Digital Compact Cassette

What Does Digital Compact Cassette 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.

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Techopedia Explains Digital Compact Cassette

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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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.