What Are the Features of Magnetic Tape?

By Malinda Smith

Magnetic tapes are used in a variety of ways. There are many different features, including audio and data uses. More commonly, magnetic tapes are used in cassette and VHS tapes. They are formed by creating a plastic base coated with a substance containing iron oxide. Magnetic tapes can also degrade over time, which can damage the audio and visual images as well as leave a residue on machine equipment.

Audio Storage

Magnetic tape can store audio. Most commonly, audio is stored on magnetic tape in the form of cassette tapes.

Data Storage

Magnetic tape can store store data, such as moving images, in the form of VHS tapes.

Sticky Shed Syndrome

Sticky shed syndrome is a feature of magnetic tape that causes some problems. This occurs when magnetic tape degrades and leaves a sticky residue that can stop playback and damage audio or visual images. Storing tapes at lower temperatures and controlling humidity can help prevent sticky shed syndrome. If "sticky shed" occurs, you can bake the tape in an electric oven at 130 degrees for four to six hours.