Subject: Re: open source definition
From: (Michael Shields)
Date: 30 Apr 1998 21:26:33 +0000

In article <>,
Scott Goehring <> wrote:
> The DAT tax was rather hefty and probably contributed
> substantially to the lack of success of that medium.

DAT failed in the consumer market because it offered only a quality
advantage over the old compact cassette, and not a convenience
advantage.  Consumers will not pay more for quality.  MD offers a
convenience advantage over both DAT and CC, because it's random
access; and it offers middling quality.  It's a better blend of
features for the mass market.

DAT has been and still is a major format in professional and niche
consumer markets.  It crushed DCC quite nicely.  There is no real
substitute for it.

The DAT tax is evil, but only a few percentage points, and is really a
small issue.  High-volume users of DAT audio tape are often buying
"data" tapes anyway, which are not subject to the tax, and yet work
very nicely for audio.  It's unfortunate for the music industry,
although not for anyone else, that the law doesn't mandate that audio
decks reject data tapes, which is technically easy...

(Incidentally, if you're using DAT for your backups and you're buying
the tapes at retail, you're getting ripped off... check at or another vendor that moves them in volume, unlike
your local computer store.)
Shields, CrossLink.