Digital Compact Cassette

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A digital compact cassette
Digital Compact Cassette with open protection
DCC, other side

The Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) was a format of magnetic tape, developed to replace the compact cassette. It competed with the Minidisc and the Digital Audio Tape (DAT), but neither format could replace the compact cassette. It was marketed as a cheaper alternative to DAT. Equipent for the Digital compact cassette was able to play back compact cassettes as well; recording could only be done to DCC, though. Unlike DAT, DCC uses lossy data compression. This means that the copy of the data is not identical to the original. Audio data could be compressed to about 25 percent of its original size. The main problem of the format was tied to handling: Finding a song in the middle of a 90 minute tape takes several minutes, with Minidisc it is instantaneous. Minidisc allows to delete or move tracks, features which the digital compact cassette cannot offer. Even though some of the features were addressed (like rewinding a 90 minute tape in less than a minute), the format never gained much marketshare. The compression format used by DCC is based on MP1, which was a predecessor of MP3.