A story from the byways of data storage.
Vinyl audio records have been making something of a comeback. Fans prefer the sound, and DJs like to “scratch” them, which is pretty cool the first hundred times you hear it.
A series of pieces in the UK paper the Guardian, describes the current state of vinyl, including a Czech Republic firm – a holdover from Communist days – that is now the world’s largest presser of vinyl disks. The company, once down to 500 employees, now employs 2,000, and business is growing to the tune of 25 million records this year.
Another piece describes the world’s oldest record store. Based in Cardiff, Wales, UK, Spillers Records has been in business since 1894, back when records were cylinders, not disks.
A third piece covers the 6 million records of Brazilian Zero Freitas’ collection.
And finally, since vinyl has become so popular, there are again best seller charts that cover vinyl records.
The StorageMojo take
Imagine that: emotional attachment to a storage medium. I used to have a few hundred LPs, but now my collection is down to a couple of dozen rarities and sentimental favorites. I even have a dust-covered turntable somewhere.
I lament the loss of the large canvas for album art that 33 1/3rd RPM Long Playing records offered. But like most people I was happy to graduate to CDs for their convenience, even though I taped my LPs so wear was not an issue.
Now, of course, I have thousands of MP3 tracks, most from my ripped CDs.
While the vinyl revival might appear irrational, I note that almost no one is agitating for the return of 8 track tape or wax cylinders. There is something intrinsically satisfying about watching the tone arm’s progress down that one long groove on a slowly rotating disk.
And, of course, the respect and ceremony in removing a record from its jacket and sleeve, placing it on the turntable, and dropping the needle on the groove. Now I can punch up Bob Wills Take Me Back to Tulsa or Florence + The Machine’s Kiss With A Fist in a few seconds.
Instant gratification, yes. Reverence, not so much. I hope the vinyl LP has a long life.
Courteous comments welcome, of course.