Thanks to Earbender, for cluing me in to a lively discussion about vinyl on the NPR blog "All Songs Considered" (affiliated with their new music show of the same name). The launching pad for this discussion was the piece "Vinyl: The New CD?" Robin Hilton writes:
"A while back on the blog, I mentioned that I had gotten rid of all my CDs because I thought the compact disc was a dying format. It's so much easier to access everything from a hard drive. When I asked listeners what they thought would be the music format to replace CDs, a handful of people said 'vinyl.' I thought it was funny, but I've come to realize that they may be right.
I've read a number of reports that sales of vinyl LPs and turntables are way up. Retailers speculate the obvious: Vinyl turns music into a tangible work of art, allowing a deeper connection between listener and artist. And many vinyl LPs now come with a code to download a free MP3 version of the album, giving listeners both the convenience of digital audio and the beauty of art you can hold in your hand.
Vinyl could save not only music as high art, but also the music industry itself...But vinyl is a perfect excuse for returning to an actual, physical record store, where you can lay down some money and walk out with something real. I'd love to see local record stores come back."
Robin has started buying vinyl again and asked readers to submit photos of their own vinyl collections (you can see one on this update). Ultimately, they set up a Flickr page where you can send in your pictures and view photos from other vinyl addicts' collections. It would be fun to see some radio station photos in there too.
Yes...that my Styx!
It was also pointed out in one of the posts that the NPR folks have been getting more vinyl in the mail lately:
"I've mentioned before that reports show sales of vinyl rising dramatically, but anecdotally I can say that record labels sent us more promo copies of new albums on vinyl this year than any year before (in recent history). I'm certain that we're bound to see more and more vinyl arriving in the mail."
I'm sure this is true. At my radio station we're adding lots of vinyl every week and I'm definitely playing more vinyl this year than a few years ago. What a fantastic trend!