I don't have any Blu-rays. I download video games from digital stores. And I haven't bought a newspaper in years. Despite this I have a constantly growing collection of vinyl records..
Over the past decade, few physical media have seen a resurgence like vinyl. Even if your listening habits consist of downloading and streaming music why did the Beatles embrace streaming and why should you too. Why the Beatles embraced streaming and why you should too. Music fans got a Christmas present when, on December 24, 2015, all of the Beatles' major albums were released on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services. Here's why that matters. Read More vinyl? Looking to buy a record player of your own? Here are all your questions, he answered. Read More
We consume more and more of our media digitally. Whether it's movies and TV shows through Netflix, Reach TV services, YouTube, or streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. These are all convenient enhancements to our modern life, and I make copious use of all of them. I watch YouTube while I eat my breakfast, stream Apple Music while I type, stream my favorite TV shows at night. I also admit that I am partly to blame for the death of cinema. Are you responsible for the death of cinema? Are you responsible for the death of cinema? The cinema is in its death throes. But why? Shall we blame the shit movie directors? Alternate display options now available? Or are you personally responsible? Let's figure this out. Read more.
This probably helps explain why I've clung to the hobby of collecting logs for so long. It's the last physical medium I get pleasure from these days, and the analog nature of the recording is the main draw. Records are unnecessarily large, with equally large covers that celebrate album art in a way that digital media doesn't.
They are susceptible to physical damage and wear out over time. You have to deal with dust buildup and static electricity, and even your turntable requires a certain degree of maintenance. You'll need to change the stylus every 500-1000 hours of listening, set up new cartridges correctly, and balance the tonearm using a counterweight. At some point, you may even have to recalibrate an old turntable to get the platter spinning at the correct speed.
All this hassle pushes a few buttons inside my head. I grew up playing with LEGOs, underexposing photos on film, and dismantling old VCRs. If you feel like you are missing out on physical interaction with media and entertainment and also love music, you can also enjoy the “mechanical” hobby of collecting and playing records.
Here are some reasons why.
Digital music discovery sucks. Generally, you know what you're looking for, you type it into the search box and hit play. You can find some related artists to explore, but these get more and more obscure as you scroll down the list. My personal “For You” Apple Music tab suggests albums I already know well, and most other suggestions are more hit or miss.
Digging for vinyl records is a much more organic process. You never know exactly what you'll find, and this keeps a little hope within you that it's always worth one more look, one more box, or one more store. Something similar could be said about buying clothes at second-hand stores or buying second-hand books.
Through record stores I have not only discovered albums that fit my current tastes, but I have also developed a fascination with random genres that I have never approached before. This is because the media is physically there in front of me, asking to be heard with impartial ears. And all the best record stores will have listening stations for you to use, so you can try them out before you buy.
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As a result of the often random and disorganized nature of digging through record crates in a dusty old store, you're likely to come across some absolutely weird and wonderful records. It would be easy to dismiss them if they weren't right in front of you, and many of those records have never been committed to CD, let alone modern digital formats.
To prove the point:I just discovered the world of Japanese soundtracks from the late 1970s. These are mostly anime, with some drama mixed in for good measure. I've never visited Japan, and I'm also not a big fan of anime. I picked one up because of the amazing cover art, but it wasn't until I heard it that I realized how amazing the jazz, funk and soul was on these albums.
With a steady stream of Japanese vinyl making its way to some local record stores, I'm enjoying my trip down the rabbit hole of TV shows I've never heard of before. There are many other genres and quirky releases that might catch your eye:library records (used for sound effects and backing tracks for TV productions), spoken word recordings, TV and radio shows, test records, white labels , breaks and tools for DJs, and children's programs. logs to name a few.
Some of these set me back $50, while I've picked up others for just a dollar, which brings me to another point.
It's a great feeling to find something in a thrift store or dumpster for pennies, which is why I check local charity shops regularly. Entire record collections are often donated to charity and sold for a fraction of their value. Experience has taught me that the vast majority of these records will be terrible, scratchy, and missing sleeves.
However, you still never know what you are going to find. It could be a classic album you love, a cheesy '80s single that sold for 50 cents, or something random you decided to take a chance on.
Some of my favorite charity finds include “Highway to the Danger Zone” (the theme to Top Gun ) at 45, the Vienna State Opera Orchestra playing Liszt's “Hungarian Rhapsodies” and a “teach yourself” Italian Spoken Word LP from 1969. None of these cost me more than a dollar, and they all sound great..
Physical media can't compete with the incredible power of digital distribution in a world of high Internet speeds and abundant hard drive space, and thankfully it doesn't have to. There's room in your life for both vinyl and digital music, especially considering almost every new vinyl record sold today comes with a code for a digital download.
A physical collection isn't meant to replace your digital habit, whether you're streaming music from Spotify or buying songs on Bandcamp. I listen to digital music all day, because I'm not going to carry records with me to listen to anywhere. I also don't buy many new albums on vinyl, unless it's for emerging artists on small or self-managed labels. Digital does everything I need in this regard.
Vinyl is also expensive, especially when it's new. It is often heavy and costs a lot to mail. Record stores that sell new vinyl often charge an arm and a leg, when you could get two or three second-hand albums elsewhere and still enjoy new releases through Apple Music. Physical lossless media will sound better than compressed MP3s, but there is often the option of lossless formats like ALAC and FLAC. 10 Common Audio Formats Compared:Which One Should You Use? 10 Common Audio Formats Compared:Which One Should You Use? We may all be familiar with MP3, what about AAC, FLAC, OGG or WMA? Why are there so many standards? Which ones should you be interested in and which ones can you ignore? Read More
From personal experience, most small bands prefer vinyl over CD to sell their products, especially at concerts. This may seem like an odd choice, but it speaks to the popularity of the medium, considering that production costs are higher when it comes to vinyl.
This is not a “why vinyl is better” 4 reasons why vinyl is better than digital 4 reasons why vinyl is better than digital Greetings folks! What, are you still listening to MP3s? Look, as someone who knows more about music than you, I think it's my duty to tell you that there is a better way. It's called vinyl. Read more” piece, is about encouraging you to explore the world of music in a way you haven't before. I haven't mentioned anything about vinyl sounding better than other media, because objectively it doesn't. The perceived sound quality of a recording often depends on the mastering, and the medium makes little difference.
In fact, the idea of vinyl. “heat” is often a result of distortion introduced by the medium. Producers can design their records to sound as warm as they like, but a lossless CD or digital file will work just as well. Your equipment will really make a difference in terms of sound reproduction:the source, the cartridge and stylus, the amp, the speakers. When in doubt, get yourself a vintage setup for cheap eBay quality sound on the cheap - buy vintage audio gear. Quality sound on the cheap:buy old audio equipment. For the money you put down, an old amp has the potential to provide so much more. better bang for your buck than a modern active speaker system. Read more.
If you're lucky enough to live in a part of the world where record stores abound, where thrift stores are full of bargains, where yard sales are held every weekend; You have a great opportunity to expand your musical repertoire. So why not start your vinyl collection today??!
What was the last vinyl record you bought? Do you understand the lasting appeal of vinyl? Or are you happy streaming all your music from Spotify or Apple Music? Please let us know your thoughts and feelings in the comments below!