Re: Long term problem
Well that is a process problem. The fix is to start using TSM or Spectrum Protect as they like to call it these days and stop taking tapes out your library, just have two libraries with a copy of the data in both of them.
When you upgrade to new tape technology you just get your TSM servers to copy the data to the new tapes. Might take a few months, and you will probably have to once a week take some old tapes out and feed new ones into the library, but you then end up with everything on the new tapes. Rinse and repeat each time you upgrade to a new generation of tape.
My top tip is to keep a couple of the old technology tape drives in the library along with some tapes and dedicate them to TSM's DB backup. That way your DB backups never get blocked, which is a very good thing.