Diagram of a linear tape drive Diagram of a helical-scan drive
Linear tapes only put the supply reel in the cartridge
The take up reel is part of the drive
The read/write heads are always part of the drive, but the supply and take up
reels are part of the cartridge. With this recording format, the tape is pulled
from the cartridge and wrapped around the read/write heads by adjusting the
tension with the rollers. When the end of the tape is reached, the cartridge can
either be removed, or rewound ready for future use.