Listening to records: its back?
Listening to music is still amazing today. And there are lots of options these days for how to listen to music. But wouldn’t be crazy if you bought a CD or anything that sounds as archaic as the dinosaur dynasty?
You see, thanks to the new, sophisticated digital world of music where files are so easy to transfer and play, CD sales volume is shrinking every year.
But, as the recording industry flails; vinyl (and listening to records) is making a mighty come back. Listening to records made a major comeback in the mid 2008. And I can swear my butt off, this format is not going to become extinct any time soon.
So maybe you have come across crate full f ragged records jackets in the living rooms of pretentious friends or you have stumbled upon a selection of shrink-wrapped records in trendy boutiques?
According to industry tracker Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl record sales reached 1.9 million units in 2008, and then grew to 2.5 million in 2009, to 2.8 million in 2010, to 3.6 million in 2011 (projected).
Now, the question is: why would so many people be drawn vinyl records?
Here are some of the possible reasons why it’s back:
The question of sound quality
Most music pros say you can tell the difference in quality of sound. They say that vinyls produce a much better sound compared to digital files or CDs. So, if you have been consuming music in MP3s for a decade, you will notice a change in the quality of sound when you listen to records for the first time.
To paraphrase one Andrew Schaer, a vinyl records’ enthusiast and the owner of Hear Again Music and Vies in Gainsville, Florida, records produce a much more omni-dimensional sound that would fill a room better. The records sound warmer and anyone listening to the music would most likely notice subtle sounds and instruments.
But don’t make a mistake of buying vintage records in pursuit of better sound. Besides, Vinyl records pressed today sound better than those pressed in the 70s. The reason being the recording equipment used today is much advanced in sophistication and the original recordings are now digital rather than lower quality tape masters.
If you are from the 60s and 70s you must be missing the way you used to listen to music. Although you might like convenience and portability of the digital music, you still want to experience the music in your living room the same way you used to during those times. Vinyl records give you that experience at your home.
Texture to whole experience
Part of the vinyl records experience is the surface noise: the hum of the needle along the record grooves and the occasional crackling sound. Most people find it artistic, poetic and romantic.
Physical interaction with the music
We are talking about tactile experience here. Thing is, some music lovers feel like MP3s make them lose out on the actual experience. Unlike with the records where you experience opening the wrapper (and smelling the sleeve, xD) and actually touching the record, MP3s are just music and nothing more. These are the things people pay for.
Apart from the sound experience, the Vinyl record sleeves have a more aesthetic appeal. They are nice to look at compared to a shelf full of CDs. Some people buy them just because they love the packaging.