassette?

According to Gizmodo, a popular design and technology blog:

“The tape uses a vacuum-forming technique called sputter deposition to create a layer of magnetic crystals by shooting argon ions at a polymer film substrate. The crystals, measuring just 7.7 nanometres on average, pack together more densely than any other previous method.”

Also, IT World explains the intricate process that goes behind the manufacturing of this cassette, “By tweaking the sputter conditions and developing a soft magnetic underlayer on the film, the manufacturer was able to create a layer of fine magnetic particles with an average size of 7.7 nanometres.”

Now why exactly would you want to buy this? What would convince you well enough to actually invest in this? Well, we give you certain comparisons here that would make you believe that you should actually get one of these for yourself:

  • One single cassette is technically equivalent to 3,700 Blu-ray discs. Now, would you want to carry 3,700 Blu-ray discs which is approximately a stack of boxes which is nearly 15 feet high or one single cassette? We leave the choice to you.
  • The cassette has sufficient storage to hold up to 64,750,000 songs if an average song is roughly three minutes, that’s pretty much enough music to last you 134,896 days.
  • The Library of Congress in the United States houses books equivalent to around 10 TB in its entirety and well well, a single Sony’s brand new cassette can hold 18.5 versions of the Library of Congress.
  • Backblaze, a cloud-based backup company, makes custom-made hard drive storage arrays which is priced at $9,305. Now why do we need that when a single tape can store five more TB when compared to this hard drive storage array.

The official release date of the tape hasn’t been divulged yet but we can sure expect it to come out soon as this new technology undoubtedly takes a leap in the resurrection of the out-of-date magnetic technology and gives it a whole new application. However, the gargantuan tape was originally developed for data backups for very large organisations done over a long-term basis and not essentially for music or video storage.

Check out this video on the history of cassette tapes:



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