Stats on Reel to Reel Tapes

Reel to Reel tape (or Open Reel Tape) came in many shapes and sizes. The most common to the average consumer is 1/4" tape. Reel to Reel tape came on many different sizes of reels. Most common among these are 3 inch, 5 inch and 7 inch. Larger 10 1/2" reels were also made but not as common. Most Reel to Reel machines were able to record and play back in three different speeds. Unlike most forms of recording media, it's impossible to determine how long a Reel-to-Reel tape may play for, or how much the final conversion costs will be, even if we know the size/length of your tapes! The reason for this is that reel-to-reel tapes may have been recorded at several different speeds and on as many as four separate tracks. As you can see from the chart below, a small 300ft reel may play for as long as 2 hours or as little as 7.5 minutes depending on what speed it was recorded at and on how many tracks! To make CD's from the large, slow playing reels means we have to break up the digital file into a length that will make the CD be no more than 72 minutes long. (See charts below). (information from:

Tape Length in feet 1 7/8 ips 3 3/4 ips 7 1/2 ips

(300ft) 30 Mins 15 Mins 7.5 Mins
(600ft) 60 Mins 30 Mins 15 Mins
(900ft) 90 Mins 45 Mins 22 Mins
Time Chart Recorded On Both Sides (directions)
150 FT. 300 FT. 600 FT. 900 FT. 1200 FT. 1800 FT. 2400 FT. 3600 FT.
1 3/8 IPS 30 MIN. 1 HR. 2 HRS. 3 HRS. 4 HRS 6 HRS. 8 HRS. 12 HRS.
3 3/4 IPS 15 MIN. 30 MIN. 60 MIN. 1 1/2 HRS. 2 HRS. 3 HRS. 4 HRS. 6 HRS.
7 1/2 IPS 7 1/2 MIN. 15 MIN 30 MIN. 45 MIN. 1 HR. 1 /12 HR. 2 HRS. 3 HRS.