Over the years, music has changed drastically, particularly in what medium it is recorded and distributed. Various formats have arisen over time, and the biggest advent was first the vinyl record. Later came along the digital revolution starting with the CD and now digital downloads. In what has been shown in the industry, convenience seems to be the winning factor in what determines the mainstream format—digital. However, does this then necessitate that digital is the best way to go? It actually is not so. Many enthusiasts take the other side of the older format, the vinyl record, in fondness of it’s aesthetic and musical qualities that just seem to be lacking in digital. This has caused a major comeback in vinyl in recent years.
A major breakthrough in the way people listen to music occurred in the early 1980s when Sony introduced its compact audio disc. There was an outstanding advantage of this new digital audio format, and it has forever changed the way we listen to music—music was now portable. An analogy that compares digital to the older analog format is that it’s like claiming cars are better than trains: they both get you where you need to go, but one is just more popular than the other. As the same article also quotes, “Digital offers greater flexibility than analog and that is really the secret of its success” (Analogue run out of town by digital). Unless you’re the type of person who needs a tangible experience, with your music, you’ll go with digital, and this is how most people are. FBi Radio’s Marty Doyle explains, “A lot of people don’t care what format their music takes on as long as it’s convenient…” (Christopher).
Despite these drastic changes in the way the world consumes music over the last 30 years, the old-fashioned vinyl is making a comeback mostly because of a new generation of vinyl lovers. These are the ones who need that tangible experience. Recently, sales of vinyl have skyrocketed, climbing as high as they were back in the mid 90s. What once seemed like old, useless relics have suddenly come back into demand. Even new vinyl records are being released by current-day artist who are luring buyers with retro appeal (Gustin). Vinyl sales are actually increasing while the sales of the CD are falling as digital downloads continue to subdue them. As Jim Sollisch says, “...this sounds like either fiction or a miracle”. The golden age of vinyl seemed to be over for a while, but this was by no means a eulogy. With this comeback, fueled by obsessive audiophiles, vinyl is being released again in addition to those same albums on iTunes. Of course, vinyl will never be the mainstream format again, but as one retailer says, “It’s a tiny niche market...but the people who are in it are absolutely passionate” (Lallo).
One major thing that fuels the love for vinyl is its superior sound. It that area, it is unanimous that vinyl is king. After all, it is about the music, right? In the article ‘Vinyl collectors: For...