How many times can you write to a 3490e tape cartridge?

What is the life of a 3490e tape cartridge? Specifically, how many times can you write to it?
The wear characteristics are primarily induced by passes of the tape across the heads. This causes tape stretching and particulate abrasion (rubbing off the material). Tape vendors rate a tape on its durability, which is the number of forward passes across the tape. For a 3490E, Imation rates the long length tape as 2,000 read forward passes and short tape length for 120,000 read forward passes. The actual cartridge shell is rated for 5,000 loads/unloads.
This was first published in October 2005

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