Machine-readable medium

In communications and computing a machine-readable medium, or computer-readable medium, is a medium capable of storing data in a format readable by a mechanical device (rather than human readable).

ISBN represented as EAN-13 bar code showing both machine-readable bars and human-readable digits

Examples of machine-readable media include magnetic media such as magnetic disks, cards, tapes, and drums, punched cards and paper tapes, optical discs, barcodes and magnetic ink characters.

Common machine-readable technologies include magnetic recording, processing waveforms, and barcodes. Optical character recognition (OCR) can be used to enable machines to read information available to humans. Any information retrievable by any form of energy can be machine-readable.

Examples include:

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document: "Federal Standard 1037C".