Post by Computer Nerd Kev Post by Trevor Post by Clocky
Agreed. I think a lot of it depends on how the medium is stored and it's
more the physical damage caused by that to the medium rather than any
That's the conclusion I've come to from experience with vintage stuff
over a long period of time.
So don't you consider print through to be "magnetic degradation", or
don't you believe it exists despite much proof to the contrary?
Interesting, I hadn't heard of "Print Through", though the Wikipedia
page indicates that it may have less of an effect on video than on
"Since analog video is recorded by frequency-modulation of the video
signal, the FM capture effect shields the signal against this noise;
however, the linear audio and (depending on format) chrominance
signals of a video cassette may have some print effects."
T210 is 0.0124mm though, so home recordings made on long tapes may
be more susceptible than the (usually shorter) commercial tapes.
Well this is all correct to a fair degree, however "magnetic
degradation" obviously includes all magnetic media. It's true audio is
the worst for print through, and not just cassettes, even if it is true
the thinner tape the worse the problem in most cases. Magnetic and
physical degradation is still a problem for things like floppy disks
however despite not having print through problems as such, and having
error correcting redundancy formats to minimise errors, it is still easy
to lose data the longer they are stored, especially if it is not in a
temperature and humidity controlled environment. All archival magnetic
media is carefully stored in a controlled environment for that reason.
However it's true the physical backing is usually more the problem with
temp and humidity changes. I'm not sure there is much point arguing over
which part of the magnetic media is the bigger problem however if one
still suffers actual quality loss for analog formats, or data loss for
digital formats over time. Even simple things like tape stretch, edge
curl, and surface ripple create enough problems, rather pointless
pretending they don't, or dismissing them because they are mechanical
rather than magnetic. The problems remain regardless.
And I haven't even mentioned a further magnetic problem caused by
playing tapes where heads, capstans, and metal guide rails can have a
degree of magnetisation and affect any tape played on the machine, with
the problem being cumulative with every play. Similar to continually
playing a phono record with a worn needle, the damage is irreversable.
Once again the problem is probably worse for linear audio tracks
however, but any change to the magnetic domains must have some effect.
Obviously this is not a "storage" problem as such, but most magnetic
media has been played, and if it has, one does not often know exactly
the state of repair of the machine used for every play.