Achieving higher track densities in tape storage systems requires significant improvements in the trackfollowing capabilities. The track-follow control system is used to reduce the misalignment between the tape and the recording head created by the lateral motion of the flexible medium. The characteristics of the lateral tape motion disturbance and their effect in the track-follow performance are identified. The effects from roller run-outs, reel eccentricities and tape paths with flangeless rollers are discussed. Control schemes are evaluated to improve the track-following capability and increase the track density on a magnetic tape. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.