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Tape Cartridge

July 29th, 2013

Is there such thing as a VCR tape only being able to be played once?

Planned obsolescence is closest as to what discribes this. I'm writing a novel about a killer who sends VCR tapes that can only be played once. And while they are playing, it's being destroyed simultaneously. Is this at all possible to do?

Yes.
As someone answered on the duplicate of your question, this could be done with a modified VHS tape cartridge containing either a razor blade or a magnet (or both!) in the tape path just before the take-up spool (and a roller or two to force the tape against the magnet/blade/both). This modification would be easier to do with a tape only a few minutes long (leaving more space in the cartridge).

It might only work for one tape, though. After the first one, a detective probably would send the tape to their lab, and the experts there would discover how it was done (so people might be on the lookout for a tape like this, and the next one might be intercepted, opened up, and "de-modified" before playing).

Edit: Now I'm thinking -- the killer figures this, so only the first one can be opened without exploding (which the 2nd one does and kills the lab tech)! Now I'm writing this for you. I'd better stop now. 😀

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Dell DAT72 DAT 72 Data Tape Cartridge 36 72GB
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