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Vinyl records back in demand
Karen Lee, News 10 Now Syracuse 08-23-2009
There's growing competition against the MP3 market and it's coming from a much older contender. Nearly three million new vinyl records were sold in the US in 2008, a 124 percent jump from 2007. According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales have gone up 50 percent compared to this time last year. Our Karen Lee caught up with enthusiasts to find out why it's become so popular.
"I like the idea of these big wax platters and you actually apply a needle,” said Al Somlo, Able Al's Sound Shop Online owner.
During the 20th century is when records were very popular. Starting around 1925, there was first the 78 format with the vinyl shellac records and then after World War II, the records became much more prevalent.
Nine years into the 21st century, the popularity of vinyl records is back. More younger listeners are turning to the medium and as a result, reissues of classic albums as well as exclusive vinyl releases have also been on the rise. So what's the attraction of records over MP3s? First, there's more to look at.
"The artwork is huge. You really get a nice high-def of what the artist is trying to express visually. Also gives you more room on the inside to have liner notes and other information about the album and the artist," said Adam Gold, Funk N' Waffles owner.
Next, with less compression, records offer more quality sound. That's a must for audiophiles like Ronnie Dark and John Commander Walsh. The two radio DJs only play records on their show.
Radio disk jockey "Ronnie Dark" said, “We as humans listen in analog and vinyl records are mastered in analog. And you just pick up more from the way it was recorded in the recording studio to where it was transferred on the vinyl than you would a CD."
"I think it just stimulates the mind. It's got to be much better than plugging it into the computer," said radio disk jockey John "Commander" Walsh.
Then of course there's the tangible factor.
"There's just something nice about pushing on a song. You're like really giving it to them. You're like boom, you got the song," Gold said.
Because it's near-impossible for new bands to completely ignore the digital age, they're going for the best of both worlds.
"They're giving you a free coupon so you can download the MP3 for free. So then I can buy a record, I've got the artwork, I can put the MP3 on my iPod and computer," said Travis Adenau, a Sound Garden employee.
Despite its surge, most agree that record sales probably won't surpass the number of downloads. But they say vinyl is doing its part to once again encourage music as an art form.
"You put the record on the turntable, you listen to it, and you kind of bond with the music, because the artist matters to you, they mean something," said "Ronnie Dark".
Now that's wax poetry.
Brick Beats Vol. 1 Professional DJ break beats 22 Tracks on vinyl from Red Brick Records available now. Also, you can immediately download the MP3 version.
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