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A cassette tape is .15 inches wide and runs at 1.875 inches per minute, so has an area of .28 square inches per minute. So a cassette that can play 64 minutes without being turned over has approximately the same recording-surface area as a typical single-platter hard drive.

I am not sure what this has to do with things. The VXA drives are helical scan, and there is no way to turn the tapes over, or to run them backwards.


Doesn't matter; I was calculating raw surface for recording on.

Your VXA2 tapes are .31" wide and the X10 tapes from IBM are 407 feet long for a surface area of 126 square inches. This is 7+ times the recordable area of a single-platter hard drive. If they apply modern hard-drive read-write technology to the task, and they can make a single-platter 2TB drive, they should be able to put at least 14TB on a single tape. (Whether they could do this yet maintain backward compatibility with VXA/VXA2 is a question for the engineers.)
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