The Personal Side of Tape Loss

Iomega may have a solution to a recent problem involving Iron Mountain

February 25, 2006

2 Min Read
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3:45 PM -- The lost tape issue, usually a big-business snafu story, is getting more personal. A recent report by the New York Post says tape storage megaprovider Iron Mountain is being sued for $20 million by Jim Steinman, the producer of several Grammy-winning hits and writer of songs like "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Bat Out of Hell."

Steinman's misfortune is a one-man version of the lost-tape woes big firms have been decrying for months. (See The Year in Insecurity and Iron Mountain Keeps Truckin'.) He claims he paid Iron Mountain $1,700 a month since August 2004 to store tapes of the original recordings of "Total Eclipse" by Bonnie Tyler, as well as Barbra Streisand's 1984 recording of "Left in the Dark." He alleges Iron Mountain told him the tapes, which he says are priceless, would be safe in an upstate New York vault, but he suspects they were lost in a New Jersey warehouse.

The paper says Iron Mountain declined to comment.

Lost tapes have become an all-too-familiar scenario for big firms. To Iron Mountain's credit, the company is taking more action to introduce online services and encryption alternatives. (See Iron Mountain Encrypts Itself and Iron Mountain Lands LiveVault.) Still, that's little comfort for guys like Steinman (even ones who can afford the hefty storage bills) as they follow the horse's rear-end out of the barn.

In the future, the wisest move for users with relatively small amounts of tape backup may be to invest in technologies that don't require outside help. Iomega, for instance, says it's readying a desktop disk storage device that will house multiple 35-Gbyte removeable disks, supporting up to 280 Gbytes of stored data (560 Gbytes compressed). Iomega claims the solution will offer the convenience of optical media without the durability hassles, and the portability of tape without the complexity and maintenance.Definitely a space to watch.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Iomega Corp. (NYSE: IOM)

  • Iron Mountain Inc.

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