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Digital Compact Cassette — DCC

Filed under: dcc — 2006-03-13 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2008-06-05 by

I received a phone call today asking if I knew where to get DCC blank tapes. The person had purchased a used DCC machine on eBay or someplace like that because he “heard that they sound good.”

Audio mythology is growing. DCC is a perceptually coded format with bit reduction. Like MP3. Like the ATRAC system used on Minidisc. Not as advanced as MP3, probably (it’s older). Not as advanced as Windows Media (it’s older).

This format died in the late 1990s with Radio Shack selling their last stock at fire-sale prices.

Please do not get involved in this format. If you’ve got material recorded on this format, now is the time to get it off. I have one player and do not intend to get any additional ones. Mine is in pretty good condition and works, but when it goes, I won’t be able to transfer DCC tapes, either.

This is a very endangered format in my opinion. Hopefully not too many important items were recorded on it.

I told the caller to just burn CDs with his computer for his music. If he wanted a different “sound” try analog tape, but I can’t see what DCC offers in terms of “improved” sound.

I received the following comment from RPM53:

Hi Richard,

You are absolutely correct about do not get involved with this format. First and formost
good luck finding new tapes. Also the tapes over a period of time exibit audio dropout
due to tape curl, most noticable when you re-recorded on them.
However, as far as sound went for it\’s day, I found it to be quite good. I did alot of live
recordings of bands with this deck, however it now sits unused gathering dust.
There are other supported formats available that are more cost effect and sound better. But
in comparison to cassette, it was a big step forward.
I discovered this page in my search for blank tape to record rehersals, because the deck
has many features that are handy. But without tape, it\’s sexy, it\’s techy, it\’s useless!


Posted Dec 9, 2006 9:17 PM

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