Boombox Superblast Mixtape

All kinds of science in the news right now. From Gizmodo – the 185 terabyte casette tape.

Stupid hipster 80s fetishism notwithstanding, cassette tapes don’t get much love. That’s a shame, because magnetic tape is still a surprisingly robust way to back up data. Especially now: Sony just unveiled tape that holds a whopping 148 GB per square inch, meaning a cassette could hold 185 TB of data. Prepare for the mixtape to end all mixtapes.

Sony’s technique, which will be discussed at today’s International Magnetics Conference in Dresden, 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 nanometers on average, pack together more densely than any other previous method.

The result: three Blu-Rays’ worth of data can fit on one square inch of Sony’s new wonder-tape.

John Hayward immediately sees the possibilities, lamenting that such a technology was not available in bygone days

Shooting argon ions into a polymer substrate?  It seems so obvious in retrospect.  Why weren’t we doing that back when Flock of Seagulls was big?  We could have made one mix tape that would sit in our car stereos until it melted.

But there are downsides. As one commenter put it, “I can’t imagine REWINDING 185 TB of data.”

I would have loved to have HD cassette tapes back in the days before CD burning was an option. And imagine the street cred of having a boombox capable of playing around 61,697,500-song mixtapes. Epic rap battles would erupt among DJ street fighters.

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About nightskyradio

Random signals from nowhere in particular.

Posted on May 5, 2014, in ♫ ♪ ♫, Fun Stuff, Science! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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