I'm not going to write about how important music is because this is common knowledge. Besides those bad dates of the universe where the person sitting across from you says they "don't listen to music much," it's a drastically important and absolutely integral aspect in the flavoring of life. Living in the digital age is rad, don't get me wrong. I literally cannot image a world where I'm not staring at a screen with headphones in and music constantly playing. But thanks to Urban Outfitters, vinyl records have been making quite the comeback in recent years.
Starting a record collection over the past year has made me incredibly fond of the hobby. Whenever a store sells records, my attention is immediately taken to the alphabetized rows of artwork that each contain an ocean of surprises. After carefully removing the plastic, of course. This is what I have found from collecting vinyl over the past year.
1. Vinyl sounds better.
Most of the digital music we listen to is stored and filed into a lossy format. There are two types of compression, which are lossy and lossless. Lossy compression loses details in MP3s and lowers the quality because it's constantly deleting unnecessary data for maximum file storage. Audio is compressed in a lossy format in order to make the file small enough to fit onto your phone or to broadcast over airwaves. Whether you're listening to a streaming service like Spotify, an MP3 on iTunes or the radio, you're not listening to the audio at its finest.
Vinyl is the opposite, which is a lossless format. Nothing has been lost or taken away from the audio when pressing a record, and it ends up sounding as good as the producer or the band intended.
2. Your taste in music will improve.
Sure, you can probably find Nicki Minaj's "The Pinkprint" on vinyl somewhere, but most stores that sell records do not usually sell Top 40 music with synthesized instruments and airy vocals. People who often buy vinyl listen to bands with known artistic integrity, bands famous for great songwriting and great sounding instruments. You'll start to see the same albums cropping up in bulk when searching for records, and chances are those are the ones you should be buying.
3. Surface noise.
Christmas lights illuminating your bedroom, perhaps a candle lit in the corner, fresh tea in your hand as you read some assigned reading for class. You are listening to the slight scratches of the record as the needle passes through the many grooves of the record, creating a perfect atmosphere.
4. It expands your personal discography.
Your ever-growing collection of records is a personal statement that embodies who you are as an audiophile. Your record collection directly personifies you, making it a way for others to encompass you as well.
5. They make great gifts.
Who wouldn't want their favorite album on vinyl?
6. The artwork that comes with the record is worth collecting in itself.
Most LPs showcase the same artwork on every platform the album has been released, however this is not always the case. Some bands like to switch up the the artwork on their vinyls, giving the people who buy records extra features to an already great album. Plus, most bands decorate their LPs in sick colors like electric green, neon yellow and even simply clear. And this goes for CDs, too! The compact disc is underrated, but that's a whole other listicle.
7. You can sell them to make money.
Vinyls are worth a decent penny, and if you aren't too keen on an album or two, there is someone on eBay who has been wanting that record for months. It's a great way to pick up some extra cash while gaining access into a niche community.
8. You can connect with older relatives or family members.
Your parents grew up listening to vinyl. Chances are either your parents or older relatives have awesome albums they can lend you (or if you're lucky they'll give them to you). But not even my own father is willing to pass on his copy of "Dark Side Of The Moon."