Luke Menslage, Junior
Picture this: You and your friends are having a great time together, but one topic is on everyone’s mind, what music should be played. Someone could connect their phone to a speaker, but this can often be a struggle, as everyone wants to have control over a speaker. So, why not turn to older technology – the record player! Yes, you heard me right, and no, I am not some 80 year old geezer who refuses to get with the times, but someone who cares about the quality of the music I listen to.
Spinning a vinyl record is proven to produce superior sound quality, as opposed to listening through streaming services. This is surprising, as no one would expect the older, “inferior,” technology to remain as the best choice, but the reasoning checks out.
Streaming services operate by sending out small mp3 files of music around the world, but some aspects of the music often get lost in the translation. These files of the original recordings are compressed to be small enough to be sent out efficiently. Of course, higher quality files can be produced and listened to, but these are far too large for streaming services to use effectively. Now here is where our circular companion comes in. The average space one song takes up on a record can store much more information than an mp3 file, which can smoothen out the audio and make the experience much more enjoyable. One of my favorite examples is the sound of hi-hats and other cymbals being much more pleasant to the ears, as they can get very annoying otherwise.
Interestingly enough, people are catching onto this. Many people would associate records with the 1960’s, but the statistics seem to prove otherwise. Some of the best selling records of all time were released in the 2000’s, including Adele’s 21, Norah Jones Come Away With Me, and Eminem’s The Eminem Show among others. Hopefully, this new wave of records resurfacing will bring about higher quality printings, as most printings of more mainstream music since the 2000’s have been fairly, for lack of a better term, “Eh.”
However, this does not change the fact that streaming services are more convenient. This is a good point. I, too, use streaming services while out and about, but convenience is not the point, but rather the experience. Holding and listening to physical incarnations of your favorite music is an indescribable feeling, only really rivaled by being at a live performance of said music.
Hopefully, given enough time, the general population should recognize vinyl as more than a “fad” or “gimmick” that will fade into obscurity, but rather as a form of media that is here to stay.