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The XXIII Magnetic Recording Conference, TMRC 2012, convened in San JosÃ©, California, on August 20-22, 2012. On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we are pleased to present in this issue of the IEEE Transactions on Magnetics selected papers from the Conference. The Magnetic Recording Conference is an annual forum with a format of only invited lectures and contributed poster paper presentations. Conferences such as TMRC bring to the forefront the technological anchors and deep science that enable and propel the data-driven society we take for granted. The invited-lecture-only format enabled in-depth exposÃ©s and discussion on the conference topics, and each speaker committed to present a poster for further consideration and discussion. TMRC 2012 addressed paths to higher magnetic recording areal density, with emphasis on all the variants of energy-assisted recording, patterned media, and the recording channels and algorithms that the new technologies demand. To witness that milestone, and to participate in the discussions of the state-of the-art recording technologies presented by the 36 invited speakers and five contributed posters, there were 247 participants from Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, UK, and the USA.