Enthusiasts Continue to Revolve Their Ears at 33 1/3 RPM

Story by Cole Olafson, Reporter

A small and growing community of music listeners continue to purchase analog records over more popular mediums such as MP3. These tend to be more transportable and convenient rather than an LP that is around 12 inches long, and requires what most likely is a large array of equipment.

Yet, people including myself choose to purchase vinyl records over the mainstream MP3 that can be carried in one’s pocket or cellular phone. I know why I choose to purchase the outdated music format, for the reasons of the artwork presented on the cover of each record, along with the scratchy sound that only can be expressed on vinyl. I was still curious to know someone who’s opinion may be more important and knowledgeable.

In an interview with a representative at Hi-Voltage Records in Tacoma, he stated that he believes people continue to buy vinyl is because “they get a personal connection with the vinyl” and that “younger generations grew up downloading digital, and there is nothing tangible to it”. He made points that when you purchase a compact disc, you have that physical copy but the only use for it nowadays is to rip it to your computer and convert it to the all mighty MP3, while you cannot easily do the same thing on a vinyl.

He also stated how it is a “ritual” to place that large disc on the turntable and having to take time out of your day to listen to it, because it is not portable like more popular formats of music. It offers a much more personal and magical experience.

In experience, I choose to collect records because it has a little bit of nostalgia to a simpler time and offers a sound that is impossible to explain to someone that has not listened. I am not saying that vinyl sounds better, because it doesn’t.

There is a reason they invented MP3’s, and it is because records scratch, they wear out, if you don’t have a nice set-up it can sound awful and tinny. The reason I choose to avidly listen to this obsolete music format is because it isn’t better. I love the hiss of the needle coming in contact with the vinyl, the sound of a well-loved record, although not as good for the ears like an MP3 player, gives history and story and lets you reflect more on what you are listening to, because it is inconvenient.

We as a society in my opinion is moving too fast and if it takes time to listen to your favorite song and can be an inconvenience it is worth it