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Using a multitrack format in both optical and magnetic data storage applications yields important improvements in system performance, including higher data density and higher data transfer rates. However, the full advantage in data density can be achieved only through the use of joint equalization and joint detection. This paper addresses the complexity of implementing these functions and proposes a transform domain equalization architecture and a reduced-complexity detection method based on a breadth first search of a one-dimensional time-varying representation of a two-dimensional target response. With this method, the complexity of joint equalization and joint detection is not unreasonably greater than that of existing single-track systems and should be feasible for implementation with emerging integrated circuit technologies.