Reply to post: Re: "home-pirating CDs never became a big thing"

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Mage Silver badge

Re: "home-pirating CDs never became a big thing"

CDRs and Home burned (not pressed) DVDs are not archival. There were goldish ones used for PhotoCd that keep better.

I've some 1/4" tapes that are nearly 60 years old. Life depends on thinness (print through on very thin tape wound tight), original composition (there was an era of bad binder. Fortunately unlike film, I think tape was always Mylar = Polyester?). Also humidity and temperature. I watched a 20 year old VHS never played recording from analogue satellite last week. I'd forgotten about that "time shifted" recording of a film on late on TNT. Fine on the 43" 4K TV once all the stupid video enhancement was turned off, though its a late model S-VHS hardly used as we already had a DVD player then.

Home made CDs and DVDs may erase in days if left upside down on a windowsill. The commercial ones are pressed dots (the groove is pressed even on dye based home burning), so corroded single layer pressed discs can in theory be "re-silvered".

Backup tapes are a problem as the mechanisms were unreliable and so many formats. Unless you verified, you might have no backup due head clogged or mechanism failure. Good luck finding a drive to restore them on and an interface for the drive (floppy, propriety ISA card, parallel port, IDE, SCSI etc).

Audio tapes hard to play:

There are RCA 1/4 cassettes (late 1950s)

Sony Elcassette (1/4" HiFi)

Hotel / restaurant Musazk endless loop 1/4". About A4 / letter sized.

DCC, the digital format on 1/8" tapes. Often the machines could play real analogue compact cassettes. The 8mm video camcorders that can take analogue or digital and transfer via firewire were far more popular, still some on eBay and far better even for external composite PAL to digital (if you can install a Firewire interface) than any of the cheap USB video adaptors, most of which only really manage NTSC resolution (though poorly).

You can still find 8 track players esp. in USA. The Compact Cassette for cars was already established in UK/Europe, so rare here. The cartridges tend to need repair. Reel to Reel decks still available S/H.

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