magnetic card A data medium consisting of a card that is partly or completely coated on one side with ferromagnetic film on which data can be encoded and read (see card reader). The credit card is one example, the encoding being restricted to a single magnetic stripe that can contain three tracks. Other sizes of card have been used as interchangeable media in data-processing and word-processing applications, one example being the IBM magnetic card. In the late 1960s a number of mass storage devices were designed in which large magnetic cards were filed and retrieved automatically. These were superseded by automated tape libraries and magnetic disk stores.
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