Tape Care Tips

   Richard L. Hess for the Audio Engineering Society, 2001

  Familiarize yourself with proper techniques for the care and handling of magnetic tapes.
  Learn and use correct procedures for operating equipment.
  Handle tapes gently.
  Keep tapes in protective cases when not in use.
  Keep tapes vertical when not in use.
  Make sure machine alignment is correct before use.
  Clean tapes before use if they show any evidence of dirt or contamination.
Caution! Mold/fungus can be hazardous to your health. Wear a mask!
  Ensure that the tape is properly seated in the machine before use.
  Wind tape at low speed (library wind) entirely onto one reel after use.
  Leave analog tapes on the take-up reel after use (tails out).
  Secure tape ends on open tape reels.
  Package tapes adequately for protection before shipment or transport.
  Use only new tapes when recording a tape for long-term storage.
  Break off or activate the record protection tab of cassettes.
  Inspect tapes for damage or contamination before use.
  Clean tapes before use if they show evidence of dirt or contamination.
  Seek experienced help as soon as possible in the case of a disaster.
  Protect both tape and machinery from dust and debris.
  Keep tapes in as stable and uniform an environment as possible.
  Acclimatize tapes before use if they are hot or cold.
  Store tape in a cool and dry place. See ISO 18923 and AES 22-1997.

  Do not touch tape surfaces with bare hands.
  Do not put pressure on reel flanges.
  Do not stack or place objects on top of unprotected tapes.
  Do not force tapes into cases or machines.
  Do not drop or throw tapes.
  Do not splice any portion of a video tape.
  Do not place tapes on or near sources of magnetic fields.
  Do not play or spool tapes that are dirty, contaminated, or wet.


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