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The typical recording technique used in serial tapes is referred to as serpentine recording. In this technique, when data are being recorded, the first set of bits is recorded along the whole length of the tape. When the end of the tape is reached, the heads are re-positioned to record a new track, and the tape is again recorded on its whole length, this time in the opposite direction. That process continues, back and forth, until the tape is full.

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