Streamer cassette (late 1980s – late 1990s)

Streamer cassettes were a variant of the Compact Cassette, specially designed for data storage (but different from standard cassettes used for data storage with early home computers) and had  a typical tape speed of 90 inches per second. Cassette tape streamers could be used with personal computers to make hard disk back ups.

They look almost identical to a normal Compact Cassette with the exception of a notch about ¼-inch wide and deep situated on the top edge of the cassette. Streamer cassettes also have a re-usable write-protect tab on only one side of the top edge of the cassette, with the other side of the top edge having either only an open rectangular hole, or no hole at all.

The whole of the ⅛-inch tape width is used for data, so there is only one ‘side’, but data is stored in four tracks in serpentine fashion.

Streamer cassettes could hold anywhere from 50 to 160 MB of data.

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