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A new type of reproduce transducer for reading magnetically recorded tapes is described. The device structure, which utilizes the magnetoresistive effect in a thin magnetic film deposited onto a nonmagnetic substrate, provides wavelength response characteristics comparable to existing technology. Indigenous noise effects are subordinate to tape noise. No intrinsic frequency limitations are experienced for recording bandwidths in existence today. Since the device detects the tape's fringing fields directly, the output is not a function of tape velocity. The device construction lends itself nicely to multichannel head assemblies. The transducer may also be used to detect digitally recorded information.