One of the most popular recording media, magnetic tape is an important part in the history of the audiovisual. For anyone interested in the structure and the features of the product we should mention the fact that any magnetic tape consists of a very thin strip of plastic that is magnetized. A German invention, the magnetic tape used to be the most reliable audio and video recording medium before the appearance of the compact disks. When first introduced in the entertainment business, magnetic tape marked a true revolution in both broadcasting and recording sectors. If before the introduction of the magnetic tape all the radio and television shows were live, afterwards, recording allowed for the panel diversity.
Presently, there are plenty of other applications where magnetic tape serves well, however, the development of the new technologies marked a fall in the popularity of the item, though it is still very widely used. The very appearance of the magnetic tape in the late 20s, relied on a much earlier discovery: that of the magnetic wire. Once the invention was acknowledged further steps were taken in the direction of improving the fidelity of the audio recording. It was not until the aftermath of World War II that the discovery of the magnetic tape was made known to the rest of the international community.
The initial form of the magnetic tape could not be used for both audio and visual applications since the latter required more bandwidth than the former. It took a while longer before the system was perfected to serve television purposes as well, and Sony was one of the companies with the highest contributions to the development of the videocassette recorders. However, we cannot oversee the fact that for a significant period of time, the magnetic tape was widely used for the storage of computer data and IBM was a leading pioneer on the market in this respect.
For a long time, magnetic tape made the more advantageous choice if compared to storage disks, and this was usually due to the lower cost per bit. Nevertheless, the market for products that rely on magnetic tape storage is drastically reduced given the fact that the improvements made for disk storage capacity and price have been more than significant. Presently, magnetic tape is widely used in the media, mainly for backup purposes, but the tendency is that of leaving the place for the more advanced devices that rely on virtual memory above other things.