Greetings, audiophiles! You can't be listening to MP3, I'm sure. I'm pretty sure you know a lot about why Hi-Res music, however, I still believe I must tell you there’s another cool way to enjoy music. It’s called vinyl.
No, no. Vinyl didn’t die when Jimi Hendrix did. It’s very much alive and is much more preferable than listening to music in a digital format. Let's take a trip to a record store, and I’ll tell you the four reasons why 12″ vinyl records are better than digital MP3.
1. Vinyl Improves Your Taste In Music
Let’s play a game. Go to your local record store and try to find One Direction's Made in the A.M., which sold 2,400,000 copies in 2015. Nothing?
Okay, try again. See if you can find anything by Justin Bieber. Nope? Okay, now check if you can find anything by Pink Floyd. What, a whole shelf’s worth? Why would you think that might be?
It's economics, my friend. People who prefer vinyl tend to be quite picky about what they listen to.
They don’t listen to airy, mass product kind-of-music. They listen to bands that have artistic honesty, and compose their own songs and play their own instruments. They listen to great songwriters and have an ear for production. Bands who meet those criteria are the ones you can find in a record shop. When you listen only to vinyl, you unconsciously decide to never, ever face One Direction and Justin Bieber. And that’s lovely.
2. Buying Records Is an Experience
There’s something magical about buying records. It’s the type of experience that got lost in iTunes and Spotify generation. It’s the kind of experience where can spend hours aimlessly searching for music.
You take gambles, and you give money on albums having no idea whether they are worth it or not. You talk to people, and ask their opinions and suggestions, and ultimately make friends.
It’s a more of a social experience than any app or online music shop could ever be.
3. Vinyl Sounds Better
Sorry, friends. This one isn’t up for dispute. Vinyl sounds better than MP3s ever could.
Most of the music is broadcast in some lossy format, where details are missed, and the overall quality is reduced. It happens because audio files get compressed to make them small enough to store thousands of them on the phone, and to stream online. Regardless whether you listen to music on a streaming service like Apple Music or prefer MP3s or even the radio, you can't get the full picture of that track. Vinyl is far more high-quality. No audio data is lost when pressing a record. It sounds just as great as the producer or band intended.
There’s another, far superior reason why vinyl is better than lossy digital formats. Vinyl, for the most part, avoided the ‘loudness war.' With the rise of digital music (CDs included), it's possible to make a track sound louder than it naturally should. The problem here is that it had a tremendous result on the audio quality. It caused songs to sound distorted and unpleasant and removed their depth and texture. Since vinyl is an analog format, it can suffer from the same problems.
4. You Can Make Money
When you buy an MP3 on iTunes, you don’t really own that particular MP3. You simply license it. But, vinyl? That’s an entirely different story altogether. There’s a huge community of people buying, collecting, and reselling vinyl, because it always keeps its purchase value, and even increases in value. When you acquire a record, you’re not just buying some album. You’re making an investment that you can later sell, or maybe pass down to your children. Some apps and websites make the process much more convenient.
Vinyl Is Not Going Away
Vinyl is indeed an old technology and one that has remained relatively unchanged over the past thirty-forty years. But that's because it's the closest to the perfect device for listening to music.