"The Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?) Reading Audio Tapes using HP-DAT Drive

From Thomas Kruse on Fri, 25 Dec 1998

(?) Hi! I wonder, if you can help me with the following issue: I bought a brand new SCSI HP-DAT streamer. In the manual it is described to treat audio-dat tapes as if they were read-only. I tried to fetch the data from the tape, but I get always i/o erorrs. (I tried "cat /dev/st0" "dd if=/dev/st0...") Do I need special software or is it impossible to "read" audio tapes with Linux? (I heard rumors, that this is possible with special Win95 software)

Regards, Thomas

(!) That's an excellent question. I have absolutely no idea. I guess you could look at the Linux st driver sources and see if they need to be changed. I guess you might even write to the author or maintainer of the st driver to ask for advice.
Looking under /usr/src/linux I find, in .../drivers/scsi/st.c that the 2.0.36 sources list Kai Makisara as the author. I've blind copied his addresses on this response.
Kai, thanks for the work on the 'st' driver. What would prevent one from reading audio tapes using /dev/stX under Linux?
I'm sorry if you're getting two copies of this I wasn't sure which address from the st.c file to use.
(Note: this message is in response to a Linux Gazette "Answer Guy" question. I'll be happy to post any response --- which may end up prevent future questions on this topic. If this is buried in an FAQ, HOWTO, or man page somewhere, please point us at it and forgive us for not finding it).

(?) More on: Reading Audio Tapes using HP-DAT Drive

From Kai Makisara on Sat, 26 Dec 1998

(?) There are (at least) two issues when using audio DAT tapes in a computer DAT drive:

  1. You may or may not be successful in using audio media to record digital data. The tape cartridge does not contain the MRS (Media Recognition System) identification data that most of the digital tapes nowadays have. The drive uses this data to determine the tape length, etc. By default, the HP drives I have seen treat any non-MRS tapes read-only. You can change this with a switch. I assume this is what the HP manual means but not what you are interested in.
  2. You may be able to read audio data using a computer DAT. This depends on the firmware of the DAT driver. As far as I know, most computer DAT drives are unable to read audio data. There have been some drives from Silicon Graphics that were able to read audio data. As far as I know, they were ordinary Archive DATs with special firmware. You needed special SCSI commands to read audio data (I don't know the commands).

    The Linux SCSI tape driver does not currently have any support for reading audio data.


    (!) Thanks Kai.
    I presume this is a result of the music industry's lobbying. The big record companies (Sony, Columbia, et al) have been interferring with the digital electronics industry for years in a misguided effort to discourage bootlegging.
    Oh well. We're already at the stage where some people are providing free writing --- the beginnings of an "open content" movement. This will probably encompassing music and literature much as the "open source (TM)" movement has made an impact on software.
    I don't object to spending money on a good book or a decent CD. I'd just like to see more of it go to the artist and I'd like some assurance that corporate politics and big business aren't exerting undue control over the contents. However, I'll leave it at that before this becomes overly political (and overtly subversive).

    Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
    Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 36 January 1999

    [ Answer Guy Index ] a b c 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12
    15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
    29 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 44
    45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 60 61 62 63 64 65 66
    67 69 72 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 84 85 86 87 91 94 95 96 97 98

    [ Table Of Contents ] [ Front Page ] [ Previous Section ] [ Next Section ]