IGCSE Information & Communication Technology Paper-1: Specimen Questions with Answers 19 - 19 of 46

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Question 19

Appeared in Year: 2009



From the following statements identify the disadvantages of magnetic tape.


Choice (4)


High Radiation.


Data quality gradually erodes.


Special equipment required.


Both b. and c. are correct




The statements Special equipment required. and Data quality gradually erodes. state the disadvantages of magnetic tape.

  • Magnetic tape is commonly used to record and store computer and video data. Before the CD and DVD came along, magnetic tape was widely used by consumers. Today, magnetic tape is mainly used by large companies and organizations that require massive data storage.
  • Magnetic tape recording works by converting electrical audio signals into magnetic energy, which imprints a record of the signal onto a moving tape covered in magnetic particles. Playback is achieved by converting the recording on tape back into electrical energy to be amplified.


  • Special equipment must be purchased and set up for recording and storing data. The data can only be read on the special equipment.
  • If the data is stored near a strong magnetic field or a large speaker, the tape can be damaged.
  • Magnetic tape has a lifespan of 15 years. Data quality gradually erodes over time.
  • It is necessary to keep older tape equipment just to be able to read the stored data.
  • A major disadvantage is that accessing specific data on stored tape is a slow process.

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