DATMAN TECHNICAL BULLETIN #015
From: Kan Yabumoto firstname.lastname@example.org
To: DATMAN user
Subject: DAT/DDS FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Date: 1996-05-22 (revised 2000-05-20)
This is a second FAQ article in our Technical Support Center.
The other FAQ "DATMAN FAQ" contains mostly DATMAN-specific topics.
Here, we discuss wider issues related to the 4mm DAT/DDS tape
Q: I have an HP C1533A DDS2 DAT streamer in my computer. Is it
possible to read an audio DAT tape with this streamer and play
them with a sound card?
A: It's not possible to read them. However, with the DATMAN
file system, you can save an audio file for SoundBlaster
and play it back directly from the DATMAN file. But, you
can do the same thing on your hard disk. We are not talking
about reading a "Digital Audio Tape" directly by a DDS drive.
Q: Is there a product which controls a DAT drive and make it
work like a computer-controlled tape deck?
A: Yes. There is an interesting software called "Datman"
written for SGI's (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) Unix machine.
This SGI Datman has no relation to Pixelab's DATMAN.
The SGI-Datman software can control both a DAT and a
CD-ROM. To tell the truth, we don't know much about this
Datman very much. We became aware of the SGI-Datman
recently. You may ask questions in SGI-related newsgroups.
Q: Can DATMAN at least clone an audio DAT tape?
A: No. An ordinary DDS drives which DATMAN supports just cannot
access the raw audio data even though the DDS format is an
extension of the DAT format. This is because the DDS drives
have an intermediate layer of software (firmware) between the
raw data on the tape and the host program which interacts with
the tape via the SCSI interface. The extra layer "emulates"
other more traditional tape drives on top of the DAT tape layer
which made the DDS drive behave very much like other streamer
tape drives even though the underlying data structure is quite
different. In other words, our DATMAN software (and most other
similar tape control programs) do not have any access to the raw
data. Therefore, the data most tape control software see is
already highly massaged data. In short, other than the cartridge
dimension the audio DAT and the DDS technology shares, there is
little else in common from user's point of view.