For the past ten years, vinyl sales have been rising more than they have since cassettes first came out. Record stores have been opening back up around the country with events to promote their sales like the annual Record Store Day in April. More and more people are posting about their latest vinyl selection on social media.
The question is why? Why are vinyl records coming back in an age of digital music like Spotify and Pandora that make listening to music cheaper and easier. People may argue that vinyl has a nostalgic aspect to it. Or maybe they actually like the sound of vinyl compared to digital music. Senior, William Mangum, doesn’t get the whole vinyl phase. He argues, “For the minimum price of one record you could get a whole month of Spotify…there isn’t really a sound difference between the two options as long as you have good earbuds.” he continues, “I think most people just listen to vinyl because it makes them feel cool.”
However, Senior, Jesus Landa, would disagree with Mangum. “Vinyl just seems more real to me. It’s like holding tangible music in the palm of my hand.” he continues, “I definitely think it’s worth [paying] the extra money for vinyl. Owning music online doesn’t really feel like you own it.” Landa also agrees with the nostalgic aspect of vinyl, “…listening to the music through actual vinyl instead of blaring it through speakers calls to some people.”
There is definitely something different about taking an old record off the shelf. Something about carefully placing the needle on the record and hearing the music amplified through some sort of sound system makes listening to music more of an experience, rather than just background noise. However, there is something to be said about the convenience of being able to plug your earbuds in and listen to music anywhere you go. Along with that, there comes the ability to create playlists and listen to different genres back to back.
All in all, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to listen. Music is about connection and expression. Through a vinyl record, or through your phone, you are the one to choose how you get that connection, and that is what truly matters.