After a brief history of tape in audio, video, and data storage applications, trends and projections for areal density and cost are given. The enabling technologies required in heads, media, transports and channels to realize these projections are described. The rate of progress in areal density is projected to continue at historical rates or faster for the foreseeable future. Technology tradeoffs between rotary and linear serpentine tape drive technology are discussed. Continued advancement in magnetoresistive head technology is projected to bring serpentine tape recording systems to an areal density par with rotary systems. This paper is a synopsis of the authors update of the National Storage Industry Consortium (NSIC) roadmap for magnetic tape recording technology prepared in 1994.