The term track is used in different contexts, for example in magnetic and optical storage media for a data track and in navigation for the successive location points.
- A track is a trace on a magnetic or optical storage medium in which data is stored. In hard disks, a track corresponds to a concentric ring on the storage disk, which consists of many sectors. Depending on the track density, there are several hundred tracks on a hard disk. In hard disk drives, several hard disks are arranged one above the other. The superimposed tracks on the individual hard disks are called cylinders.
- In tape drives, the recording area can be arranged horizontally, diagonally or vertically on the magnetic tape. Track density is expressed in tracks per inch ( tpi).
- In the case of compact discs(CDs) and DVDs, the track contains the data of a defined type. A track can thus be a piece of music, or a video sequence, or contain the data as defined in ISO 9660. A track is a self-contained unit divided into sectors. A track consists of 2,353 bytes and corresponds to a playing time of 1/75 second. The structure of the tracks is different for the various compact discs.
- In navigation technology, a track is a course consisting of a string of individual track points. by waypoints Track points are regularly acquired and recorded by track loggers or GPS loggers according to certain distances or after certain time intervals. They contain the exact location, altitude and time information and are part of GPX files for the storage and exchange of GPS data formats. Other components of GPX files are the waypoints and the route. There is the Desired Track (DTK), which is the nominal course with the direct route between the starting point and the destination, and the geographic course with the angular indication of the cardinal directions.