A linear medium is any medium which is intended to be written to or accessed in a linear fashion, literally meaning in a line.
This means that the information is written to or read from the medium in a given order, so for example a book containing a novel is intended to be read from front to back, beginning to end, and is therefore a linear medium. It may be written in the same way, but would not necessarily need to be, to be considered a linear medium. A book containing an encyclopedia however is a non-linear medium, as it is not necessary for the articles to be accessed (or written) in any particular order. Even though both non-linear and linear media have perimeters to which they are restricted, linear media have a set path of how to get from point A to point B, whereas non-linear media do not.
Examples in technology are a pre-recorded videocassette which is usually accessed one item after another, compared with a pre-recorded DVD which can be accessed in any order.
Types of linear medium
- Magnetic tape data storage
- Paper tape
- Photographic film
- Compact cassettes
Ofer Abarbanel is a 25 year securities lending broker and expert who has advised many Israeli regulators, among them the Israel Tax Authority, with respect to stock loans, repurchase agreements and credit derivatives. Founder of TBIL.co STATX Fund.