Your punk af friend that insists on releasing their music on cassette is never going to let you hear the end of this one.
Sony recently announced that they’ve developed a new type of tape using a technique called sputter deposition that boasts a storage density of 148 GB per square inch. That density, using the same magnetic tape you’ll find in your audio cassettes, will allow each one to hold a mind-boggling 185 terabytes of data. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of 3,700 Blu-rays, and enough space to hold about 64,750,000 songs of average 3-4 minute length.
So, is this Sony’s perfect time to bring back the Walkman? Sadly, no. Though the recent cassette craze continues, tape has primarily remained a popular choice for industrial-sized data backup. The most obvious usage of this new tape will be long-term storage of massive amounts of data, where the associated insanely long write and read times won’t be as much of an issue.
Note: The cassettes are likely to look more like the image above than your TDK D90 copy of Dookie.
Packaging notwithstanding, Sony has expressed its desire to make them available to the commercial market. You just know some crazy bastard is going to spool up the mother of all cassettes so he can unveil his endless mixtape at this year’s office Christmas party.