If you perform your own hot or cold backup, then RMAN cannot be used to perform your recovery. Since you did the backup manually (without RMAN), you must perform the recovery manually.
RMAN has many benefits. One of those is being able to interface with Veritas or Legato. But it has other backups as well. One of them is the ability to automate your restores of your backups. I would highly recommend that you investigate RMAN further.
Right now, you are writing files to tape. You should be able to do the same with RMAN. RMAN can write to direct attached tape drives. So you do not have to back up directly to disk.
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