Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
magnetic tape \magnetic tape\ n. A long thin plastic ribbon coated with iron oxide or other ferromagnetic material, used to record audio or video signals digital data in the form of small magnetized regions on the tape; it is a common digital data storage medium for computer information.
Syn: mag tape, tape.
n. A type of (usually) acrylic tape with a fine coating of magnetically sensitive material on one side, used for recording audio and other data.
Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders. A device that stores computer data on magnetic tape is a tape drive (tape unit, streamer).
Magnetic tape revolutionized broadcast and recording. When all radio was live, it allowed programming to be recorded. At a time when gramophone records were recorded in one take, it allowed recordings to be made in multiple parts, which were then mixed and edited with tolerable loss in quality. It was a key technology in early computer development, allowing unparalleled amounts of data to be mechanically created, stored for long periods, and to be rapidly accessed.
Nowadays, other technologies can perform the functions of magnetic tape. In many cases, these technologies are replacing tape. Despite this, innovation in the technology continues, and Sony and IBM continue to produce new magnetic tape drives.
Over years, magnetic tape can suffer from a type of deterioration called sticky-shed syndrome. Caused by absorption of moisture into the binder of the tape, it can render the tape unusable.
Usage examples of "magnetic tape".
The signals would then be retransmitted instantly on narrow VHF frequencies to small collection huts at ground stations in Turkey, Iran, and elsewhere, where they would be recorded on reels of magnetic tape.
Case climbed into the plastic cage and used his key, an unmarked length of rigid magnetic tape.
For half a minute, we heard only the hiss of unrecorded magnetic tape passing over the playback head.