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Digital Compact Cassette (DCC)

Definition - What does Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) mean?

A Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) is a digital sound recording format based on magnetic tape. It was introduced by Philips and Matsushita in 1992. DCC was a successor of the analog compact cassette. Digital Compact Cassette shared a similar form factor as used by analog cassettes, so backward compatibility was ensured, and a DCC recorder can play both cassette formats.

Techopedia explains Digital Compact Cassette (DCC)

DCC was introduced in 1992. It used a magneto-resistive (MR) head that is fixed to the mechanism of the player/recorder. As the head is stationary, DCC players are not sensitive to vibration and shock. DCC mechanisms are also cheaper compared to the rotary head used in the helical scan systems like VHS or DAT. Rotary heads are used to increase the head-to-tape speed. The magneto-resistive heads used in DCC do not have any iron components, so it does not form any residual magnetism; as a result, DCC is never demagnetized.

The tape speed of DCC is 4.8 cm per second, which is the same as analog cassettes, and the size of DCC cassettes are also similar to analog cassettes, ensuring that older, analog cassettes would still be compatible with DCC players. Theoretically the capacity of DCC tape is 120 minutes, but in reality the actual continuous recording time is 60 minutes.

In the case of computing, there was only one DCC recorder, the DCC-175, available on the market which can be connected and controlled by a computer. The connection for DCC-175 was made by using a "PC-link" data cable. This data cable can be connected between the DCC-175 recorder and the printer port of an IBM compatible PC. The PC-link cable package also contained software like DCC-Backup, DCC-Studio and DCC tape database program. The DCC-Studio application was also popularly used for copying audio from tape to hard disk and vice versa. The DCC-175 system was mostly used only in The Netherlands.

DCC was discontinued in October 1996 due to the failure of significant market penetration.

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