I have recently turned 20 years of age and as a celebration of the loss of my childhood I was bought something I’ve always wanted: a vinyl record player. As a great lover of music my iTunes library is quite large but I have decided to start a vinyl collection for the coming reasons, and I suggest you do too!
When artists spend hours in the recording studio to get that perfect sound it can often be lost in translation when fitting the song into a digital format. The best analogy I have ever heard is imagine trying to fit all your clothes into a suitcase and zip it up. As you sit on top of the case, furiously tugging the zip you decide that there are odd socks or a jumper that you can do without. This is the same when putting sound into a digital format, there are sounds that don’t fit and are left behind. Therefore you lose the crisp in depth sound that a vinyl player manages to hold onto.
2) Physical Items
What’s great about a record is that you can hold it in your hands, you have a tangible item. This may seem like a silly reason, but when you have an iTunes library of 2,000 odd songs, some of them go easily unnoticed. It really is great to hold a record, ‘drop the needle’ and just enjoy your music. Having a collection of music is something I miss about having an iTunes library instead of an actual music library.
3) Shopping for Music
Browsing the iTunes library or Youtube for a new sound may let you get music quicker especially when it is newly released. You can also sample a song before you buy it. Without taking anything away from this, browsing a record store, flipping through squares of cardboard on the lookout for a hidden gem is a lot more exciting than just scrolling aimlessly. Nothing compares to finding an album slipping out the sleeve and excitedly heading home with a new purchase, eager to play it.
4) Album Artwork
Yes you can see artwork on iTunes, but a little square next to a song is not as good as a full sleeve of artwork. Pink Floyd’s famous dark side of the moon artwork was not meant to be condensed into such a small space and plenty of other artwork is also not worthy of being slashed. Flipping through your collection looking for something to listen to is helped by the fact that the artwork sparks memories of the sound rather than just reading a song title.
Vinyl records are almost impossible to steal. This may not be a great thing for everyone (not saying I never file share myself) but it is obviously a good thing for the artists who create the music and do, in all fairness, deserve their royalties. Secondly it’s better for the user. It’s easy for a digital file to be corrupted or the origins of the song cannot be found and therefore can’t be played on certain platforms. A vinyl record can only be lost if they are physically stolen, broken or you are unlucky enough to have a natural disaster!
Of course, I’m not saying that we should all return to the 80’s and throw away our iPod’s as they are obviously fantastic devices, but every once in a while listening to an album in the crystal clear way that it was meant to be heard can rekindle your love of music. So join me and be part of the vinyl revolution!