Sticky situation: Magnetic audiotape’s potentially catastrophic degradation in storage

From the archives

University of South Carolina: Many of the more than 46 million sound recordings archived throughout the US carry the risk of being destroyed during an attempt to digitize them, because magnetic audiotape can deteriorate over time. A team of researchers is developing a means to readily assess the structural condition of magnetic tape, using non-destructive infrared spectroscopy to identify tapes that suffer from 'sticky-shed syndrome' and will fall apart on playback.

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