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Magnetic tape is a type of physical storage media for different kinds of data. It is considered an analog solution, in contrast to more recent types of storage media, such as solid state disk (SSD) drives. Magnetic tape has been a major vehicle for audio and binary data storage for several decades, and is still part of data storage for some systems.
Originally, magnetic tape was designed to record sound. In computing, it holds binary data. In recent years, magnetic tape devices have become more scarce with the emergence of digital imaging and audiovisual media storage.
Magnetic tape was used in many of the larger and less complex mainframe computers that predated today’s personal computers (PC).
One use of magnetic tape that still exists is tape vaulting for the storage of physical records. In this process, technicians and other professionals back up digital data to magnetic tape to secure it in physical vaults as a redundant strategy in the event of disasters or other emergencies.