Dictabelt

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The Dictabelt[1] or Memobelt was a form of recording medium introduced by the American Dictaphone company in 1947. It used a type of "Write Once - Read Many" medium consisting of a thin, plastic belt 3.5" wide[2] that was placed on a cylinder and rotated like a tank tread. It was inscribed with a spiral groove by the needle, which itself made a slow lateral movement across the belt. Unlike a record cutter, the audio on a Dictabelt is imprinted (pressed in) rather than cut.[2] The recordings had better fidelity than the wax cylinders they replaced. The belts could be folded and placed in envelopes. However, if they were stored too long in a folded state, the folds would become permanent.[2][3] In the 1960s, Virginia required that all of its circuit courts be outfitted with Dictabelt machines.[4] The belts first came in red, then blue, and finally purple.[2]

Along with a Gray Audograph sound recorder, a Dictabelt recorded the police department radio channels in Dallas, Texas during the John F. Kennedy assassination. These recordings were reviewed by the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Morton, David (2000). Off the Record: The Technology and Culture of Sound Recording in America. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2747-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d http://www.videointerchange.com/audio_history.htm
  3. ^ http://www.poppyrecords.co.uk/other/Dictabelts/dictabelts.htm
  4. ^ http://www.dictabeltrerecord.com/about.htm

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