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What Do You Call This, DAT or DDS?

Adapted from the DDS Manufacturers Group Newsletter - No 9 - December 1993 (Bert Vermeulen - Hewlett-Packard)

From the early days of introducing data storage applications for Digital Audio Tape technology, there has been confusion about what to call this stuff. In this paper I would like to shed some light on this issue and hopefully provide conventions that will facilitate consistency among industry participants.

What is DAT?

DAT stands for Digital Audio Tape. This acronym was originally established to talk about a consumer audio recording technology based on 3.81 mm (0.15 inch) wide tape used in a helical scan recorder compatible with the DAT Conference Standard, a book available from EIAJ (the Electronic Industries Association of Japan). The term DAT should be used in the following cases:

What is DDS?

DDS stands for Digital Data Storage. DDS is a data storage format which was developed by Hewlett-Packard and Sony so that DAT drives could be used for reliably storing computer data. DDS has a logo associated with it which is protected as a trademark. [BOTH FORMS OF DDS LOGO - 2k]This trademark logo is primarily used to distinguish media that meets the environmental and durability requirements of data storage applications, and is suitable for use in a drive which records data in the DDS format. DDS media must meet a specification that is set out in ISO/IEC 10777 (for 60m DAT) or ISO/IEC 12247 (for 90m DDS). To use the DDS logo, media must be approved through a process managed by Sony. The DDS logo can also be used on drives from manufacturers licensed by HP and Sony that meet the specifications set out in the ISO/IEC standards identified above. DDS-DC is a companion format with several extensions that allow data compression to be used on DDS. There is no separate logo for DDS-DC, and DDS-DC drives use normal DDS media. There are new logos for DDS-2, DDS-3 and DDS-4, which are higher capacity formats based on DDS. DDS-2, DDS-3 and DDS-4 media are different from DDS media and will only work in drives which support these new formats.

The term DDS can be used in the following cases:

[DDS-2,DDS-3 & DDS-4 LOGOS - 6k]

The term DDS-DC can be used in the following case:

Finally, the terms DDS-2, DDS-3 and DDS-4 can be used in the same way as DDS. Generally speaking a DDS-2 drive can also read and write the original DDS format on the original DDS tapes, so it is still appropriate to call this a DDS drive (or DAT drive).

Other Forms of Address

During the course of the last several years, we have come up with one other name: Media Recognition System. Media Recognition System (which is protected as a trademark, but should not be abbreviated because MRS is a trademark owned by someone else) is an optional system for allowing a DDS drive to distinguish DAT media from DDS media. [MEDIA RECOGNITION SYSTEM LOGO - 2k] An example of usage would be: "This DDS drive has incorporated the Media Recognition System". In relation to DDS drives and DDS media, the Media Recognition System has its own logo associated with it. This is a DDS logo with four bars after it representing the recognition stripes that distinguish a Media Recognition System tape from a tape without these features. For use of this logo, media must be approved through a process managed by Sony.

The term Media Recognition System can be used on DDS drives licensed by HP and Sony. It is not appropriate to use the four bar logo in relation to the DDS-2 and subsequent formats.

Some other terms that have been used for these technologies are: