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In this paper, we provide a survey of the novel read channel technologies that found their implementation in products over the past decade, and we outline possible technology directions for the future of read channels. Recently, magnetic recording read channels have undergone several changes. In addition to switching from longitudinal to perpendicular recording channels, detectors tuned to media noise sources are now readily implemented in read channel chips. Powerful numerical techniques have emerged to evaluate the capacity of the magnetic recording channel. Further, improved coding/decoding methods have surfaced both for the incumbent Reed-Solomon codes and the promising low-density parity-check codes. The paper is a tutorial-like survey of these emerging technologies with the aim to propel the reader to the forefront of research and development in the areas of signal processing and coding for magnetic recording channels.