Why Vinyl Records Are Back

| October 20, 2017

Vinyl Records Today, you can pull up your smartphone and have access to at least a dozen apps that open you up to an astonishingly large collection of music that spans centuries of the greatest (and some of the worst) musical accomplishments of mankind. If you opened Spotify right now, you would likely be unable to listen to the entirety of their libraries if you listened to it every moment for the rest of your life. And they are still adding more everyday! And yet, despite this incredible democratization of access to music, vinyl records have still continued to make a comeback, every year, even though they are far less convenient than other digital forms of music distribution.

Why is this the case? Well, there are several reasons that records have come back into the mainstream…

Information is lost in digital compression

The biggest reason that people often cite for their reason to purchase records is that they sound better than digital recordings. This isn’t anything new. Audiophiles have preached for years about the blessings of analog sound, as opposed to digital compression!

The reason for this is that digital compression is about reducing the overall size of a song so that it can be distributed across the internet (or on CDs, before that). Because of this, information in an audio recording is usually clipped in a digital recording.

To many people listening on their car radios, the difference is almost unrecognizable. If you are sitting in the comfort of your quiet home with a nice speaker system, though, then you begin to hear the wider dynamic range of analog recordings on pressed vinyl.

However, it’s also important to note that digital compression continues to get better, every year, and this gap with analog recordings will probably be gone, soon.

Vinyl distortion sounds “warmer” to many people

Even if (when) digital compression catches up with the sound of analogue, or at least to the point where the human ear can no longer recognize the difference, there is still something soothing that people find about listening to vinyl.

Records, by nature of the way they are produced, have a slight harmonic distortion that people describe as sounding “warm”. Essentially, the distorted imperfections of a record feel like an audible quilt to many music listeners, and it is a sound that feels a bit more human to some listeners.

Adds a preciousness factor to music listening

Vinyl RecordsWhile it is so easy to listen to pretty much any artists that you desire to for free, today (or for the very low cost of a streaming service membership), the ease of this accessibility is exactly why some people like a vinyl record.

Listening to all of your favorite songs on shuffle is an incredible opportunity that all music listeners have, but it does lead to listening habits that favor immediate satisfaction.

It’s getting rarer and rarer that we force ourselves to sit and listen to an entire album, and to enjoy how the arrangement of songs is constructed in such a way to evoke a roller coaster of emotions or ideas.

Vinyl records bring back some of the preciousness of listening to music, and make listening to an artist a bit more of an event, rather than just something you listen to to avoid the the white noise of silence while you go throughout your daily routine.

Record purchasing is exciting

There’s something exciting about getting to go to the record store and picking out a handful of records to take home and listen to.

Because you are limited to the handful of albums that you are willing to buy, it makes you spend more time looking around at the options and really considering what you want to listen to.

There’s also always some pretty knowledgeable employees in every record store that can help you find some music that you will love, based on your current taste.

We’d be lying if we said that there wasn’t also a nostalgia factor that comes into play with the resurgence of records, but the point is that listening to records makes a lot of people very happy, for whatever reason that is, and that’s the whole point they are listening to music anyways.

Because of this, vinyl records are back, at least for the meantime.


Category: Family Finances

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