Monday, August 4, 2008

Vinyl is the new iPod

Vinyl, much like cowboy boots, is something that has only faded in popularity but is now making a very serious comeback. A lot of djs have refused to succomb to the laptop as the method of party-starting, and nerds and baby boomers alike have added to their collections. Some say the only thing that's different now is the fact that major labels are starting to press more records. While tiny, independent stores, bursting with retro charm, have kept collectors in vinyl even after the advent of cassettes, CDs, and finally mp3s, bigger stores are getting in on the action. Some Best Buys having started offering records and Amazon has sold them for most of their 13 years [as of June, the biggest-selling LP on Amazon was Hard Candy by Madonna--go figure].



Die-hard vinyl fans list a number of benefits to their medium of choice: better quality[compression in digital music means no continuous sound like you get with records], liner notes and album art*, and the beauty of an imperfect sound. A newly-converted vinyl fan pointed out that live music is imperfect as well. Food for thought, no?

So this is my plan: buy the Crosley Keepsake Turntable, which is the perfect marriage of old and new. [I tried to talk my parents into giving me their records--that they're not using!--but they said no. It's only a matter of time, though.] You get to convert the records with a handy-dandy USB cable and software but you can also play them on the turntable itself. At $149, it's a steal compared to other systems that get close to $300 of $400 to do the same thing. And Crosley knows what they're doing; they've been in the business of radios, record players, jukeboxes and other old time electronics since 1920. See this nifty item HERE.





*Jill Sternheimer takes the appreciation of album art to a new level with Hi-Fi Bags. She makes purses and totes from actual record covers and puts actual records inside clear vinyl pillows. Very cool. If there's a cover you want to use but you don't see it in the inventory, Jill welcomes you to send in a cover so she can custom make it for you. I'd actually bought a bag from her a few years ago at the Newport [now the JVC] Jazz festival that I used to death. It had the album cover of Marvin Gaye's Live at the London Palladium. People complimented me on it wherever I went, and I have yet to see anyone else with a similar bag. Unfortunately, the straps broke but that just means I have to buy another! I'm contemplating the bag with the cover of Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder of Purple Rain by Prince. Choose your arm art HERE.



[Now all I have to do is convert my SWV cassette to digital files... ]

Links
Digital conversion on MSNBC.com
Video of records being made. [One of the shots shows a finished Rich Boy-Throw Some Ds record haha]
The End [of CDs] is Near!--WIRED Magazine




2 comments:

  1. Love this!! My dad has probably has literally hundreds of vinyls in our basement. I need to dig them out again soon.

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  2. I used to have a ton of vinyl growing up. I had tons of cher! But they all got ruined when my parents put them in a storage unit. I do prefer the fun of vinyl...much better than putting in cd's in that multi cd changer and just sitting back. there is no interaction with the music. hmph

    luculent

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