Questions tagged [cassette-tape]

For questions regarding data storage on magnetic tape in a cassette tape format.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3 votes
2 answers
359 views

Can anyone tell me more about flippy games?

I remember having a number of Mastertronic tape games for the Amstrad CPC 464 that could be used on a Spectrum too by using the other side of the tape. These were called flippys I believe. Was this ...
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Compression techniques used in old ZX Spectrum tapes

Many ZX Spectrum games* (and demos) would improve loading time and save space in the tape using rudimentary compression. During decompression, the game would display "decrunching" for ...
67 votes
1 answer
5k views

How do I extract the program from the Radiohead "Nude" tribute by James Houston?

One of my favorite videos ever is a tribute to Radiohead "Nude" by James Houston. I have never seen the program in the video available to download, so I've just made an attempt to extract it ...
8 votes
3 answers
385 views

What is the correct power supply for this SD card/cassette reader for Sinclair computers?

I bought this some time ago, but I did not keep the power supply with it. It does not have any product name on it, and I can't locate the correct information. What is the correct power supply and what ...
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Were cassette tapes designed to be adjusted by pencils? [closed]

Back in my ZX Spectrum days, it was normal to do manual fine adjustment of a cassette tape position using a hexagonal pencil or a cheap Biro pen. It's almost like the hub is designed to be twiddled ...
19 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why did some Spectrum games need LOAD "" CODE?

Most ZX Spectrum games were loaded from tape, and the traditional way of starting the loading process (at least in the 48K era) was to type LOAD "" and then start the tape. This would normally load ...
4 votes
3 answers
679 views

ZX Spectrum red stripes during loading

When we load any game on ZX Spectrum from cassette player... Should red stripes move smoothly for better result or they should be static for perfect result? What is the theory?
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Cassette tape storage formats

I just came across this excellent article on cassette tape storage formats. One thing confuses me though... in the "all digital" examples, like Figure 1C, what exactly ends up on the tape? That is, ...
34 votes
17 answers
16k views

Did computer games for Commodore 64 really take "25 minutes" to load "if everything went alright"?

In the Swedish-language song "Nostalgi" by Markoolio from 2003, some of the lyrics go: My first computer had 64 kB you surfed on the water, and that's that The computer games were loaded ...
27 votes
3 answers
4k views

How did ZX Spectrum games loaders prevent the use of MERGE?

The MERGE command could be used on early games to load the first BASIC program block without it auto-running, but in later games, the use of MERGE caused the machine to hang. How was this achieved?
5 votes
1 answer
398 views

How do I change the cassette tape data (baud) rate on MSX machines?

The MSX Resource Center Wiki mentions that MSX machines can save and load at either 1200 or 2400 bps or baud. But it doesn't mention how to change this setting. So how do I change that rate? Is it ...
14 votes
8 answers
3k views

Copying tapes "back in the day"

Back when I had a ZX Spectrum 48K, I had a friend that had a 128K and we would swap games for the weekend from time to time. We did try and make duplicates of the tapes (yes, I know, but we were ten ...
25 votes
8 answers
7k views

What did it sound like when you played a cassette tape with programs on it?

As a medium of storing large data, cassette tapes were used just like the following: I wonder what it would sound like if one put the tape in a cassette player and played it as if it were a regular ...
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Daisy-chained cassette drive?

Early microcomputers sometimes supported several peripherals in a 'daisy chained' arrangement, i.e. instead of the computer having several ports, one per peripheral, it had a single port, which each ...
17 votes
7 answers
5k views

What should be the waveform for ZX Spectrum tapes?

I am digitizing about 40 tapes with programs for the ZX Spectrum. I am somewhat puzzled by the waveform after digitization. The signal of most cassettes is meander-shaped. One of the cassettes can ...
2 votes
2 answers
273 views

How do I save data from a program with CC65 [closed]

I wanted to have a calculator program be able to save a set of answers on a floppy disk or tape but I have no idea what I should do. I am aware that the "cbm.h" library can be used to load ...
3 votes
1 answer
423 views

Interpreting TRS-80 model 1/2 tape cassette audio

I got interested in writing my own code to parse tape cassette formats for a few platforms. I did OK with both Spectrum and Apple 2 tapes based on info I could find online. Speccy and Apple 2 seem to ...
3 votes
0 answers
196 views

Can MAME save to cassette tape formats other than WAV? [closed]

MAME seems to be extremely unintuitive to use and extremely poorly documented. But it supports a ton of machines, some of which I haven't found other emulators for, so I've been persevering with it ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can you load machine code programs for cassette tape on a TRS-80 model 1 level 1?

I'm trying out TRS-80 model I/III emulators. I know there was Level 1 and Level 2. I think this refers both to the ROM and the BASIC on the model I. Level 2 ROMs were a common upgrade to the model I ...
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What tape format did the Nintendo Famicom Data Recorder use?

I just learned from a YouTube video that in Japan there was an add-on for the original Nintendo Famicom console that included a keyboard (HVC-007) and compact cassette tape player & recorder (HVC-...
26 votes
2 answers
5k views

Which software was the first to use copy protection?

While researching early magnetic storage around 1980, I've come to ponder if we know of the first piece of software on removable media that employed copy protection? The Wikipedia article mentions ...
24 votes
2 answers
4k views

Blue and yellow stripes on the screen when loading from tape on ZX Spectrum

When loading a program from tape on ZX Spectrum you could see those blue and yellow stripes around the splash screen. I might be mistaken but I believe those were even sometimes used for quite ...
41 votes
5 answers
29k views

Loading ZX Spectrum tape audio in a post-cassette world

My ZX Spectrum 48k seems very resistant to working with audio input. I no longer have any cassette players, so am relying on audio files from digital players. I have been able to save and verify a ...
20 votes
6 answers
3k views

Does lossy audio compression damage datasette data?

I grew up with the C64 and had software on cassette tapes. These days, you can find "backups" of this software all over the internet, even in mp3 format (by recording the audio signal with a ...
9 votes
1 answer
363 views

What is the effect of direct exposure of the magnetic disk of a floppy to ultraviolet (UV) light?

I was thinking of the mold issue of floppies and UV light (UV-C) came to mind. As ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation and floppies use a magnetic disk for storage and I vaguely ...
5 votes
3 answers
560 views

Definitive list of music bands/groups that included computer programs on their analogue audio music physical media releases (LPs, singles)

Is there a definitive list of music pop/rock bands/groups that included computer programs as part of their physical analogue audio music releases? (vinyl LPs, EPs, singles) etc? For this to be ...
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

How did the Commodore 64 show a picture while reading cassette?

I was watching this video just now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0YmJluYb6Q&ab_channel=NostalgiaNerd on things that early home computers displayed on the screen while reading cassettes, and ...
5 votes
1 answer
336 views

Audio cassettes on TI-99

One of the features of the Atari machines was that the left audio channel on the cassette was connected through to the television speaker. This was used to produce things like "Conversational ...
19 votes
7 answers
1k views

Did any microcomputers back in the day accelerate standard-cassette performance

Many commonplace cassette recorders in the 1970s and 1980s were capable of reading or writing two tracks at once (stereo). While that wasn't universal (portable cassette recorders were often monaural,...
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why Kansas City Standard (KCS/CUTS) differs from Bell 103/202/212 modem protocol?

While both were data transfer protocols serving streams at 300/1200 baud, why did they choose different frequencies, marks, modulation, and anything else? I understand that they serve different ...
9 votes
1 answer
938 views

Teddy Ruxpin Animation Coding "Language"?

I've recently become interested in the original Teddy Ruxpin that operated by playing 8-track cassette tapes. The 8 channels on the tape were used in a creative way to ensure that Teddy's animation ...
5 votes
1 answer
436 views

How did games written for tape-based BBC micro, get officially and unofficially ported to disk, bearing in mind extra workspace needed by DFS ROM?

If I recall, PAGE = &E00 for a BBC Model B system with cassette tape based storage. On installation of Acorn DFS ROM (with 8271 Floppy disc controller), the ROM allocated more memory, increasing ...
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did the Apple 1 cassette interface card have its own ROM?

According to this page, the Apple 1 monitor program was located in addresses $F000-$FFFF, a ROM program to use the optional cassette interface card was at addresses $C100-$C1FF, and the peripheral ...
27 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why did the Atari 8-bit computers make beeping noises while accessing the disk and cassette drives?

If you've ever used an actual Atari 8-bit computer with either a cassette or disk drive, you would have noticed that it made a variety of "beeping" noises while accessing the devices. Specifically, ...
4 votes
1 answer
322 views

Identifying and recovering programs from tapes

A couple of days ago, I was given some old tapes with programs written on them. However, I am having some trouble with them. I do not know what computer they were programed for. After recognising the ...
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

Using a modern PC or other digital audio recording device as a cassette recorder replacement

I'm having a hell of a time getting this to work. I've got a Casio fx-720p + FA-3 cassette interface, a TRS-80 PC-3 with its cassette interface and printer dock, and a Tandy 102 with a cassette cable. ...
12 votes
4 answers
1k views

Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?

Cassette, being cheaper than a floppy disk drive, was a popular storage medium in the 8-bit era. Some computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum, just provided a port to plug in an existing cassette deck....
4 votes
1 answer
330 views

From what errors could Commodore's tape loader recover

The Commodore PET/VIC-20/C64 tape routines write out the leader for each file twice, and then write the data twice. While it would seem that this should allow data to be loaded more reliably, ...
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

When and why did tape recorders acquire a "remote" input?

This entirely-typical-of-the-era (other than mysteriously missing its EAR socket) tape recorder from 1984 was the "standard" type of tape deck for home computer data storage in the UK. They could be ...
4 votes
3 answers
151 views

Memac Obj files for running and making Tape Format

We are using MEMAC system and this device is using 30 years old Tape Casettes. The company non-exist anymore but they sent me 8" floppy disks so I can have chance to retrieve the files inside and make ...
5 votes
1 answer
301 views

Upping the speed of the VIC-20 tape drive: aftermarket hardware for the expansion port with "rabbit" in the name?

EDIT: I realize from reading the comments that I was bit loose in my use of the word "speed" as a property of the tape drive. What I had in mind was the speed of the data transfer, not the ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it possible to use a TI-99/4A cassette cable with Digital Audio devices?

I would like to save and load BASIC programs with my TI-99/4A. The TI-99/4A can be connected to a cassette recorder for this purpose. Buying a cassette recorder and cassette tapes seems unnecessary ...
3 votes
1 answer
519 views

Loading a Tandy CoCo or a Dragon 32 machine code program from cassette with multiple "name blocks"

For the Dragon 32 and the TRS-80 Color Computer I've found two documents describing how loading from cassette tape works:Dragon 32 doc, CoCo doc. They both say that a standard program consists of a ...
5 votes
1 answer
153 views

Length of leader block in Coco and Dragon cassette tape header and .cas tape image file format

I've been looking into the format of .cas files for Tandy Color Computer and Dragon32 emulators. These files are almost exactly byte for byte representations of the data/audio/bit pattern of the ...
10 votes
8 answers
1k views

CP/M without floppy drive

I remember reading (at the time when it was current) in a hobbyist magazine about a ZX Spectrum modification to map RAM into ROM (not unusual), and implementing CP/M for it. The author ended the ...
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are there standard DIN pinouts for cassette and video ports on early Japanese 8-bit computers?

I have several different Japanese 8-bit computers, and they use similar DIN connectors for video and cassette I/O: Composite video: 180° 5-pin DIN: Fujitsu FM-7, NEC PC-8001mkII Color TTL (digital) ...
16 votes
8 answers
2k views

Developing an application in the era of cassette tapes (audio-tapes)

My colleague and I have just had a conversation and we were wondering how the process of developing an application was done in the era of cassette tapes. Today we have HDDs, backup HDDs, FTPs, ...
22 votes
3 answers
2k views

How did "full memory" Spectrum tape copiers work?

There are some tape copiers, such as LERM that claim to be able to copy tapes which contain software that takes the full 48kbyte of RAM. However, this seems impossible on a Spectrum, when the whole ...
5 votes
1 answer
313 views

Magnetic tape data preservation format

What 'virtual tape' image format is most suited for data preservation i.e. can store metadata like density and media type of original tape, presence of data past EOT marker, parity/ECC bits etc.?
4 votes
1 answer
261 views

Checking Old Tapes

How do I check old ZX spectrum cassettes work - the tapes are after all quite old? I am fairly computer savvy (my life is a continual strand from that Speccy to this here Thinkpad - and many stations ...