Dat Spat: A new recorder draws protests

A new recorder draws protests

Bring out the sandbags! The American music industry is already at war with a new audio technology that is expected to land in U.S. stores sometime this year. The enemy is the digital audio tape, yet another advance in high-quality sound reproduction that will be marketed by Japanese electronics firms. DAT's imminent arrival on U.S. shores has stirred a protectionist outcry from an entire industry, all the way from record-company headquarters in Manhattan to sound studios in Los Angeles.

The new technology takes consumer electronics one step beyond the compact disc. Like CDs, DAT is a product of the digital recording...