streaming tape transport

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streaming tape transport A tape transport capable of operating in streaming mode, and of automatically repositioning the magnetic tape when it stops. Some versions are also capable of operating in start/stop mode at a lower tape speed (or with extended interblock gaps).

Streaming tape transports can use simpler, and hence cheaper and more reliable, mechanisms than those designed for start/stop mode at similar tape speeds. In particular, they usually operate without the capstan and tape buffers of conventional tape transports, tape motion and tension being controlled entirely from the reels. Most cartridge tape transports operate only in the streaming mode.