Fwd: unknown data tape

John Foust jfoust at threedee.com
Sun Dec 11 11:01:07 CST 2005

Speaking of audio cassette storage, I received this inquiry
to my web.  Click the link to hear the data he has...  What's
odd to my ear is that the data seems to be packeted between
carrier.  Might this be someone's custom data, as opposed to
ordinary program load/save?

As for why MP3s work fine and .WAV is unnecessary, MP3's
compression divides the signal into ~32 frequency bands, then
encodes the amplitude of those over time.  The typical 
two-frequency sine modulation used by cassette data recorders
probably fits quite well into those two bins, and MP3 would
recreate the simple sine waves quite well.  

After all, some of the hardware/software decoders within the 
classic PCs (as well as their emulators) may have only used 
the timings of zero-crossings, so they aren't very sensitive 
to perfect reproduction of the waves.

- John

>Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 16:11:34 +0100
>From: Paul Geisler <paul.geisler at web.de>
>To: jfoust at threedee.com
>Subject: unknown data tape
>i found some old tapes i know nothing about ecept by title it may contain interesting information, and came from merely professional use.
>the tapes are recorded on standard compact casette but with some dedication to data recording for example switchable write protection etc.
>the label reads "T 300 Certified Data Casette".
>i capture the contents by stereo tape recorder, found both channels nearly equal so guess this mono, mixed them. the tapes are two-sided like normal audio ones.
>a strange thing is, that the recording is in small "packets", with empty tape inbetween. i first guessed it is only "empty formatted" tape, but the data packets seem to contain a varying length of information. still strange to waste more than a half of material this way?  also strange the packets are ending with a simple tone, instead are headed with, so maybe this is used backward at original drives.
>here is a seven packet sample some minutes after beginning of one tape; all tapes seemed to have this same "format" from start to some end location which is not the real tape end:
>http://hirnsohle.de/test/datenSnipplet.wav  (16bit mono microsoft-wav 624kb)
>i would be very happy if you had any idea how to look at the contents (if any).. i'm currently searching for some sofware "tape modem". i know such things for C64 datasette tapes, so maybe you know some universal program, where different emulations or flexible parameters can be used to find a matching demodulation/decoding?
>thanks very much & best regards
>Paul Geisler

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