DAT Tapes to CD Audio Transfer Service
EverPresent can convert DAT tapes to CD and USB flash drives. ‘DAT’ stands for ‘Digital Audio Tape’ – unlike many tapes, DAT stores digital audio that smoothly transfers to digital. The tapes also store track numbers and time codes, so it’s easy to skip tracks and find guitar solos.
DAT tapes are rare compared to CDs and other audio tapes. Yet the tapes’ key selling point is what hurt their sales in the U.S.
One unique DAT tape characteristic is that they offer lossless audio recording. They can record audio without a loss in quality which sparked concerns about music piracy. So in 1992, a new tax on DAT machines and blank tapes kept them from catching on with the public.
DAT’s high quality did find a home with some musicians and studios. So if you’re ready to convert your DAT tapes, you should know that these tapes were a big hit with the pros. They also yield some of the best audio that we’ve worked on.
The machines have been phased out, so you won’t find a new DAT player and might struggle to find a working one. And like most tapes, DATs are prone to damage like mold and decay. If you have music on DAT tapes, conversion to CDs and flash drives is the best way to save it.
Everything you need to know
about DAT Tape Transfer services
Common questions about DAT Tapes
How Old Are My Tapes?
Your DATs could be up to 30 years old as Sony debuted DAT tapes in 1987. That same year, ‘Full House’ first aired and the search for the Loch Ness monster ended. Digital audio had already been on the market since 1982 when the compact disc (CD) came out. Competition from the CD and pushback from American record execs curbed DAT tapes’ success. Sony eventually stopped making DAT players in 2005.
How Much Audio Fits on Them?
DAT tape capacity ranges from 15 minutes to three hours long. These tapes could be set to different recording qualities, so a low-quality recording on a two-hour tape could be longer than two hours. Likewise, elite recordings over two hours may not fit on a two-hour tape. Audio quality also affects the size of digital files, so better DAT tape recordings will take up more space on CDs and USB drives.
Where Can I Still Buy Digital Audio Tapes?
You can find these tapes and DAT recorders for sale online via eBay and Amazon. Remember that Sony DAT recorders were discontinued in 2005, so the players are at least 12 years old. If you decide to record and store audio in this format, consider backing it up to CDs and other current formats.
What If My DAT Tape Label Says DDS?
The ‘DDS’ on your DAT tape stands for ‘Digital Data Storage.’ These DDS tapes are often longer than normal DATs as they’re made to store computer data. So they’re not compatible with most DAT tape machines.
Sharing & archiving after converting DAT tapes to CD
There are lots of ways to store and share the digital audio we capture from your tapes! While getting your DAT tapes digitized, you can have us transcribe the labels from your tapes and split the entire recording into separate music tracks. If you have any photos or videos, we can use your own music as the soundtrack to a video highlight reel or slideshow for you.
– Matt P., Audio Technician
“Lots of the DAT tapes we see store audio from music recitals. One of our clients, a musician, sent us a whole batch of their performances on DAT tapes. Because these tapes capture high quality audio, this client’s digital archive capures all of the sound and skill from their initial recitals.”
Visit one of our Northeast locations:
HEADQUARTERS - Newton
Back Bay & South End
DAT Tape to digital pricing
We’ll transfer your DAT tapes to CD, USB, or digital and maintain your organization!
- CD or digital only
- Digital mp3 format
- Files downloadable and uploadable to media players
- Label transcription
- Great for large projects
- Music track splitting and labeling available
- Download to media players
- Digital mp3 format