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[ARSCLIST] Some DAT questions

Hello All:

I'd like to tap the collective brain (picture a non-invasive tap, like a Vulcan mind-meld) about DATs, with eyes to a medium-sized (several hundred DAT tapes, all dating from the 1990's) transfer project. Answers gleaned from personal experience most appreciated.

1. does anyone on-list have experience with "ripping" audio DATs directly to hard drive via a DAT data-tape drive? If so, what OS, software and results are you getting? Is there a favored source for the appropriate drive?

2. one key reason I was thinking for doing these DATs digital-to-digital would be the real-time monitoring, so I could note the locations of any dropouts or glitches. Assuming I'll find some, are there any hidden tricks or tips to fixing them or is that audio lost on a damaged segment of tape?

3. if done digital-to-computer, I'm assuming SPDIF, but does anyone have personal experience indicating either coax or optical is preferable? I was thinking optical, given the sometimes strange grounding issues of a computer.

4. is there anything to be gained by running a simultaneous analog-to-computer? I'm thinking, no, but I'm also thinking, I sure don't have all the answers so there may be something unknown to me here.

5. once a DAT has been transfered, what is the proper storage method? I was thinking, don't rewind it and make sure to store it in its protective case. I was also thinking, if there is a label-sticker sheet in the box, take it out since the glue sometimes gets gooey or oily over time.

6. finally, are there any DAT brands/types with known sticky-shed problems? Most of these DATs are BASF, but some are Ampex branded. I am not at all sure that Ampex manufactured its own DATs, they may have resold Japanese tape.

Thanks in advance for any tips/advice gleaned from personal experiences.

-- Tom Fine

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