Convert DAT Tape to Digital? How Long is Too Long to Wait?

Are you wondering whether you should convert DAT (digital audio tape) tape to digital? If you have old recordings on DAT tape in your home, it’s wise to consider converting them. The whole idea of making recordings is to preserve your precious memories. DAT tape will only deteriorate over time. Standard analog cassette tapes degrade within around 30 years. However, digital tapes degrade even more rapidly. Often, significant deterioration occurs within 20 years. Since the earliest DAT tapes date back to the late 1980s, they may already be in poor condition. Therefore, if you want to avoid losing those crucial recordings, conversion to a digital format is essential.

Do I Need to Digitize DAT Tapes?

Many people believe DAT tapes will last forever. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Even digital recordings on DAT tapes degrade over time. That means you can’t rely on them as a long-term preservation tool. In fact, DAT tapes can degrade completely in just 20 years. When you bear in mind that the earliest DAT tapes date back to 1987, that represents a problem. Recordings made at that time are now more than 35 years old. So, if you have home recordings or favorite music on DAT tape, they may already have begun to deteriorate. Digitizing them as quickly as possible is vital to prevent their contents from being lost.

Also Read – Want to Convert DVDs into MP4 Format? Discover the Benefits!

What Are the Benefits of Digitizing DAT Tapes?

If you still have your original DAT tape machine, you may wonder if it’s worthwhile digitizing your DAT tapes. Of course, it’s highly likely that, at some point, that machine will stop working. Nothing lasts forever, and eventually, your machine will break down. Once this happens, it’s unlikely that you can repair it. Since Sony no longer makes new DAT recorders, obtaining a replacement will be virtually impossible.

Even if you do manage to source another machine, there’s another potential issue to face. The machines used to make many DAT recordings were misaligned. As a result, perfect playback is only possible on the original machine that made the recording. Once that machine is no longer available, playing the recording with the same quality is almost impossible. Although it’s technically possible to adjust another functioning machine so it matches the recording’s alignment, that isn’t an easy task. Therefore, it makes sense to digitize the recording as quickly as possible to avoid loss or damage.

Keeping recordings on old DAT tapes can result in damage, too. Mold can grow on old DAT tapes, and cleaning them is very difficult. The tape is narrow, thin, and fragile, making it prone to damage during the cleaning process. With this in mind, it’s clear that digitization is the best option to protect your precious recordings in the long term.

There are some other benefits that come with digitizing DAT tapes. You can save valuable space in your cabinets and drawers when you no longer need to store the original tapes. If you lack storage space in your home, this will be a welcome advantage.

Another great advantage of digitization is you can revive old recordings by listening to them on mobile devices or computers. You can share them more easily with friends and family members. You can also take your recordings with you wherever you go, which is exceptionally convenient.

How Are DAT Tapes Digitized?

The process of digitizing DAT tapes involves carefully cleaning, playing, transferring, and editing the contents. Cleaning ensures smooth playback and optimal quality for your recordings. Once the tape is clean, it is played back and then recorded digitally. 

We assess the quality of the tape and, if necessary, remaster it. That reduces hiss while improving the volume and sound quality.

Where Can I Get DAT Tapes Digitized?

If you’re looking for a convenient and local solution for digitizing your DAT tapes, Reborn is your top choice. We’re based in Denver, Colorado, and offer a personal level of service to our clients. We carry out all digitization work in-house with a speedy turnaround time for your convenience. Our affordable solution allows you to hear your memories again and preserve them while you still can. We also make it a breeze to share your precious recordings with others. Having served the local Denver metro area for over a decade, we’re a reliable and trusted choice. Thanks to our easy-to-find location and convenient parking, it couldn’t be easier to use our service. Just pop in and visit us at a time of your choice.

If you don’t live in our local area, there’s no need to worry. We serve clients all over the USA and even from overseas. We can carry out the DAT tape digitization process via mail, so just send us your recordings. We’ll get to work preserving your special recordings and ship them back to you in no time.

James Nordby