The Digital Linear Tape (DLT) technology uses multi-linear track recording on industry-standard DLT IIIxt (15 GB) or DLT IV (20 GB) media. The DLT tape cartridge is a single spool cartridge and spools the tape to a second take up spool located inside of the drive. This DLT tape system is the real difference between DLT and other linear tape technologies.
DLT Tape Drives use a linear serpentine method of recording data on tapes. This means that the drive heads record data to the metal particle tape in straight lines to the end of the track. Rather than rewinding the entire tape and commencing data recording from the beginning, the tape head drops to the second track and records from the end to the beginning. Thus the “serpentine” motion. This saves time because there is no need to wait for a DLT Tape drive to rewind the tape before continuing to record.