Discs, Dat and D'Other

Things Digital audiotape breaks out into the home-entertainment marketplace

Didn't get that CD player you wanted for Christmas? That's all right. Amble down to the local audio vendor -- the one with all the fancy futuristic stuff -- and check out the digital-audiotape machines. Inquire particularly about the DAT Walkman, a palm-size dynamo that puts compact-disc-quality sound onto a cassette tape. The store should be receiving its first limited shipment this week. The DAT Walkman is guaranteed to cure CD envy. And clean your ears, and your wallet, right out.

Dogged by technophile speculation, consumer wariness and legal wrangling, the DAT format has been the subject of long-standing curiosity and...

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