A tape recorder, also known as tape machine, sound recorder, and tape deck, is a storage device that records and reproduces audio signals using magnetic tape. Magnetic tape originated around 1930 in Germany. Prior to that, magnetic wire was employed for magnetic recording. Magnetic tape revolutionized the music recording and radio broadcast industries, while offering better sound quality. Modern-day tape recorders record a fluctuating signal by circling the tape around a tape head that divides the magnetic domains in the tape separately in proportion to the audio signal. During the first decade of the 21st century, magnetic tape recording was largely replaced by digital recording technologies. This entry discusses the historical background of tape recorders and their key features.

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in ...

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