Some love them, and some don’t, but it’s hard to deny the growing interest in vinyl records.
They have been trending upwards for the last 10 years, give or take, and you won’t find another physical format of music with this music staying power.
Here are four reasons vinyl records are growing in popularity again.
1. Sound Quality
It depends on who you ask, but arguably, the sound quality of vinyl is much better than CDs and MP3s. At the very least, they have a warm, natural sound that you simply can’t duplicate with digital media.
In an age where audio mastering favors highly compressed, loud mixes, vinyl still allows for a great deal of dynamic variation, meaning a song preservers much of its natural ups and downs that you won’t hear on a compact disc.
But it is necessary to invest in a quality record player (the needle is the most important component) if you really want to enjoy records as they were meant to be heard. You can’t buy an inexpensive player and hope to experience the rich tones of analog media.
Even if not for the many modern releases that have also come out on the vinyl format, vinyl records have a much longer history than CDs, MP3s, or music streaming.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t find your favorite releases on newer formats. But some of the older releases are going to be harder to come by on modern stores, apps or devices.
Records also have physical value, as evidenced by the existence of record collectors. Additionally, when DJs invest in records, they spend good money on them.
3. Album Art & Liner Notes
This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of vinyl records – they come in large cardboard sleeves that allow for more elaborate and detailed album art and liner notes.
This will become pretty clear if you do a side-by-side comparison with a CD, MP3 player, tablet, or smartphone. Modern devices are constricted by their physical size, and don’t have the ability to display anything larger than their screen size.
Vinyl records often contain other bonuses – such as posters, ads, or liner notes and lyrics – that you simply won’t find packaged with a CD.
It has been hinted at already, but records are generally considered “collectables”, are kind of “cool” to have, and are fun to use too. CDs are similar in that they are round objects that spin, but the motion was obscured from plain view. By contrast, you can watch as a record rotates, and enjoy the warm sound coming from it.
Listening to a record is a commitment. Digital media can be started, stopped, or skipped at will, but once you’ve put a record on, you’re obligated to finish a side.
There are a variety of reasons vinyl records are growing in popularity again. Every collector has their own thoughts.
But the sound quality, the selection, the album art and liner notes, as well as the overall experience definitely plays a part.
Are you a fan of the vinyl medium?