Q1. What is a Digital Audio tape (DAT)?
Digital Audio Tape, also known as DAT or R-DAT, is a sound recording and playback medium. It was developed and introduced by Sony in 1997. A digital audio tape looks like a compact audio cassette, which uses a 4mm magnetic tape packed in a protective shell. The size of a DAT is 2.89 inch x 2.13 inch x 0.41 inch (73mm x 54mm x 10.5mm).
Q2. How many sampling modes does the DAT feature?
DAT features 4 sampling modes i.e. 32 kHz (12 bits), 32kHz, 44.1kHz and 48kHz (16 bits). Some recorders operate beyond the given specifications and allow users to record at 96 kHz (24 bits).
Q3. What is the length and recording time of a DAT?
The length of A DAT “tape” is from 15 to 180 minutes. This means the length of a 120-minutes tape is 60 meters. Tapes longer than 60m have thinner media, so they can be problematic in tape recorders.
Q4. What Are The Uses Of DAT?
The industry of professional sound recording used DAT in 1990s. At that time, the production of these tapes was at peak. Soon after the introduction of CDs, the use and popularity of DAT decreased significantly.
Computer data storage medium
Initially, the DAT tapes were used for audio recording but the introduction of ISO DDS standard allowed storing data from 1.3GB to 80GB on a tape of 60 to 180m in length. However, the actually amount of storage depends upon the standard and compression.
Q5. What is the future of DAT?
In November 2005, the manufacturer of DAT, Sony, announced that it would discontinue its remaining digital audio tape machine models the next month. So far, Sony has sold about 660,000 digital audio tape (DAT) products. This format is still used in film and TV recording. However, the latest hard drive recording equipment offers more storage and flexibility. As a result, the DAT is being replaced by this new medium.
Q6. Is There any Downside to DAT?
DAT is a very good medium, but hard drive recording is much cheaper and reliable. Also, it is relatively easier to maintain a hard drive. Recording audio from a DAT tape to a computer hard drive takes place in real time, meaning a 90-minutes tape will take 90 minutes to be recorded on a computer hard drive. On the other hand, recording directly on a hard drive enables a user to get a finished product in short order. DAT tapes are costlier than CDs.
Q7. Is it possible to transfer audio from a DAT tape to a computer hard drive?
To transfer audio from a DAT tape to a computer, you need a computer, a Digital Audio Tape deck and an RCA cable. You also need an analog to digital converter to convert the audio signals to digital files which is then capture onto the PC hard drive. The audio can be stored in different formats, such as MP3 or WAV. With an audio editing software you can ‘clean’ up the recording, remove extra static noise, remove dead silence regions, before burning onto a CD using a CD/DVD writer. If that sounds too technical to you, find a video /audio transfer lab in your are. Not all video and audio transfer labs can transfer DAT tapes, ask them on the phone before you make a trip to drop off your DAT.
Digital audio tapes, like any audio tape, do have a shelf life. Convert them before they disintegrate.