HiPac (stylized as HIPAC) (pronounced as high-pack), is an audio tape cartridge format, introduced in August 1971 on the Japanese consumer market by Pioneer and discontinued in 1973 due to lack of demand. In 1972 it only achieved a market share of 3% in equipping new cars. In the mid 1970s, the format was repurposed as a children's educational toy called ポンキー (Ponkey) and was used in the analog tape delay "Melos Echo Chamber".
|Media type||Magnetic tape endless loop|
|Encoding||Stereo analog signal|
|Capacity||2 × 30 min @ 1⅞ IPS|
|Read mechanism||stereo tape head|
|Write mechanism||prerecorded only|
|Developed by||Pioneer, HIPAC Council|
|Dimensions||70 × 85 × 12 mm|
|Weight||~ 50 g|
|Usage||portable and mobile audio playback devices|
HiPac is a successor of the PlayTape cartridge, licensed by Toshiba and had similar dimensions of 70 mm × 85 mm × 12 mm (2.76 in × 3.35 in × 0.47 in), which is closer to Compact Cassette than other cartridges containing Bernard Cousino's endless loop tape. Depending on the tape length, the weight is about 50 g (1.8 oz) and used the wider four-track magnetic tape of the compact cassette with 3.81 mm (0.150 in) The four audio tracks are separated into two stereo programs. The second program is recorded in the same direction as the first, unlike the Compact Cassette.
There are two specified tape speeds: 60 minutes at 1⅞ ips or ~4.8 cm/s, and 30 minutes at 3¾ ips or ~9.5 cm/s. The tape speed is detected automatically by a notch in the cartridge's case. The slower of these tape speeds is identical to the Compact Cassette.
In addition to Pioneer, the following companies were participating.
- "Ten Japanese Firms Back New Mini Stereo System". Billboard: 19, 21. July 24, 1971 – via Google Books.
- Eguchi, Hideo (October 6, 1973). "Locally Manufactured and Imported Blanks Produce Millions in Business in Japan". Billboard: 66, 68 – via Google Books.
- Major Specifications of the "HIPAC" Cartridge, Billboard
- "Stereo Cartridges: Outlook Bullish". Billboard: J-10. February 17, 1973 – via Google Books.
- Techmoan: Hipac - The lost tape : Pioneer's forgotten 1970s cassette rival, YouTube, 29 September 2017