World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

RCA tape cartridge

Article Id: WHEBN0010985546
Reproduction Date:

Title: RCA tape cartridge  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 8-track tape, Compact Cassette, DA-88, Gray Audograph, Picocassette
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

RCA tape cartridge

RCA tape cartridge
Media type Magnetic tape cartridge
Encoding Analog
Capacity 30 min per side, two sided
Developed by RCA
Dimensions 5 x 7 1/8 x 1/2 inches
(127 x 197 x 13 mm)
Usage Home audio recording
Extended from 1958
Extended to 1964

The RCA tape cartridge (also known as the Magazine Loading Cartridge and Sound Tape) was a magnetic tape format designed to offer stereo quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape recording quality in a convenient format for the consumer market.[1] It was introduced in 1958, following four years of development. This timing coincided with the launch of the stereophonic phonograph record.

The main advantage of the RCA tape cartridge over reel-to-reel machines was convenience. The user was not required to handle unruly tape ends and thread the tape through the machine before use, making the medium of magnetic tape more friendly to casual users. The same design concept would later be used in the more successful Compact Cassette which was invented by Philips in 1962. Because of its convenience, the RCA tape cartridge system did see some success in schools, particularly in student language learning labs.

Size comparison of RCA tape cartridge (right) with the more common Compact Cassette
Similar to the Compact Cassette, cartridges were reversible and either side could be played. An auto reverse mechanism in some models allowed the tape to run continuously. The cartridge played at a standard speed of 3.75 IPS. This was half of the top speed of consumer reel-to-reel music recorders, which usually offered both 3.75 IPS and 7.5 IPS speeds. Such consumer reel-to-reel machines were capable of superior audio performance, but only at the faster speed.

The RCA tape cartridge format offered four discrete audio tracks that provided a typical playtime of 30 minutes per side of stereo sound, or double that for monophonic sound. Some models could also play and record at 1.875 IPS, doubling playing time with a significant reduction in sound quality. This speed was not practical for music, but fully acceptable for voice recording.

With two interleaved stereo pairs, the track format and speed of the RCA tape cartridge was fully compatible with the slower 3.75 IPS speed of consumer reel-to-reel stereo tape recorders. It is possible to dismantle the cartridge, spool the tape onto a reel, and play it on such a machine.

Unlike the later Compact Cassette, the RCA tape cartridge incorporated a brake to prevent the tape hubs from moving when the cartridge was not in the player. Small slot windows extended from the tape hubs toward the outside of the cartridge so that the amount of tape visible on each spool could be seen.

Despite its convenience the RCA tape cartridge was not a success. A factor in the failure of the system was that RCA was slow to produce machines for the home market. They were also slow to license pre-recorded music tapes for home playback. The format disappeared from retail stores by 1964.

The physical track width and speed of the tape and even the size of the RCA tape cartridge was similar to, though incompatible with, Sony's Elcaset system, introduced in 1976. That system also failed to achieve market acceptance and was soon withdrawn.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Restoration Tips & Notes » 0.25" cartridges". Richardhess.com. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 

External links

  • Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape, an RCA promotional film
  • RCA Cartridges: 1958 - 1964
  • Audio Recording History
  • Image of a prerecorded cartridge by Perez Prado
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.